Since he started learning to skateboard last year, Dawson Wilkey, 7, proudly said he has fallen down “ten hundred thousand times.”
He and his brother Selwyn, 9, stared out on scooters, but progressed to skateboards to learn more tricks.
The two attended the city’s Skate Park Etiquette class last year, taught by Adrian Giacca, as well as the learn-to-skate classes he hosted after that through the city’s recreation department.
This summer, Giacca is continuing to teach with a week-long summer camp at the end of August — which is now full — as well as two-day camps every week until Aug. 18.
The camps are put on by the City of Revelstoke and sponsored by Society Snow & Skate.
Giacca is a landscape designer and his very first projects were designing skate parks.
He started skating at eight years old with a posse of five other kids, but they didn’t have a skatepark in Uxbridge, Ont.
At 18, Giacca designed a skatepark for the community and worked to raise the money to have it built.
That lead to connections within the industry and more jobs.
In the meantime, Giacca decided to give back the community and started teaching skating lessons in Port Perry, the neighbouring town.
Much like he would later do in Revelstoke, he posted on Facebook asking parents if they had kids interested in lessons, 15 kids showed up.
“There’s very few sports out there where adults and children can play together,” Giacca said.
Years later, he had similar results in Revelstoke.
“What’s the number one rule at the skate park?” Giacca asked the boys while riding in their backyard July 7.
“Don’t drop in on people,” said Dawson.
“Because you would run into them and someone could get hurt,” added Selwyn.
The boys love the new skatepark. Selwyn said the old one was scary – the asphalt was bumpy and it hurt more when you fell.
Another lesson they have learned: sharing the space.
“You have a time limit,” Selwyn said.
The boys’ mom, July, said Giacca changed how she felt about the skatepark and skate culture, saying Giacca is a great role model.
Wilkey said her kids are learning so much, not only to skate but determination and focus. They are riding the mini ramp in their backyard, or at the skatepark for at least an hour every day.
“I can’t believe at the start of last year I didn’t skate and now I am this good,” said Dawson.
Giacca told the boys he expects them to help their friends learn to skate as well, because that is one of his favourite things about the skate park, that everyone is there to support each other.
Dawson said the first thing he would teach is how to drop in. Selwyn would teach a kick turn.