In between sips of Slurpee Leduc’s young skateboarders spent their last day of skateboarding camp ripping up and down the Leduc Skateboard Park, to the best of their abilities, under the watchful if the L’il Rippers summer skateboard camp instructors.
The four-day camp wrapped up July 24 and instructors Dean Paquette and Justin Vaux were pleased with the skills progression they saw in the skateboarders.
“They’re doing drop ins, firecrackers, kick turns and carving,” said Vaux.
“The most important thing is teaching them to use the whole skateboard park so when they come here on their own they feel comfortable to use the whole park,” said Paquette, who is also the owner of Rumor Skate and Snow skateboarding shop.
L’il Rippers is partnership between the City of Leduc and Rumor Skate and Snow. “Basically it’s a novice camp, we teach the kids some skills,” said Christine Isaac, community events coordinator with the City of Leduc.
This was the sixth year of the camp and the fifth with the city involved. There were 12 youths registered. “And that’s the most we’ve ever had,” said Isaac.
For Vaux, one of the biggest highlights of teaching at the camp is seeing the young boarders learn a skill they previously did not know. He recalled the first day of camp when three or four children managed to drop into the park on a quarter pipe. “Just the progression is insane.”
For Paquatte it was seeing the boarders become comfortable with themselves and their abilities. “Just watching them challenge their own inhibitions and fears and get over them.”
Over the last few years skateboarding, scooters and BMX has grown in popularity in Leduc, says Paquette. He remembers a time when the skateboard park sat mainly empty and now youths will be out playing and working on skills as early as 7 a.m.