NEW ORLEANS, La. (KLFY) — In April, skate crews from seven different states rolled into an abandoned terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) for a skate and film competition. Rukus Board Shop‘s team of Baton Rouge and Lafayette skaters brought home the grand prize.
Skate crews were given two days of free rein over the terminal for RedBull’s second annual terminal takeover. After that, the crews went home to edit footage they captured into a two-minute clip. Each team’s video was posted for a nationwide vote to determine the winner of the grand prize: $5,000 to benefit their skate scene.
Rukus, which has shop locations in Lafayette and Baton Rouge, sent a crew comprising of skaters from both cities.
Devin Chriss of team Rukus said the skate communities in both cities are due credit for Rukus being given the opportunity to even be there. The team plans to split the grand prize between the two cities’ skate scenes as best they can.
The prize money might be able to help cultivate a healthy skate culture, something that Chriss said many people find refuge in.
“Skateboarding is a great outlet for so many things. Creatively and physically of course, but also a lot of skateboarders find refuge in it when going through a rough patch in life. It gives people something that lets them just turn off the rest of the noise in their life and put their energy into something fun and productive. As skateboarding grows and becomes more and more accepted it will create even more avenues for people to grow and be successful in life,” Chriss explained.
There are a few skate scene-related projects underway in Lafayette; Louisiana’s first indoor park, Magnolia LA, as well as a recent budget approval from the city council for a new outdoor skate park. Chriss said the prize money won’t be used for either of those parks directly, but the team is open to and planning on doing other fundraisers or events to raise money for them.
Chriss explained that having a safe, designated place for skaters is important for the community and keeps the scene active and positive.
“Having a place where skateboarders can easily skate, learn, progress, and have fun without having to worry about security or getting kicked out is paramount,” Chriss said. “Having our own space to hold events, contests, and embrace the culture of skateboarding is huge and will have a positive impact on much more than just the skateboard community in the city.”