Skateboard Trade Up Makes for a Great Evening in District 5
October 6, 2023
Gila River Indian News
As the evening sky changed into the night, at 6:00 p.m., the sky painted a beautiful sunset among the District 5 service center. GRIC youth and adults skated onto the premises of the basketball courts to a newly custom-built mini ramp and skateboard trade-up on Saturday, Sept. 16. Community-based skateboard company Seven Layer Army hosted the free event called “Ridez for the Rez” to showcase the donated skate ramp on behalf of the Cowtown S.K.A.T.E. non-profit.
The mini ramp was custom–built for the “Skate Hemapai at the Heard: Celebration of Skateboarding, Culture, Art, and Community” hosted by Cowtown Skateboards and Cowtown S.K.A.T.E who partnered with Seven Layer Army on June 17 of this year. It was there that Trent Martin, founder of Cowtown Skateboards, Cowtown S.K.A.T.E, Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis and Seven Layer Army agreed to donate the skate ramp to GRIC.
“We built this ramp with the intent of building it to donate to an Indigenous community, and we really wanted to donate it to District 5 in the Gila River Indian Community,” said Martin, mentioning that the ramp was hand-painted by Zachary Justin, District 6. They felt it was appropriate to donate the ramp to the artist’s homelands.
“We were trying to figure out which district didn’t have a park or anything to skate and it was District 5. As it was in the middle of the Community, so we said bring the ramp to District 5,” said Reuben Ringlero, District 6, and of Seven Laver Army. He said he was looking forward to presenting the new mini ramp to the Community and offering new skaters with new boards or current skaters a chance to trade in their old skateboards for a new board from Cowtown S.K.A.T.E.
“I’m just so grateful that they came out and did this for the district, it’s nice seeing them support our tribes. It brings joy to our hearts,” said Victoria Ruiz, District 3. Ruiz brought her family to partake in the event, sharing her enjoyment of the sport, and watching the youth skateboard.
Jayden Savage, from the Navajo Nation, was also seen skating around the court with his new Cowtown board. He said he attended the event with his brother as they both improved their skateboarding techniques.
The Rides for the Rez event ended at 8:00 p.m. with Seven Layer Army distributing skateboards and skate-related items among the gathered attendees in celebrations of the newest addition to District 5.