By Coco Chica, March 8, 2021
Cal Poly Pomona’s unique architecture has been garnering the attention of professional skaters who have been visiting the campus for exciting rides.
Most recently, Ishod Wair, a professional skater with over 844,000 followers on Instagram, was seen skating in the CLA Building. The location, as seen in the clip, consists of a ledge followed by a runway leading up to a set of staircases in which Wair showcased a set of tricks on the course.
The video was reposted by The Berrics, a skateboard-media platform with over 2.7 million followers on Instagram, and gathered nearly 500,000 views since being published, capturing the attention of the national skateboarding community.
Other professional skaters such as Paul Rodriguez, Luan Oliveria and Olympic athlete Nyjah Huston also stopped by to take on the challenge in 2019 and skate on campus.
After CPP’s recognition from skaters such as Wair and others, more student skaters are eager to visit the campus to explore these locations for themselves and see what the campus has to offer.
Ryan Paja, a first-year biology student, has been using his free time during the pandemic to explore the campus he has yet to attend for in-person courses to skate through some of the university’s trendy skating spots.
“We have a group chat with skaters that attend the school,” Paja said. “We’re just all over the place and can’t wait to all be able to skate together on campus and go to all these popular spots.”
Ryan picked up his first skateboard six years ago while attending IPoly High School, CPP’s neighboring high school campus, where he and his friend would ride between classes to skate.
Thanks to CPP’s recognized infrastructure, the campus has provided Paja and his friends with a place to exhibit their skills and practice their discipline in the many spots the community deems worthy of trying.
With the sport ramping up in popularity, the recognition from professional skaters on campus brings a sense of inclusion to the skating world that motivates student skaters to continue to improve their discipline in the campus they are a part of.
“Popular spots everyone should know about on campus are the stage right in front of the theatre department which are great for air tricks, a hidden rail behind Ursa Major, the stairs and ledges outside of the Parking Structure 1 and most recently the CLA where Ishod completely ripped,” Paja said.
Unlike Paja, many other student skaters are unable to physically visit the campus as they live farther away and cannot return to experience it due to the pandemic. These students, including first-year graphic design student Kai Leeper-Sale, who resides in Point Arena, California, have been looking for other ways to explore campus virtually.
“I’ve been looking at the spots on campus through Google Earth since I first applied,” said Leeper-Sale. “They look so fun to skate.”
As an enthusiast of skating culture, Leeper-Sale expressed the surreal feeling of knowing that professional skaters are skating in an untapped area in the skating community.
“I think it’s really sick that our school gets recognition by professionals like this when there are other schools that are bigger and may have more to offer for skating,” Leeper-Sale said.
Last semester, Leeper-Sale posted an announcement on his Instagram account and virtual classrooms for those interested in creating a group chat for student skaters, in which Paja participated.
His desire to build a community of students who all share the same passion for skating led him to start an initiative that he would like to implement once in-person instruction resumes.
“I would like to start a skate club on campus where we could all focus on improving, recording footage and pushing movies out,” said Leeper-Sale.
With more students trying to find a group of people with similar interests like skating during the pandemic, many are excited a club on campus could be a door to unite the student skaters.
“It would give me a way to meet more people with similar majors and similar interests — a perfect balance for my academics and my hobby,” said James Murphy, a third-year electro-mechanical engineering student.
Murphy is aware of the extensive number of skaters on campus and emphasized the importance of professional skaters bringing credibility to the school by skating through it.
“It would be great to know that campus officials could notice what we’re doing, and we don’t have to fear that we’ll be kicked out. Either way, I’m going to skate the spots,” Murphy said.
Feature image courtesy of Coco Chica.
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