By TAYLOR PACE
A new club has started in Kitchener for those who have always dreamt of learning to grind, kickflip, Ollie or simply to keep their balance on a skateboard.
The KW Skateboarding Club had their opening event on Feb. 24 at the K-W Badminton Club’s indoor rink, where they invited people of all ages to drop in and take some basic lessons, with a cover of $5.
Instructors Michael Adams and Peter Linares, who have been skateboarding for years, started the club in an effort to share their love of skateboarding with the community.
“We wanted a place to ride in the winter to stay warm, while still staying ahead of our skill set (by offering lessons),” Adams said.
They state on their Facebook page, “Our main mission is to teach eager youth and adults to skateboard/longboard, but we encourage healthy physical activity in any form.”
While they charged only $5 for the opening event, the following lessons will cost $10.
They claim it will only take two or three lessons for a newcomer to be able to comfortably ride a skateboard.
Adams said, “It’s another mode of transportation and recreation, keeps the body young and healthy. Like riding a bike or swimming, it just takes time and ambition. I think anyone can do it.”
Along with the skateboarding instructors, the group plans to have others attend who are experienced in biking, scooters and rollerblading. They will also provide extra scooters, boards, pogo sticks and roller blades for those who just want a place to practise.
Marcus Kuehner, an aggressive rollerblader, attended in support of the club.
“We had a bunch of fun, and it was nice to get some practise in before the season for sure,” he said, adding, “It was very well organized for the first event, there was an instructor per student; there was never a student left in the shadows, they were very attentive.”
Kuehner will be at the next drop-in event, for those who want to get their bearings on rollerblades.
“I think everyone should be active and have a bit of fun, and what better way than this? I think the event will thrive throughout time; it’s a great way to give back to the community,” he said.
The opening event featured a crash course in skateboarding, including health and safety, “ride and stop,” safe falling techniques and how to Ollie, a skateboarding trick where the rider jumps with his board into the air.
Although the next event hasn’t been scheduled yet, they plan to offer drop-in lessons once a month, which will be posted on their Facebook page.
Adams said, “During these winter months, we as busy human beings tend to hibernate. This is a great way for kids, adolescents and adults to kick that cabin fever and get active.”