The learn to skateboard program at YIS for grade 3-5 elementary students has been running since 2009. Our philosophy boils down to 3 main components: have fun, develop a solid foundation of technique and safety, and promote a supportive skate culture. In order to do this we created and are always modifying a planned progression that helps students encounter a new skill or two each week with time to practice and encourage each other. As a culture, skateboarding has a relaxed vibe of just hanging out combined with working on new tricks with determination and discipline. Because students progress at different rates with each different skill, they very quickly learn to relax, urge each other on, and keep trying. For many students, this program helps them develop essential resiliency as they learn to deal with minor scrapes and bruises to pick themselves up and keep going.
At the beginning many students have not yet even stepped on a skateboard so we begin with such essential steps of learning the parts of the board, determining stance (goofy vs. regular), pushing, turning, braking and falling safely. From there we progress through front side and backside kick turns on the flat and on ramps, the basics of the ollie, manuals, and a few other entry level skills to enable students to make steady progress and develop good habits for future skating. It is obvious from the reaction of the students that it is among the highlights of their week and as their instructor it is for me too. Please contact me for specific details or the after school activity director to sign up. – A. Clark