Rockford skateboarding community: ‘It’s a brotherhood’

January 15, 2018 - skateboarding

ROCKFORD — Eric Neubauer represents a some-more comparison side of a city’s close skateboarding community.

He’s 42, and after about 30 years on a skateboard has turn a father figure of sorts to associate skateboarders in a area.

“I’ve gotten to know any of them,” Neubauer said. “I’ve jabbered with them over a years.”

When he’s not training a bilingual third-grade category during Hillman Elementary School, he’s during his business, Ground Floor Skateboards in downtown Rockford.

The stage there one Friday night recently was emblematic of a close skateboarding community. Inside a shop, tucked next travel turn during 333 E. State St., Neubauer was assimilated by East High School graduates Julio Gallegos, 30, and Thom Ping, 28, who was on crutches given of a sprained ankle though designed to get behind on his house soon. They weren’t there so most to emporium as they were to hang out, and that’s accurately a sourroundings Neubauer tries to encourage in his shop.

“It’s a brotherhood,” Ping said. “People who don’t skateboard can’t unequivocally grasp that.”

Neubauer saw an early chronicle of “Minding a Gap,” a Rockford skateboarding documentary done by former Rockfordian Bing Liu. The film will premiere Jan. 21 at a Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Although a film’s concentration has shifted during a modifying process, Neubauer says it is certain to shine a certain light on a internal skateboarding scene.

“It’s sick,” he said. “I always had an older-uncle-father attribute (with Liu). we can’t even explain how happy we am for him.”

Neubauer has been skating given he was about 12 years old, elaborating from a rapscallion harsh about a village to an management figure looked adult to by younger skaters. 

Neubauer incorporates skateboarding into his doctrine skeleton during Hillman and encourages a activity as a training tool.

“It teaches them skills and how to adapt, to consider creatively,” he said. “To see it is such a good thing; kids don’t get adequate practice anyway.”

Neubauer non-stop his emporium in Mar 2016, stuffing a blank left when The Station movement emporium on Charles Street sealed several years earlier. Aside from Zumiez at CherryVale Mall, a closest movement shops were in a Chicago suburbs and Milwaukee.

More movement parks have popped adult over a years, too. There’s Washington Park Community Center Skate Park on Delaware Street, that is shutting this spring, Elliot Park on Mill Road and SkateWorks during Harlem Community Center in Machesney Park.

There’s also Churchill Park on Seventh Avenue, that Neubauer was instrumental in building. In 2010, he incited aged timber left behind from The Station into boxes and banks for skateboarders.

“We have a really abounding story of skateboarding,” Neubauer said. “It’s always been prevalent.”

“Minding a Gap” swag has been accessible for some time during Ground Floor. Skateboarders such as Ping and Gallegos haven’t seen it, though they’ve listened about how good it is.

“It’ll move skateboarding to a some-more critical level,” Ping said. “It’s going to move light to it.”

Gallegos pronounced a documentary could discharge a tarnish surrounding skateboarders in a Rock River Valley — and beyond.

“It will give us notoriety,” he said. “It’ll put a sock in a lot of people’s mouths.”

Adam Poulisse: 815-987-1344;; @adampoulisse

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