Christian Skaters International (CSI) began with a simple vision back in 2005. It was formed with a goal of creating a network of skate ministries that would spread the Good News globally to skaters and those within the skateboarding culture. So, what is the desire and intent of CSI? To equip leaders, encourage believers and those who play bigger roles in Life, be a support system for those who serve and also to pray for those in the skateboarding industry. Not only have those involved succeeded in reaching their goals, but each year the conference becomes a greater success by impacting and changing more and more lives.
Because of the event’s continued effectiveness and popularity, it returns once again this month. The Skate and Action Sports Conference will take place from September 21-24 at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale and will offer a variety of events, workshops and opportunities to build relationships with others who have a similar calling.
Amateur athletes, youth pastors, musicians, youth workers and company owners will join professional wakeboarders, skateboarders, surfers, BMX riders, motocross riders and snowboarders for this year’s event that will touch on topics like violence, drugs and broken homes in regards to youth. The event is known for touching the hearts of those in the skateboarding lifestyle and reminding them that even though the outside world may sometimes view them as “freaks, punks or slackers”, Jesus still loves them for the original and unique individual that He created them to be. This year, additions have been made that will help the conference become an even bigger success. The conference, extended to four days, will provide participants with more time for community and fellowship; workshops have been refocused with deeper learning tracks that are separated into two parts – allowing for increased understanding of specific topics; more nighttime events and opportunities are available for hands-on Life and additional sports, special guests, speakers and VIP events have been included.
A stand-out feature of the conference is the guest speaker line up and the sponsors who support the event year after year. From renowned evangelists and artists to pastors and founders of sports ministries and companies, here is just a sampling of this year’s lineup:
Ulises Frallicciardi – Director of Ramp 48 Skate park and Co-Founders, Christian Skaters
Living life in the secular world, Uli learned about Ramp 48 Skate park one day through a Bible Study. He had spent years trying to fill an empty void that plagued him and decided to make the decision to fill it with Christ instead. Since then, God has led him on an exciting journey. Uli is now on staff at Ramp 48 and also at Calvary Chapel. He also serves on the team of Luis Palau’s Next Generation Alliance® (NGA), which is a coalition of some 350 evangelistic ministries and proclamation evangelists. In addition, Uli plays the role of co-founder of Christian Skaters.
With a heart for skating and the youth, today he travels around the globe to share the gospel with everyone he meets. To learn more, visit www.ramp48.com.
Boarders For Christ & Chris Lauri – Director
In 1997, Lauri had a vision in mind to reach the youth. Through the help of his personal savior, Jesus, he founded Boarders For Christ (BFC), a San-Diego based team of professional skaters and snowboarders who are dedicated to sharing Christ through their stunning talents and crowd attracting demos and exhibitions. The mission of BFC states that they “exist to be a link using boardsports to connect people with God and to help riders proclaim their faith through riding”. Lauri’s desire is to revolutionize this particular culture using alternative ways and helping them become the leaders of tomorrow. “We do not have time to sit on our faith,” Lauri stated in a previous interview.
The riders involved build relationships with the youth, sharing their personal faith with them through competitions, workshops and exhibitions. Several of the BFC riders are sponsored by Nike, Ethos Skateboards, DC Shoes and Active Ride Shop. For more information, visit www.boardersforchrist.com.
Andrew Palau – Evangelist
For many years now, Palau has been evangelizing to people all over the globe about the power and hope of Jesus Christ, but this wasn’t originally the case. Son of famous evangelist and author, Luis Palau, Andrew enjoyed the party lifestyle while studying at the University of Oregon. Upon graduation, he worked in the retail industry for a few years and then decided to take some time off and join his parents in Jamaica for his father’s evangelical outreach event. Though Andrew had heard his father preach the message he gave that day hundreds of times before, something stirred in his heart. It was at this event that he would hand his life over to God after 27 years of rejecting Him. Arriving back in the States, Andrew became a personal assistant to his father and it was quickly evident when he began speaking at outreach events that he had found his calling. He now preaches at his own festivals – from Rwanda and India to Poland and Jamaica, sharing his love for Christ and the Good News with millions of people. To learn more about Andrew, visit www.andrew.palau.org
Skate Bible Founder & Pro Skater, Brian Sumner
Sumner began skateboarding at the age of 13 in his hometown of Liverpool, England. He quickly showed impressive talent and was invited to visit California where he almost immediately became sponsored by several companies – one being Tony Hawk’s Birdhouse Skateboards. Since turning pro at the age of 19, Sumner has traveled the world, spent three years on Tony Hawk’s Skate Park Tour and has been involved in countless interviews, movies and magazine interviews.
In 2004, Sumner began his relationship with Christ and has used his status as a professional skateboarder as an opportunity to share the gospel with others. Today, Sumner rides with the purpose of reaching the lost. He is a Deacon at The Sanctuary Church in California and speaks at a weekly service. To learn more about him personally or Skate Bible, visit www.briansumner.net or www.skatebible.com.
Livin’ It Alliance
LIA travels around the globe with numerous action sport athlete partners with a mission to share the gospel. Their goal is to help others find a purpose for being here, share the message that there is a God who loves everyone for who they are and give those they meet hope for the future. LIA is a family of action sport ministries who are all committed to innovation and impact through athletic means for one purpose – sharing and expanding the kingdom of God. A supporter of the efforts of the Palau Association, LIA serves all of its members in three ways: Mentoring and Equipping; Collaborative Events; and Conferences. To learn more about this network, visit www.livinit.com
Additional sponsors of this year’s conference include: Island Water Sports, Tooth and Nail Records, The Whosoevers, Christian Surfers USA, Team Faith, This Iz My Story, Untitled Skateboards and many more. For more information and to register for this year’s conference, visit www.actionsportsconference.org or www.christianskaters.com