Friday Postcards from All Together Skatepark Seattle
• • • • • Scroll through the slider to view more images • • • • •
Since Dek was about two years old he has been asking for a skateboard. He was fascinated with them. Obviously at two years old I wasn’t quite ready to let him buy his first deck, but his interest didn’t diminish with time; it grew. Last spring I finally decided to do something about it.
We are lucky to have a decent skateboard community in Seattle. Skate Like a Girl has been teaching girls and boys how to be safe and responsible skateboarders for years, but their classes were usually outside. Enter All Together Skatepark, the only indoor skatepark in Seattle. If you know anything about our weather, you know that it rains a bit here. It’s hard to get your kids interested in skateboarding when it is cold and wet outside.
All Together Skatepark was offering drop-in lessons for kids on Sunday afternoons last spring. Perfect! If I paid in advance for five sessions I saved a little money. Even better! Now was our chance to see if Dek was really serious about this skateboarding thing.
Dek had a blast. By his last class he could get on his board, stop (for the most part) and go. Although I love that my son was learning these skills, what I really liked was the group of older skaters who were teaching the younger ones. Here were high school and college guys who could be off doing their own thing, but instead they were helping 4 year olds strap on knee pads and making sure their helmets were always on tight. They were encouraging the kids to try things that maybe their moms would think were impossible, but these guys knew the kids could do it.
What’s a typical lesson look like?
- Gear up (you can borrow skateboards, helmets and pads if you don’t have your own)
- Free time to practice
- Group stretch
- Break out into age groups and skill level for lessons
- Show off what you learned
- Free time before next session
On Dek’s last day of class he found the tallest teacher and told him he wanted to take on the big ramp. Of course he did. I would expect nothing less from my kid. Dek couldn’t even get up to the top! The teacher had to haul him up there. He then held Dek’s hands and let Dek fulfill that dream and zooming down the ramp, even though Dek fell off at the end. And once was not enough. Oh no, he had to do it again. His teacher didn’t blink. He just grabbed Dek and jumped up to the top of the ramp again.
I saw this kind of teaching through encouragement happen over and over again. At the end of each hour-long class the teachers ask the kids to show off something they learned. Every kid has the chance to show off in front of their peers, whether they are a beginning or have been skateboarding for a while. The teachers help the kids as they need it, but whether the child successfully pulls off their new move or not, everyone claps and shouts to encourage the new skills each kid is learning. There is no judging here; just a whole lot of fun, and really, that’s all a mom can ask for.
Visiting Seattle? Join the fun!
The best part of All Together Skatepark and their partnership with Skate Like a Girl is that anyone can jump into the sessions, even if you are only in town for a visit. You don’t have to commit to a block of classes, you can just pop in. Keep an eye on AllTogetherSkatepark.com for new session information so you can get your kids playing with other kids while you are in town, and give them a chance to try something new that they have been begging for since they were little. If your kids love it enough, pop over to Evo to buy them their first skateboard deck. I got suckered into buying Dek one when his first set of lessons ended. Now it’s up to me to make sure he uses it! Will we be signing up again this fall? I sure hope so!
Anyone else have a skateboarding fan?
READ FIRST: Welcome to Friday Postcards, a place where I will share a small memory or “postcard” moment from our travels. I hope you will join me too. Link your favorite photo-driven post here if you have a blog so we can share the joys of traveling with each other. If you would like to spread the word, please link back to this post in your own post so others will know where to find a little travel inspiration to end their week. #fridaypostcards
All spam will be deleted immediately.
Don’t forget to hop over and link up to #SundayTraveler on Chasing the Donkey too!