Sports

It’s rare that Boston’s most devoted skaters are given the chance to prove themselves to the community. Certain stigmas tend to define the lifestyle, and put it in an unfavorable light. Dillon Buss and his crew of skating stalwarts aim to change that in a number of ways.

“Skateboarding has a very specific nature these days, especially as it’s portrayed in the media,” he says. “I’ve wanted to put more emphasis on the art of it– the art of movement, and its carefree spirit.”

Seems like it shouldn’t be too difficult a task to complete, seeing as Buss, in addition to being a sponsored skater, is an accomplished artist as well. The Cambridge-based renaissance man currently has work on display at the Boston Children’s Museum as part of the Sneaker Museum installation. It is what led him to organize Sunday’s Skate Jam event, which was a skating demo in the purest sense, but aimed to marry the art of skateboarding with the art of, well… art.

It was heavy challenge, especially considering that his audience was an excited horde of young children, and their likely somewhat concerned parents, but a challenge that he and his skating cohorts welcomed with open arms no less. When the skaters were asked to wear helmets, they embraced the task, finding the funkiest looking pieces of gear possible, from motorcycle brain buckets to sleek, aerodynamic bike-racing helmets. From there, the artistic angle sprouted, and the crew got its hands on white jumpsuits and Chuck Taylor sneakers provided by Converse. When Buss’ teammate, Dave Lewis, introduced himself to the group of restless young’ns, he said the magic words.

“Hi, I’m Dave, and I like bananas.”

The kids went wild, and the event kicked off on the right groove. Throw is some ramps and gear provided by Orchard Skate Shop and the boarders made the flat courtyard outside of the museum their waterfront playground. The focus, all the while, maintained on drawing excitement to the artistic side.

“I knew we really found it when the kids started mimicking our moves and racing us up and down the path,” says Buss.

From there, the skaters treated the demo less as a playing field in which to one-up each other, and more as a way to hone in on the different movements and motions that skateboarding exercises. The event in full not only revved up the already excitable juniors that filled out the crowd, but helped to foster curiosity about new forms of athleticism in both the children and parents, as well as Buss.

“Skateboarding and art have always been two very different parts of my life, but this event proved to be a very happy medium.”

[Video Credit: Dillon Buss]

[Photo Credit: Zach Lanou]

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