115. Later Skaters Gang

August 18, 2023
August 18, 2023 Will Mackie

Welcome back to Comacan Questions, this week we have a very special group of guests that we’ve looked forward to sharing an interview with for quite some time. They’re an inspiring group of skateboarders who continue to learn, support and motivate all of those around them. We’re real proud to let them tell everyone more about themselves, please enjoy this week’s interview with Later Skaters Gang.

What inspired the creation of later skaters gang?
We started Later Skaters Gang as an instagram account to post and share clips of ourselves and other Later Skaters we had met online. We knew there were more of us out there and hoped that by putting ourselves out there, more people would come out and skate. It’s intimidating showing up to a skatepark by yourself, especially as a beginner, so we wanted to find a way to help people with that by having pals to skate with.

Where are you guys based out of?
We are based out of Scarborough, Ontario.

What does later skaters gang do?
Our main objective is to show people that no matter what age you are, you can skateboard! As our motto goes, “Better Late Than Never!”. We also hold meetups as often as we can and help connect people with other Later Skaters in the community for impromptu meetups via our WhatsApp Group.

Globally, we have launched 2 chapters this year, one in Vienna: (https://www.instagram.com/laterskatersgang_vienna/) and one in Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg (https://www.instagram.com/laterskatersgang_benelux/)

Who started the gang?
The Gang started with Telma Costa creating the instagram account, and Richard Patmore doing all of the creative for our branding. Fun fact, the name came from a conversation with Oorbee aka Aunty Skates when I was trying to come up with a name and she said “later skater!” and the rest is history.

What does skateboarding mean to the founders personally and to the gang as a whole?
Wow, this is a big question. For the founders:

When I get on a skateboard I forget all my stresses and focus on the moment. Those small wins after landing a trick is like no other.

A skateboard has brought a bunch of awesome people together and created long lasting friendships over the world. It’s always an amazing time when we get together for a skate session!

The time I spend with my family while skateboarding is some of the best memories I have over the last 4 or 5 years since picking up a board again. Nothing like seeing them as stoked as I am about a skateboard.

Even though I took a break from skateboarding for years after my mid twenties the one thing that has always been there is my appreciation for skate art and culture. It’s been influencing my art and design since I was a kid. So many amazing artists I admire have done skate graphics throughout the years and I’ve been lucky enough to collect a few of them for our walls and under our feet.

Thank you skateboarding.

For me, it’s freedom and community. It’s also a way to push myself and learn to get over fear. There’s nothing that can silence my mind like skateboarding. You have to be 100%  present on a skateboard, if you’re not, that’s when you can get hurt. At least for me it is.

Skateboarding is also something that i get to do with my family. I started skateboarding because of my daughter. The fact that we all get to do this together, is beyond amazing.

Lastly, If it wasn’t for skateboarding, I would never have met the amazing people that I now get to call friends!

For the crew: This was a hard one as the crew is so big, but a few members submitted some thoughts:

KAYA:  Through skateboarding, I’ve discovered not only an avenue for managing anxiety but also a genuine sense of belonging. Conquering new obstacles acts as a therapeutic release for me. Skateboarding is a great teacher when it comes to patience and perseverance. Encouragement found within the skateboarding community makes it an extremely valuable social environment.

Brandon: Skateboarding, for me, means tapping into the ultimate creative wellspring. It means redefining how you view the world inside and out. It means having a physical activity that I can engage in on my terms. It means at having a community, and having something that is wholly my own. It means having a resilience that most can never fathom. It means understanding the importance of getting back up on a level that borders on spiritual.

It also means remembering to not take everything too seriously and just remember to enjoy life, and to have something in it that nourishes your soul.

Skateboarding means the world.

Pete: It focuses me in the here and now. The hard reality of blistering speed 3 inches away from concrete and total annihilation makes me feel alive. It makes me forget the dark chorus of spiraling fuckery that plagues my mind.

It means giving the middle finger to fear.

It’s an unlimited supply of kinetic puzzles to unlock. 

It means having a physical health regime and a “sport” I can belong to, minus the toxic bullshit that is competitive team sports.

It means I can feel a connection to people in a healthy way, be a part of a community, and give back to the world.

Tamara: Skating is serenity and stoke. It is flow and and it is fire. It is balance and chaos ~ happiness and grief. It is unity and love for yourself and the community.

Rafa: For me, it is a sense of belonging, the skate community has something different from other activities

James: What skateboarding means to me. It is freedom, There is something about ripping around in a bowl.. it also doubles as transportation and it makes me feel young. I skateboard to pickup pizza all the time. Even the simplest tricks can be so difficult but that’s why you keep trying until you achieve your goal.

It was fun doing it with the kids but now that the kids aren’t as interested I still find myself going on my own. It’s good exercise and fun at the same time.

How do you get involved in the community?

For the last 3 years we have sponsored the Later Skaters Category at the Ashbowl Bash.

We also connect people that are new to the sport with shops and parks to visit.

We help those that are new to skateboarding find instructors in the community for lessons, what skate shops to go to, what gear to buy etc.

We also have done yearly fundraising for the Daily Bread Food Bank thanks to the amazing donations by Hammer Skateboard and have raised funds for @solidariedadevegan in Brazil in collaboration with betojanz.

How can others get involved?

Getting involved is easy! We are always a DM away 🙂 

Where can people keep follow along with you?

You can follow along on instagram, we are most active there: https://www.instagram.com/laterskatersgang/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@LaterSkatersGang

And people can check our store out here: https://laterskatersgang.bigcartel.com/

Any plans for 2023?

One of our goals is to launch a few more chapters if we can. We also just want to keep bringing people together to skate really. Maybe not this year, but for next year, a Later Skater skate event would be rad to host!

Anyone you’d like to thank?

We would love to thank all the Later Skaters! Those that have come through and keep coming through to our meetups, all the Later Skaters around the world that continue to support and inspire us and all the amazing people in the skate community that have made us feel welcome and helped out with tips and advice. And thank you Comacan for featuring us!!!!