We want to bring skateboard lessons, boards and equipment to thousands of children across London.
We work with multiple schools across London and would like to bring skateboarding to your borough through our Skateboard London Project, an all-inclusive teaching program, where all children, no matter their background, are given the opportunity to learn to skateboard.
The Skateboard London Program
Our per term, after school skateboarding program teaches 1 hour classes of any size.
We provide boards and all safety equipment with lessons taking place on the school playground or in the school hall, all being taught by our First Aid qualified, Child Protection in Education and DBS certified instructors.
The Skateboarding Program runs like any other after school club. Schools handle all sign ups and provide the skateboard instructor with a register at the start of each term.
We also have customisable information leaflets for schools to easily spread the word to parents.
We provide each school with a full school interactive assembly, designed to teach the children about skateboarding as an Olympic sport and the skateboarding equipment. The assembly also includes skateboard videos from our instructors and a professional American skateboarder and for some, the opportunity to participate in a 5 minute taster lesson to learn the basics of skateboarding.
We have conducted many school assemblies and have had a great response from both the children and teachers.
The Skates & Ladders Level Card
Each child will receive a Skates & Ladders Level Card which tracks and shows a clear learning pathway for the course of the lessons and allows the child and parent to see their progress from lesson to lesson. Our Level Card was developed with help from the British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI) and our 10 years of expert knowledge and experience delivering skateboard lessons.
Skateboarding and the Tokyo Olympics 2020
This is the perfect time to come together, raise awareness and share the physical, mental, social and cultural benefits of skateboarding, with a new generation of young adults.
After Schools Club Brochure
Download our Schools Brochure to find out more about After School Clubs as well as more information on the positive benefits of supporting skateboarding in schools as we get closer to the Olympics and beyond.
Skateboarding is an excellent way of exercising and a quick green alternative to the usual commute. It is a method of transportation that is linked with the urban environment and is a great way to explore it.
Whether used as a means of transportation, a recreational activity or as part of an athlete’s dedicated ambition to learn new tricks, Skateboarding is an all-around calorie-burning and muscle-building activity. It’s also a lifelong activity, as many skateboarders continue to enjoy the sport into their 50s and 60s.
Skateboarding uses up far more calories than most other physical activities. Depending on the intensity of the skate, the average person will burn between 300-500 calories per hour. If you skate every day, in a week’s time you could burn 2,100 to 3,500 calories, respectively. Because 1 pound of fat consists of 3,500 calories in stored energy, you could lose between 1/2 and 1 pound per week, depending on your activity level and metabolism. Harvard Medical School notes that people who weigh 125, 155 and 185 pounds will burn 150, 186 and 222 calories, respectively, in just a 30-minute skateboarding session.
Skateboarding involves your feet and legs, helped by your core muscles and arms to balance. All these things must happen simultaneously, giving your body a variety of movements and an effective full body work out, involving the core muscles on your torso, your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus and your lower legs.
The body needs a regular workout for healthy metabolism, and skateboarding is probably the
best workout it can get.
Increased physical endurance and coordination is also a benefit of learning to skateboard.
Skateboarding involves a lot of constant movement and coordination between your eyes, legs, feet and arms; requiring stamina and precision.
Precision and coordination are used throughout your life, and when you improve these traits, you better your ability to do all sorts of activities.
Prevention of future injuries is one of the most beneficial things that skateboarding has to offer in terms of health.
When you skate, you dramatically improve your balance and learn how to avoid falling,
This is an excellent tool to have in your life. You will naturally be better able to recover from slips, trips, and stumbles and avoid falls helping you to prevent future injuries.
Skateboarding also provides the ideal crossover sport for learning and practicing other sports such as surfing, snowboarding, scootering and cycling; by developing general fitness, physical endurance, coordination and balance.
It is evident that the social determinants of health, specifically social inclusion, have a strong impact on mental health in the younger population.
The pro-social community of skateboarding as a vehicle for mental health was discovered through research performed by Burt in 2011.
Burt published an article which explored the wellbeing benefits of creative hobbies in the older population. The significance of this trial was the emphasis that social inclusion can be fulfilled through creative hobbies (Burt, 2011). Therefore a creative hobby such as skateboarding, could act as a therapeutic method for mental health in the younger population.
Supporting the notion of social inclusion within skateboarding was identified by Goldenberg, who performed a survey with over 150 skateboarders in 2009. The trial uncovered what skateboarders value the most out of skateboarding. Goldenberg reported that 2 of the top 7 most salient outcomes identified by skateboarders were in terms of social inclusion, camaraderie and social opportunities (Goldenberg, 2009). The trial by Goldenberg showed how the interpersonal social factors satisfied by skateboarding are an important outlet for positive youth development (Suldo, 2008).
To further explain the evidence for social inclusion within skateboarding, in a trial by Wood in 2014, observational data was gathered from a skatepark in Perth, Australia. This data included the frequency of pro-social behaviours such as: socialising with friends, taking turns, respecting others, and helping each other. These frequent pro-social behaviours within skateboarding are what can form social support networks to potentially benefit mental health in the younger population. Wood’s result of social inclusion within skateboarding reflects qualitative data found through the lived experience of skateboarders.
Underlying how skateboarding satisfies social inclusion is the reason that minimal barriers to entry, and therefore a non-existent social class hierarchy within skateboarding, is present (Humbert, 2006).
Since skateboarding does not marginalise individuals, there is a form of social justice whereby the inclusion allows skateboarders to live free from discrimination and not constrained to a social gradient (Burt, 2011). Skateboarding provides an increasingly rare sense of belonging
The skateboarding community is known as one of the most welcoming communities as regardless of someone’s health, gender, race or age everyone shares a passion, skateboarding. This may be the reason why it is such a supportive space as every skateboarder wants to see each other succeed and will support one another to do that.
— Ellis Watt
To conclude, when the question becomes how do we fulfil social inclusion, skateboarding really is a valid answer.
Skateboard London Program Curriculum
The skateboarding program includes:
• Introduction to skateboarding and safety.
• Introduction and lessons on the equipment.
• Lessons on staying safe when learning and practising.
• Showing children how to find their stance.
• Introduction to pushing and learning to control direction and speed.
• Using techniques such as carving and kick turning to control direction, to turn on the move and navigate around obstacles.
• Lessons on safely stopping at speed.
• Introduction and teaching basic balance tricks and techniques.
• Coaching with individual feedback to improve riding abilities and confidence developing more advanced riding techniques. To improve speed control, direction control and balance techniques for turning at speed.
• Introduction to basic tricks including balance tricks on the move, learning how to switch your stance and how to make a 180 degree turn.
• Introduction to more advanced skateboard tricks and riding techniques, such as the ollie (how to make the skateboard jump into the air).
• Learning advanced techniques for stopping at speed, using slides to control speed and avoid obstacles at close range.
• Balance and basic trick games to improve confidence and maintain a lively and vibrant group atmosphere.
Every Skates & Ladders instructor is First Aid qualified, Child Protection in Education and DBS certified, and taught through our rigorous Skate & Ladders training program. Years of expert knowledge and a passion for skateboarding makes our instructors the most ideal teachers.
As there is no nationally recognised skateboard instructor qualification we created the Skate & Ladders Instructor Training Program with help from the British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI) and years of snowboard coaching experience and coaching qualifications from Skateboard-IA (American Skateboard Instructors Association) and Skateboard England.
Our two week instructor training program includes first aid training as well as teacher training and shadowing lessons, ensuring instructors are not only talented skateboarders, but have the ability to better read people and situations, making sure everyone is safe, confident and having fun.
We are a young, diverse team, with many instructors being university students, all living with the ever rising London living costs. This is why, since its inception, Skates & Ladders has always maintained instructors are paid fairly for their expert knowledge, time, dedication and training by committing to paying twice the national minimum wage.