Half The Hills All the Skills, Toronto Scene Part 2
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THE ONTARIO LONGBOARDING FORUM
The forum Barrett developed was called the Ontario Longboarding Forum, or OLF. Before it was created, information about local sessions and riders was communicated through silverfishlongboarding.com. In April 2004, Adam, Smooth Chicken, Mike Cividino and Rob Sydia met up with Chris, who dabbled in a number of fields, including slalom, and started talking about the need for a forum just for the Ontario longboard community.
“We knew there were people out there, and the more we scratched at the surface, we realized there was a need for [a local] forum,” says Chris. OLF has been an incredible tool for bringing Toronto skaters together. Thanks to it, the scene has grown organically and exponentially. “People really liked the ability to talk to people,” Chris says. “They weren’t too interested in how it looked. “Slowly, but surely, it got bigger. We started with a handful of people, and then it just exponentially grew. It was like a virus. It overwhelmed us.” Chris says he wants to keep providing more and more features that add value for OLF members. “Things like messaging and calendars have been widely embraced, but I’d like to be able to offer things like video sharing,” he says. “But the fact is, I really want it community driven and give the users what they want.” Suzanne “Ponyta” Nuttall has been instrumental in helping the scene grow in Toronto. (More on her accomplishments in a moment.) She is quick to heap a huge amount of praise on Chris. “The website has been at the heart of the community long before the existence of other social media sites,” she says. “It’s been a place where a lone skater can find out about sessions around town and make like-minded friends.”
As with every skate scene, there’s always that one person who painstakingly documents it all. That person in Toronto is Jonathan Nuss, whose many photos grace this feature. “The scene right now in Toronto is magical,” he says. “More things have changed in the last two years than in the last 10. What started with a small group of friends … turned into a small community and now has turned into a giant family. These kids right now are killing, and the Toronto boom has just begun. Everywhere I go, I see other kids with longboards in their hands. There were 900 people at Board Meeting this year! Everyone’s hard work is finally paying off. I am lucky to be a small part of it.”
Written By Michael Brooke