More than 100 skaters flocked to Washington Park on Mother’s Day weekend to participate in the first-ever “Skate With Your Mom Day” in Park Slope.
The event, hosted on May 8 by the Pablo Ramirez Foundation, sought to encourage New Yorkers of all ages to pick up a skateboard with their family members in an inclusive environment, according to the group’s director.
“The idea of skating with your mom, in a nutshell, is to bring families close together and to show that kids are not that far apart from their parents,” said Loren Michelle, who started the foundation in honor of her late son, the celebrated skateboarder Pablo Ramirez.
Through the foundation, Michelle and her son’s friends work to help kids and young adults develop a positive lifestyle through skateboarding, music and art.
Skaters on Saturday took advantage of complimentary lessons from Crown Heights skate-shop SkateYogi, and scored some free swag donated by Vans, Williamsburg skateshop KCDC, the nonprofit Boards for Bros, and the skate collective GrlSwirl.
Many moms never think of giving skateboarding a shot, Michelle said, but when given the opportunity, they have a blast. “The minute you give them the opportunity to just try, they lit up,” she said. “This is about not saying no to life, saying yes to life.”
“Pablo would definitely say yes to life all the time,” she added.
The inclusiveness of Saturday’s event is something Michelle hopes to recreate on an even larger scale through the Pablo Ramirez Foundation’s biggest initiative yet: the Brooklyn Skate Garden. The project, which seeks to build a skatepark that doubles as a greenspace, was recently awarded $300,000 of Councilmember Brad Lander’s Participatory Budgeting funding to get the ball rolling.
“It would be a space where everyone is welcome,” Michelle said in April of the Brooklyn Skate Garden. “Young kids could skate, teenagers could skate, newbies could skate. How could a mother learn to skate and feel comfortable? How could people that have never gotten on a skateboard feel comfortable? How could families come and feel like it’s cool for them to be here with their eight-year-old?”