70 degrees, beautiful, and sunny San Diego. You couldn’t wish for anything better out of a March day in a beach city. The event was the Festival of Science and Engineering, a ten-day educational experience that includes interactive demonstrations, hands-on activities, and dynamic speakers to engage kids and families in science, technology, engineering and math. The grand finale of the festival was Expo Day, a free, public event where hundreds of community businesses and organizations set up booths to excite the inner scientist of every kid. Given that Ascent Icecream Streetboard is targeted at kids just starting off on a streetboard, I couldn’t wish for a more perfect event for me. Ascent
Streetboards got to show kids how ideas and innovation turn into real products that you can touch and try. My booth was simple, I just wanted to tell my story. A story that starts with a twelve year old learning to ride a streetboard and 18 years later starting a streetboarding manufacturing company. On display were several of my prototypes with my mistakes and each board’s flaws clearly labeled. Kids could walk through years of my life and see how you build something, test it, find the mistakes, and work to fix them. Each iteration of this process, the product gets a little bit better.
I was as ready as I could be for the event. I had a great team of 4 people and 20 boards ready to be demoed. Yet, nothing can compare you for over a thousand people coming by and getting to try a streetboard for their first time. We received a wide range of reactions from utter amazement and excitement, to interested with some hesitation, to completely focused on making this streetboard move and they weren’t going to leave until that was accomplished. Our team was patient and helpful with all of them and did our best to keep the kids safe and help them learn to ride. As streetboarders know, learning to ride is the one of the most challenging parts of streetboarding, but also one of the most rewarding. Ascent Streetboards is focused on making learning to ride as easy as possible, but it is still not without its challenges. Nonetheless, watching a kid make it move for the first time, look up with wide eyes, and say, “Wooooooooaaaa!” is priceless. Another thing we weren’t ready for were how much the parents wanted to get a piece of the action. After Mom or Dad saw their kid make it move, they knew they weren’t going to be left standing. Shockingly, the parents actually took to the boards faster than the kids, understanding the motion quickly, and then just working on getting their body to follow what their mind knew it had to do.
Eight hours later, after teaching hundreds to ride, and raffling off most of the boards, we packed up the booth. Our first big event was a terrific success and a ton of fun. I greatly look forward to going back to San Diego for more streetboard outreach. I hope to see you all down there soon.