Did somebody say free skateboarding lessons for kids? Well yes we did, thanks to the Gold Coast City Council’s Active and Healthy Program your children can learn to use a skateboard and it won’t cost you a pickle.
What’s the catch?
There is none. Quite simply the council has heaps of awesome free activities to encourage kids on the Gold Coast to get out and about. Fun fact, the Gold Coast is home to the most skate and BMX parks in Australia!
When are the free lessons?
They are held every Saturday morning from 9am to 10am at various skate parks across the city. From Coolangatta in the south to Ormeau in the north, they are in various suburbs and they rotate every week.
They can take up to 30 kids, but only have gear for 15 – so you need to get in quick!
And who takes them?
An affable man by the name of Jay Hetherington takes the lessons; he’s a born and bred local who’s been skating for 26 of his 35 years. The father of two is passionate about skateboarding and runs his own business, Gold Coast Skateboarding Coaching when he’s not running the clinics.
He says he loves the freedom of skateboarding. In addition, Jay isn’t your typical coach because he doesn’t have a whistle drills and there’s certainly no reprimanding!
Is there an age limit?
Jay will tell you he’s had two-year-olds give it a go and the oldest participant was 73. Ideally he suggests kids are at least four-to-five years of age because it works better for all involved. The average age is about eight to 10 but there are a few teenagers who also attend to sharpen their skills and learn new tricks.
The lessons are for anyone from beginners to advanced but Jay says each Saturday it’s predominantly beginners and intermediate boarders. Such is the awesomeness of the lessons; Jay says he has regulars that travel across the city to attend every Saturday.
What will my child learn?
They’ll learn to have fun on a skateboard but also balance, how to turn and push and eventually go down small ramps. Jay says every kid seems to want to do a kick-flip straight up but he makes sure they learn the basics first.
However, by the end of the first lesson he usually has most kids pushing and turning by themselves. Most times during their first lesson kids will get to go down small little ramp, now if that doesn’t put a smile on their face nothing will.
Do I need to bring a skateboard?
No, Jay supplies 15 boards and helmets for each attendee, although regulars usually bring their own board. If you want your child to wear pads or guards you’ll have to supply them yourself. Just a heads up; it’s first in best dressed when it comes to board selection.
Will my kid love it?
Heck yes because Jay spends the hour teaching a love of skateboarding, giving kids high fives and helping them. If you’re after a strict coach then these lessons aren’t for you. He considers skateboarding more of an art than a serious sport, how cool is that?
Where are the lessons?
- First Park Somerset Drive, Mudgeeraba
- Varsity Youth Precinct, Varsity Lakes
- Nerang Youth Precinct, Nerang
- Pizzey Park Skate Park, Miami
- Norfolk Park, Ormeau
- Tugun Skate Park, Tugun
- Viney Park, Coomera
- Lessons are relaxed and fun
- They run from 9am to 10am every Saturday
- Held across seven Gold Coast skate parks
- Maximum attendees is 15
- Spots must be booked in advanced
- Bookings essential via SMS
- Open to beginners
- Lessons scheduled until May 2018
We’ve put together the exact location of the city’s skate parks, you can view it here. To get more details and the exact dates and location of the events visit the council’s Active and Healthy program here.
To book a spot make sure you send a SMS to Jay on 0407 910 240, don’t just turn up because there might not be a place for your child.
Keen to give another ‘extreme’ kind of sport a try? We also checked out family surf lessons! Hang ten!