Boos Cruise is the queer skate collective pushing culture forward.

Founded by Julian Chavez, Boos Cruise is an LA skate collective representing queer, BIPOC, non-binary and trans skaters. Bound by values of inclusivity and respect, the community welcomes skaters of all abilities, creating a safe space for its members to grow within a scene traditionally dominated by competitiveness, ego and white, cis culture. Now moving away from LA and passing over the management of Boos Cruise to three new leaders, we spoke to Julian about its evolution so far, as well as its new team Taylor, Maya and Kiana about how they’ll carry its founding values forward.

Tell us about the collective — when did you form Boos Cruiseand why?

Julian: Boos Cruise has had a few different iterations. The ideacame after moving to Los Angeles in 2019 from NYC, and notseeing enough representation of BIPOC, queer, trans, and non-binary folks in the skate community in the city. I initially tried to start Boos Cruise with two friends, but after realisinghow busy our schedules were, we dropped the idea shortly after.When the pandemic hit, the idea resurfaced with a group offriends in my pod. We all got to work on it, but as things began to open up again, slowly those friendships fizzled out. I was left alone to decide what I wanted to do with the collective. Since it was always my baby to grow in the first place, I decided to take it upon myself to try one more time — this time on my own. This third iteration is what you see as Boos Cruise today.

How has the collective grown since then?

Since its third iteration began, Boos Cruise has grown into a weekly Wednesday meetup with roughly 50+ folks attending each week. We’ve been in publications such as the LA Times and i-D, and invited to collaborate on campaigns for brands like Calvin Klein and Soundboks. It’s been an incredible journey over the last few years with this collective. I didn’t imagine that idea I once had would grow into this beautiful community I see today right in front of me.

Tell us about your name, how did you settle on it?

The name Boos Cruise came from a caption I wrote on a photo of myself skating in 2017 when I lived in NYC. It was a play on words because I was newly sober and a play on a booze cruise. I also wanted something that was gender-inclusive (Boos) and represented the type of skating I typically enjoyed myself (cruising or Cruise). When I decided I wanted to create this collective I immediately went back to that caption and it’s stuck ever since.

What does the word collective mean to you?

Collective, to me, means a group of people with like-minded values coming together.

What does community mean to you?

Community, to me, means a group of individuals who come together often with a common goal. Our goal is to share love and respect within the skate community while representing marginalised folks who are often not at the forefront of this sport.

Skate culture is something that’s traditionally been dominated by white, straight culture — have you seen more diverse spaces forming in recent years?

I definitely see more diversity in skate culture, but let’s be real, the skate community is still predominantly cis-white and straight. We’re going to continue to try our best to change that.

What do you hope will change about the world of skating?

when that person has acquired a pro level in their field. I want representation for every skater in this collective and everyone around the world that is enjoying themselves in skating. I want to see more respect in the community for beginners and those who are just skating for the love of it. The skate parks are quite brash and full of ego. I’d love for folks of all skill levels to be given a chance to learn tricks safely among other skaters and shown kindness while learning.

What are you most proud of since forming Boos Cruise?

I am most proud of the folks who show up every week to share kindness and love for one another. When you step into this collective you immediately become one of the Boos. You are shown the utmost respect by your fellow Boos. I am proud of each and every person that shows up for themselves and their Boos on a weekly basis.

Who inspires you?

My friends, my chosen family. Without them, I’d be lost.

Who do you hope to inspire with Boos Cruise? Do you want kids to see themselves in you and find a safe space in your community, even if they aren’t physically present in the city or part of it?

Exactly that. I want marginalised kids around the world to know that there is an inclusive community for them, no matter the distance. With the internet, we can become closer than ever before. I hope that folks everywhere are inspired to skate knowing there are people with similar identities to them doing so.

What would you say to anyone intimidated by the idea of joining a meetup?

Bring a friend if you feel too intimated to come to a meetup alone. We want anyone and everyone to feel safe coming into the space, so I can assure you the second you skate into the space you’ll see why it’s so special. There’s no ego, no competitiveness. It’s a space that immediately feels like a warm hug when you arrive.

How do you hope to grow Boos Cruise in the future?

I hope Boos Cruise continues to grow in Los Angeles. I’ve actually recently moved back to NYC and I’ve appointed new leaders to lead (Taylor, Maya and Kiana) and continue to grow it. They have so many ideas, ones that I couldn’t achieve as one person leading the group. I know they will continue to sustain the weekly meetups and the message and values behind the meetup, but the rest is up to them. I’m just here to cheer them on from afar — it’s their baby to grow now! I trust whatever they do, whatever Boos Cruise continues to become, it will be beautiful.

As you grow as a collective, what would you say your key principles are that inform that growth and that you don’t want to lose?

Taylor, Kiana, and Maya: Our key principles for growth are maintaining a safe place to skate for all, with a focus on empowering Black, brown, indigenous, trans, non-binary and queer people alike to feel comfortable in the community and to take up space at the skate park.

Recently skate culture has become more and more intertwined with fashion and music — does skating feel like a creative outlet to you?

Yes, it’s one of our favourite things about skating. There are many avenues to express individual creativity, from how one skates, dresses, or even cuts the grip tape on their board or laces for their skates.

What would you say to anyone thinking of taking up skating, but feeling unwelcome by the culture or unsafe in the spaces available to them?

If you can find a patch of flat ground to practice, start there. When all three of us started skating we started by ourselves, skating around where we could. If you can find a friend to skate with, it also helps to come in numbers. That’s why BoosCruise is so important — when we show up in numbers at a skatepark, we become the majority.

Best song to skate to?

Taylor: “Black Bentleys” by Dom Kennedy.Maya: “Wat U Sed” by Isaiah Rashad.Kiana: “Skateboard” by Safiyah Hernandez.

What other collectives or individuals do you want to shout out?

Our friends over at Board 2 Tears is another Black woman-led skate collective in Los Angeles. We love what they are doing! The brand Unity is a skate company we think is dope too. We have also received love and support from skaters such as Vitoria Mendonca, Mariah Davenport, and Christiana Means.