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The Somerville family met with Sahan Journal’s visual team at the Burnsville skatepark on a cold day in April. The family of seven picked up the sport around four years ago and has been documenting their family’s journey into skateboarding through short clips and photos since 2019. There you can find their love of skateboarding, new tricks, and competition winnings.

Credit: Jaida Grey Eagle | Sahan Journal

Their journey started when dad, Mark Somerville, 42, picked up skateboarding again after many years. That cascaded into all five kids picking up a skateboard.

Ayan Somerville, 4th grade, rides a halfpipe at the Burnsville Lions Skate Park in April 2022. Six of the seven members of the Somerville family are avid skateboarders. Credit: Jaida Grey Eagle | Sahan Journal

Throughout the April evening, the family took turns on different ramps and bowls in the park while mom, Raha, 40, and big sister Amira,13, cheered on. Although Raha is the only member of the family that does not skateboard, she knew almost every trick the kids tried and performed. 

Credit: Jaida Grey Eagle | Sahan Journal

The family lives in Burnsville but travels throughout the Twin Cities from skatepark to skatepark trying new places. When asked about the Twin Cities skateboarding community, Mohamed, 7, said it is welcoming and open-minded. He recently took first place in three categories at 3rd Lair’s Skatepark King of Grom’s under 12 competition: bowl, mini-ramp, and street.

Credit: Jaida Grey Eagle | Sahan Journal

Anisah, 12, said what she loves most about skateboarding with her family is that she always has someone to skate with. The family skates together many times throughout the week. Her advice to people who want to get into skateboarding? “It’s fun, and not that dangerous, but it does hurt.” 

Credit: Jaida Grey Eagle | Sahan Journal

Jaida Grey Eagle is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.