The stakes are high, but SSIG founder Steven “SDotBraddy” Braddy anticipates a low-pressure Game of Skate and trick contest open to all ages and skill levels.
“I want these kids to be a part of something,” Braddy says. “SSIG is way bigger than just a brand; it’s a meaning. SSIG brings those shitty ideas to life.”
SSIG, which launched last year, is the epitome of Miami’s skate culture: street fashion, free expression, and a growing community without judgment.
As skaters soar through the park’s nearly 50,000-square-foot skate plaza, bowl, and transitions, SSIG invites attendees to escape from life’s stressors — a life skill Braddy has had to learn himself. He used skateboarding as an outlet for his grief after his mother’s passing last year.
“I realized you can only get so far by yourself, so I eventually let more and more people in,” he explains. “Skating was always that outlet for me to let go, even in a shitty situation.”
The former college football player wants Miami to show out — especially those in financial hardship.
“We’re trying to shed light on the local community of kids that are going through shit,” he says. “I guarantee there’s going to be another kid who’s like, ‘I don’t [have any] bread, but it’s free, so I’m going out to skate with the homies.'”
Kendall native Desmond Lamar White took home a $250 cash prize this summer when he won SSIG’s last Game of Skate at Kendall Freepark.
“Skating became a lifestyle,” White says. “There’s money on the line, but I want everyone to have the freedom that I had with this sport.”
This week’s competition heats up as skaters will battle for $2,000 and receive free giveaways from SSIG’s new sustainable streetwear line, which drops on the same day.
“I’m pretty sexually open, which is what I try to show through my designs,” says Braddy, referencing a shirt titled “1-800-SAD-PORN.” “I used to watch porn when I was sad, like any other middle schooler, so I tried to make light of those memories through my art and music.”
With 14 years of experience shredding decks, White says SSIG events do not compare to your typical skate competition.
“It doesn’t feel as serious. You can tell it’s somebody that’s trying to help out the community,” White explains. “The people behind it are super cool, and they’re not pro skaters. It’s a better vibe.”
This is just the beginning for SSIG. The team plans to organize more meet-ups across Miami, including at basketball and football games, with the hopes of connecting local athletes with professional players.
In the end, Braddy hopes to bring out the SSIG kid in everyone.
“I want them to think of the carefree brand that they can be themselves in,” Braddy says. “When you’re coming to an SSIG event, just know that if you’re thinking, ‘Am I too different? I’m not the best skater’ — no, you’re an SSIG kid. If you feel like the shittiest kid in the skatepark, know that this situation is going to be good. You might learn that trick you were down on yourself about.”