Words, edit and photos by Bruce J. Bales
Four nights a week, at the top of the Brady Street hill in Davenport, a group of people sharing similar interests gather to get out of the cold and to practice their passions. Whether it blades, boards, bikes or scooters, Skatechurch provides a welcoming atmosphere where passionate people share a common shred.
I’m not sure what the Quad Cities shredders would do without Skatechurch. I’d like to think it keeps us all sane during the wicked Midwestern winters. This sanity is maintained through our weekly sessions, and this winter I began to see a distinct change in the skatepark environment. A community was being built without barriers or prejudices. I saw everyone, no matter the instruments at their feet, come together to enjoy common goals and support each other while doing so. For the most part, a mutual respect was built between everyone using the ramps.
In order to document this I decided to take a different approach when making a new Skatechurch edit. Instead of focusing solely on rollerblading, I made it a point to try to film everyone (I apologize for the absence of biking clips). This was challenge in itself, but everyone was very responsive to being a part of the edit.
The Skatechurch community is one of the most welcoming and positive communities I have ever been a part of. There is no pressure to believe a certain way. People are allowed to manage their own thoughts and energies. I think that the freedom of sharing a common shred and the openness of personal creativity and belief is what makes Skatechurch such a positive place.