- Skaters of all talent levels and backgrounds help each other at frequent meetups.
- Planche is back this summer to pick up where they left off: learning, expanding, and helping each other.
Joys ring through Montreal’s Jarry Park as skateboarders race down a cliff on a cool and breezy Sunday afternoon. They hit their boards on the concrete, taking turns facing off in a friendly game as part of Planche Collective’s biweekly skate sessions.
The collective was begun last year with the mission of making a barrier-free area for women, queer, trans, Black and Indigenous people, and other people of color to get into skateboarding — nevertheless of skill level.
Seeing a shortage of welcoming skating areas for marginalized parties in Montreal, the organizers made an open-invitation biweekly skate meetup at the park at the edges of the Park Ex, Villeray, and Mile-Ex communities.
Planche is back this summer to pick up where they dumped off: learning, growing, and supporting each other.
Skateboarding is challenging enough without the added hindrances of belonging to a marginalized neighborhood. Co-organizer Marie Anne Louis-Charles saw that learning to skate can be hard to achieve in more conventional skate environments.
“Being the only female, the only queer individual, the only trans person in an area… that’s so many things to encounter at once,” Louis-Charles said. Initiating Planche was a way to make a skating culture more reflective of her experience without people “having to struggle and oppose to inhabit space.”
While some women, queer and trans people skate, the members of Planche say it can be discouraging to practice at skate parks that are usually overwhelmed by men who are not transgender or non-binary.
They say this makes it more challenging to get in regular skateboarding time and find their skating community.
Source – CBC News