The skateboard scene in the Moscow-Pullman area is nearly non-existent compared to the subcultures of larger cities such as Portland and Seattle. But a love for the lifestyle and 12-year-old Daniel Eastman’s desire to “skate every day” was all it took to prompt Mike Kammeyer to search for a way to promote the skate scene in the area.
Kammeyer began with the creation of a non-profit organization now known as 6 Cents Skateboarding. The group is primarily made up by local skaters between the ages of 11 and 18 who travel together to skate exhibits and other skate parks in the region.
“There’s really not much that goes on in the skate scene here and that was kind of my goal – to build a scene,” Kammeyer said. “You go somewhere like Portland or Seattle where just tons of people are into it, it’s kind of a subculture that’s already there…but here we have to create it.”
Kammeyer said the construction of a large Pepsi-sponsored skate park in Lewiston has helped the growth of the skateboarding scene in the area, but the sport still lacks a large local following.
Against the Grain, a skateboard showcase and art show, will be Kammeyer’s first major event to promote the local skate scene. Kammeyer, who also runs a screen-printing shop – Prints Underground – in Pullman with his wife Rachael Eastman, began planning the event in early January.
“The day that I thought it up I was processing a shirt order and it’s a lonely process. It was just me and my dog and there was a big piece of cardboard behind me and I just started making some bullet points of ideas,” Kammeyer said.
Kammeyer then approached his wife with the idea.
“I told her ‘yeah, I need you to put on a skateboard art show and make some work yourself’ and she thought I was joking at first,” Kammeyer said. “But then we sat down and it just kind of grew. When I’ve gone to similar events I’ve always thought they needed one thing or another, so I tried to put together an event that had all of those things.”
Against the Grain will coincide with the Moscow artwalk and include a skateboard demonstration with professionals from around the region, art from local artists, live performances from five local hip-hop groups and a life-size stegosaurus made from recycled skateboard decks.
The event will be hosted at the grain silos located at the south end of Main Street where food and beverages will also be available.
“The name of the event really tied it all together because of the silos…and skateboarding is kind of counterculture,” Kammeyer said. “I just kind of planned it on my own and hoped that (the Moscow Arts Department) embraced it and realized that I was trying to diversify (artwalk) and kind of appeal to a younger crowd. I’m happy that it coincides because it will allow people that wouldn’t normally go to something like this to maybe see what’s going on and learn a little bit about it.”
The event will also premiere a film produced by Six Cents Skateboarding that features local skateboarders and profiles the development of the scene in the region.
Kammeyer said his goal is to open a skate shop under the name Six Cents Skateboarding as well as develop the name into a brand that skaters in the region will recognize.
“If I do open a shop that will be separate and will be for profit, but it will still be a way to build the scene here,” Kammeyer said. “We were on a road trip to Sandpoint and I think one of the kids mentioned skateboarding was like his sixth sense. So it’s kind of like a play on words and a lot of skaters are broke, a lot of them don’t have more than about six cents in their pocket so it seemed kind of fitting.”
Despite his enthusiasm for developing the scene Kammeyer hasn’t always been an avid skateboarder.
Kammeyer said the camaraderie and atmosphere of the skate scene were what drew him to the sport.
“It’s not really a sport, it’s really a lifestyle. I’ve always felt like I’m right on the border of it because of my involvement in hip-hop. I’ve always understood it and had friends that were involved, but it really took Daniel and his love of it to really get me into it.”
Kammeyer began skating two years ago and continues to practice with his son, Daniel Eastman.
Eastman has been skating for several years and said he spends hours skating on a daily basis.
“I’m better (than my dad), he just started,” Eastman said. “My favorite move is a kick-flip.”
Eastman said he is excited for Against the Grain and the opportunity to meet older skaters who share his love for the sport.
Kammeyer said the event would not be possible without the local support he has received.
“It’s really just been people making it happen and involving people that care and utilizing their skills and their talents,” Kammeyer said. “We tried to go to places where we actually have relationships and know people. Moscow as a whole has just been an ideal place to do this.”