Slow Impact is a four-day event bringing home the incremental effects of skateboarding

In the summer of 2022, Phoenix, Arizona-based professional skateboarder Ryan Lay floated the idea of recreating the Pushing Boarders skateboard event that had taken place in Malmö, Sweden, in 2019, before the beginning of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The result was Slow Impact, a four-day event combining skate events, social gatherings, and presentations about political and cultural issues within the skateboarding community. I think the name of the gathering is brilliant as it unfolds the power of practice, reflection, love, and pace, emphasizing that the experience of time, and the meanings given to experiences, can accumulate and change, shape-shift and transition, sometimes switching implications and effect.

Though spearheaded by Lay, Tim Ward, and Zamara Fabela Marina from Skate After School (SAS), support from Arizona State University, New Balance, and SAS facilitated the decentralized planning culture. The Phoenix Valley skateboarding community organized a range of events and experiences. As reported by Thomas Barker from Jenkem, "It was not quite an academic conference but not quite a traditional skateboarding event either. It was pitched as a winter warm-weather skate vacation. Hell, there was even a skateboarding spoken word night and a street contest."

The Skate After School office and warehouse in Tempe was the scene for three panel discussions opening each day's events. These discussions are now available on the interweb.

The first discussion opening the events on February 17, "Your skating on Native land," featured the crew from Apache Skateboards, and was "hosted by Maurice Crandall with Doug Miles, Doug Miles Jr., Reuden Ringlero, Tray Polk, Ty Thompson, Cecely Todacheenie and Jeremy Todacheenie." Cecely and Jeremy also own Enchantment Skate Shop, supporting Indigenous skateboarding in New Mexico.

Day two began with a "conversation about women and non-binary skateboarders navigating careers with industry support hosted by Alex White with Marbie Miller, Rey Choto, Samarria Brevard, and Poe Pinson."

For a discussion about "art and skateboarding hosted by Ted Barrow with Jerry Hsu, Akwasí Owusu, Louis Sarowsky, and Sam Korman, check out "Empathy And Texture."

In addition to the Jenkem article above, this episode of the podcast Vent City and this one from Mostly Skateboarding feature discussions by the organizers and participants about the Slow Impact events.

Adam Aboda created these imaginative and inventive "zine of sketches" to represent his experiences at Slow Impact. Here is a photo dump of the days' events from Flailing into Oblivion.

More comments, photos, and videos are available at #slowimpactaz.