Jorden Murray had an unusual motive for moving to the Yukon: he came to Whitehorse to skateboard.
Murray’s skateboarding has inspired him to travel and live in many different parts of the country. Originally from Salmon Arm, BC, he moved to Whitehorse in January 2007, but “little pieces of me remain scattered around western Canada,” he says.
Skateboarding is an art to Murray and it has been beautifully and permanently painted into his memory.
Nine years ago, when he was 11 years old, he and his brother, Justin, stumbled across a very “oldschool” skateboard under their house. For six months, their attempts at the sport remained keen, so their grandparents bought them each new skateboards.
“I was about 15 or 16 when I realized that I might have a knack for the bodacious act that is skateboarding,” Murray says casually.
While living in Whitehorse, Murray helped organize the annual skate competition hosted by Sandor’s Clothing in July 2007.
“The competition was the regional instalment of a nationwide competition called the ‘dc nationals’.”
Proving his skill with Backside Grabs, Kickflips and Switch Ollies, Murray himself was the winner of the Men’s Open category and qualified for the provincials. Murray says he learned most of his technique from the influence of skateboarding videos, pros and his “fellow woodpushers”.
His advice to all aspiring skateboarders is, “If you want to learn something, you gotta commit yourself and accept nothing but success.”
Murray considers skateboarding a self-taught activity, the teacher being the confidence inside each skater that allows them to throw themselves down stairs and across hand rails.
Murray realizes the public sees these acts as dangerous and sometimes considers his sport obscure, but he hopes to portray that the adventurous motion of skateboarding is completely exhilarating.
“Without fun … there’s nothing,” Murray concludes.
Although Murray dreams of skateboarding as a career, he understands the chances are slim, so he is going back to school in Salmon Arm for web design. Throughout his schooling and after he receives his diploma, Murray plans to keep practising and keep “his skate train rolling”.
Whitehorse influenced Murray in many ways and he hopes that he, too, influenced at least a couple of Yukon skateboarders.
Murray loved skateboarding in the Yukon’s gorgeous summer season, but through the winter months he yearned for somewhere that wasn’t covered in snow.
Of course, he snowboards too, but “skating is my main man,” he says. So he has concern that people are not realizing the need for proper facilities. The sport is becoming more and more popular and the era of skateboard fanatics is yet to come.
An indoor skate park is something Murray highly recommends for Whitehorse skaters to pursue.
“I would come back to Whitehorse anytime, not only for the skateboarding, but for the unique people and the atmosphere they all share,” says Murray, adding that some of his best memories are from the days he spent living in “The Horse”.