Welcome to the ShralpLife experience. At the Shralpers Union we have made it our mission to make the world a better place utilizing side stance board sports. With our motto of “High Fives & Positive Vibes” and our army of dedicated members, we have taken our first steps on this amazing journey. Concrete Wave magazine has given us the opportunity to further our mission of uniting local communities. Here we will be reporting on local scenes, longboarding clubs, our chapters, the mom-and-pop shop and how they all tie in. There will be reports on upcoming events as well as how you can get involved. We will talk about concepts, needs of the communities and what action has been taken. We will take a deep look into what skateboarding is and how it evolved and we’ll explore its roots.
I would like to start with the concept that unites us all: BALANCE. There is no doubt that balance is the key to making things run stable at optimum levels. We know this through our experience in skateboarding. The more balanced you are, the more likely you are to take your skills to the next level. We also know that skateboarding is a perfect example of self-expression and freedom. We strive to show the world the best version of ourselves through relentlessly pushing the envelope – to the point of being an outcast and even labeled as crazy. It is perceived as craziness until the magic happens. For example, when the Mega Ramp first came out, it was perceived as impossible; people thought the riders had to be nuts just to drop in. But hrough the vision of one person’s passion, a gateway was opened, and once someone finally pulled it off, the SHRALPERS UNION PRESENTS SHRALPLIFE rest followed and progression took place. The uniting factor in this equation was the “Magic of Balance.” With that balance, one can fly through the air, making the impossible happen with true freedom and self expression as the spectators witness something magical. This can be applied to anything in life; after all, it is this balance that will allow your best version to come forth. It is this balance that we need communities to embrace so that we can nurture the next generation of boarders so they can lead by example.
On July 25, 2016, several “Magic of Balance” events will be taking place, and the Union is proud to be on board. Visit shralpersunion.nationbuilder.com to find out what’s happening in your scene and how you can get involved.
Words: Rachel Floyd
“If you’ve ever been to a longboarding race, then you have experienced a special magic. Annual races of various sizes take place across the country (and the globe!), and while each has its own unique flavor, they all have a way of uniting people from every walk of life. A seasoned Shralper knows the excitement that builds up in the weeks before an event, as well as the joy of seeing your skate family on race day. It may be the only time you see some friends in person all year, though the bonds formed on the track tend to run deep, and chances are you’ll be reliving the experience through social media for weeks after.”
Several Union chapters have already established yearly events, each with its own flair. We checked with organizers and competitors to bring you the word on a few events that went down in spring 2016.
On April 9, the Shralpers Union 405 Chapter in Oklahoma City hosted the second annual Stokelahoma, a long-distance push race across several miles of a longer path showcasing the beauty of the city. Upwards of sixty people came out to skate, hang out and volunteer. There were categories for Advanced (14.5 miles) and Beginner (7 miles), as well as a Youth Buttboard race, with prizes for the top three in each category and a Most Stoked award that could go to anyone, even spectators.
Chapter president Harley Waggoner and his wife Bettie organized the event for the second year in a row and knew what to expect. They added the Buttboard race as a way to keep spectators entertained while the longer sprints were taking place, not expecting that it would turn out to be the highlight of their day.
Local Aaron Wallace took first in the Advanced division of the push race, with Ehren Mohammadi from San Antonio, Texas, in second, and local William Megginson in third. The Waggoners hope to expand the event in 2017, adding big-air and best trick competitions, as well as more prizes for the kids.
“I love being a Union member,” Harley says. “It’s given me an avenue to help change the stereotype of the average skater, and without trying it’s also helped a lot of people that might not have known about our world discover something truly awesome. Now we’re on a mission to spread those High Fives and Positive Vibes!”