SkateIDSA’s newest board member Angela Menck Kuhn on expanding distance skateboarding, being an event host, and the value of racing.
Meet Angela Menck Kuhn. She’s the host with the most, and the Pacific Northwest’s esteemed multi-tasker: taking on multiple responsibilities from event hosting, writing, marketing, fundraising, parenting, and being one of few SkateIDSA board members.
New to the squad of skaters and leaders that make up the board, Angela has already proven herself to be not only involved in expanding the sport of distance skateboarding, but an unmistakable influence meant to be heard. Angela’s roots in skateboarding are humble: she says it’s more fun than running, and good exercise that she can enjoy with her husband and kids.
Angela is known within the community (read: family) of long distance skateboarders as the host of the largest and longest running PNW event, The Centennial Sk8 Festival. The latest addition to her event hosting repertoire, Sk8 Lake Tye, turned heads in Washington and garnered wide-spread media coverage. When asked about goals for PNW racing and Centennial Sk8 Festival, she says, “more demos at various sporting events, churches, anywhere where a large group of people congregate. We would also like to form a riding club where we teach basic skills and encourage more participation.”
We asked Angela a few questions on related subjects she’s happy to share with SkateIDSA:
On wrapping up an event planned months in advance
A lot of people don’t realize that we’re still working on wrapping up the details of our event! Lots of post-event work is involved. Follow-up with the City, County, vendors, sponsors, and even some participants (for example, mailing forgotten items, shirts, trophies for those who had to leave early, prizes, etc.), and then debriefing about what went well, what could be improved, what new ideas we may have, as well as getting next year’s date set & announced, official video released, and preliminary permits filed for the next year. We’re already working on next year’s details, and the event was just three weeks ago. After we set the date, we’ll rest a bit and then ramp up again in the coming weeks.
On what makes or breaks a good event and the value of distance skateboarding
I focus on how the event is run, from the check-in process to the volunteers stationed to the timing accuracy. It seems like the smoother the logistics are run, the more freedom the racers have to have fun. I think events that are well-planned, accurately timed, include signature details, and also build in social time and space will be the most successful. The value of distance skateboarding is community, friendships, health, fun, skill development, and transportation. It gets people active, moving, and stronger. Strength is a powerful thing. Once a person feels strong, they feel like they are capable and confident to try new things. I’m all for new sports and cross-training. No limits! In addition to riding longboards, I also row crew 4 days a week, and I know other riders who participate in a variety of athletic disciplines, too.
On being a SkateIDSA board member, her next event, and the upcoming 2019 season
I’m newer to the board, so I have limited experiences to draw from regarding decision making. So far, it seems to be fair and move quickly, which helps Skate IDSA grow as an organization that is becoming more recognized in the sporting community. We’re looking to triple our numbers next year with the new ideas we are implementing. Stay tuned. I will be at Push in the Woods in Banks, OR later this month. If I’m not behind the timer, I will race.
Meet the Board is a short interview series intended to humanize and capture the hard work that stands behind competitive distance skateboarding and supercross. For more information on Angela, follow along to her blog, Searching for Sun.