Many of us have stories about how skateboarding saved our lives. In some circumstances it the therapeutic and meditative act of skateboarding itself that helps us through difficult times and tough situations. In other cases it is the band of misfits that make up the culture of skateboarding who help us feel less alone in this crazy world. Those fellow skateboarders who make up our own tribe, somewhere we can believe we belong. Maybe it is because we all seem to have troubles and adversities we have had to overcome in our lives. Maybe it is the nature of our artform - where no matter how skilled you are we all fall down... constantly. Maybe it is because we are all so acutely aware of how human we are because we are consistently beat up: bruised shins, swellbow, bleeding palms, that misstep taken that reminds us we have jammed our big toe so many times it is not up for balancing our weight today, or that sharp pain moving at light speed from your hip directly through your soul from so many hippers that you almost feel that trying to dislocate it may help re-align how warped it seems. i guess i should leave it to sociologists or anthropologists to figure out the why, but within skateboarding there is an incredibly empathetic and supportive community that has a real sense of loyalty to there own.
This phenomena is something that moved me as a kid picking up a skateboard in the mid 80's, this is something i have tried to continue in my adulthood and something i mindfully strive to perpetuate now as a shop owner. Being exposed to the other side of the business of skateboarding i am happy to report that those same ideals and characteristics do still carry over in skateboarding.
Rob Pontes has been a part of Long's Board Shop since we began. Emerica is one of the first shoe brands that we got up on the wall for our opening and Rob and Colin have been our Emerica reps. Rob has been diagnosed with ALS and in true skateboarding form a call has gone out in the community to try and help out Rob and his family as they go through this journey and treatments. "Roll for Rob" has become the call to action as Rob's friends and companies he reps have brought together shops and skaters on the East coast and beyond to help raise funds. Deluxe (which he reps) has been making Real "Roll for Rob" decks, t-shirts, and stickers; Emerica is going to release a "Roll for Rob" edition of the Westgate in a great black/red/white colorway; and there are a series of skate events in New England which will coincide with deck colorways. This is yet another example of how important it is to support the companies that support the skateboarding community.
We have been carrying the "Roll for Rob" gear and encourage everyone to do what you can to help either through purchasing the hardgoods, going to events, or donating. We are at our strongest when we stick together as a community and help one another. Watching the community rally like this is inspirational. We here at LBS are wishing all the best for Rob and his family.