Website blog January 2021
A few months ago I started running group skate lessons located in Coventry’s FarGo Village. They are aimed at beginners to help them start and progress their skateboarding journey. The experience has been greatly received by all and I am enjoying seeing everyone progressing at their own pace. It is great to see everyone having fun and skating together as a group. I am thankful to the Try It Fund, supported by the City of Culture, in giving me the opportunity to do this; it has been extremely rewarding. The main aim of my lessons is to help people make friends and build a skateboarding community. Additionally they are to help people begin skateboarding, increase personal confidence and confidence in using a board and to ultimately help progress that person to the level they would like to be in the sport; whether that is being stable at Riding around or rotating the board for a kickflip. It has been great to see a community form, something that I personally think skateboarding is partly about. I have enjoyed to see the facilities available at FarGo being used for skateboarding. It has been added to the vibrant variety that the village is famous for. With regards to the starting of the lessons, there were a few administration areas that needed to be worked out. Once the organisational and safety concerns were all put in place to create a safe and controlled environment, everyone worked together to be able to host the lessons and to involve the skateboarding community. The lessons are to teach everyone who participates the basics of skateboarding. As everyone usually turns up with more of less the same amount of knowledge I spend the first lesson going through how to stand on a skateboard properly and how to comfortably push correctly going from A to B. Although some are already aware of this, it is an important foundation to grasp. The ideal position is to have the most dominant foot at the front of the board (the one you are most likely to kick a board with) and the least dominant at the back of the skateboard (placed on the square of the bolts). The reason is that it makes it easier to control the direction of the skateboard, making it easier to turn and in turn boosting confidence to push. A common problem between ages is the less dominant foot being placed too close to the dominate one, creating a “T” shape and making the person unstable. To solve this I teach them to place the back foot onto the square bolts and rotate their front foot 90° so that their shoulders are in-line with the back and front of the board, in essence parallel to the board; making them stable and it much
easier to turn. I have discovered it is great fun to teach people to skate, but I’ve always been asked to help or give tips to people at my local skatepark in Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire where the skate scene is constantly changing with new groups coming up every few years. So it has been amazing to keep developing a skill that has come naturally to me. The excitement you feel from witnessing someone land a new trick never gets old, especially if you’ve given them a couple of tips on how to land it. Teaching these lessons can be frustrating at times but it is so rewarding to see someone finally understand and progress into landing a trick. It is one of the best feelings skateboarding can give you.