Possessed to Skate

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Possessed to Skate

12_09_2007_skate.jpgIf you’ve ever fantasized about designing your own skateboard deck—and really, who hasn’t—the best day of your life may rapidly be approaching.
DIY skateboard company Roarockit is opening its first boardmaking program in Toronto. After almost four years as a web-based business selling make-your-own-board kits, Roarockit is opening a school where aspiring boardmakers can attend seminars on how to create their own decks, ranging from basic street decks all the way up to highly personalized longboards.
Founders Ted Hunter and Nora Jackson got the idea for the company during what Jackson calls “an extended vacation” in Hawaii. While they were there, husband Hunter got a gig teaching local children in a woodshop. “I suggested he teach the kids how to bend skateboards, because he did a little wood bending in his sculptures,” Jackson said.
Although Hunter and Jackson were newbies to the skateboard community, they quickly picked up the craft as veteran windsurfers and woodworkers. Jackson says the school will be home to a boardmaking club where enthusiasts can showcase their craft, as well as boardmaking seminars ranging from basic street deck making right up to experimental board design.
“That’ll be more for the longboarders,” Jackson said. “They’re really interested in different designs and things. The kids who make street decks don’t tend to think about things like concaves. They just like to get out there and ride them.”
The school’s grand opening will include a visit from pro skater-turned-boardmake Alan Sidlow. Sidlow runs a boardmaking apprenticeship program in Chicago through that city’s After School Matters program. “It’s a great program,” Jackson said. “You learn about woodworking, design, graphic design. And when they’re done, they can either teach others or start their own business.”
The Roarockit Boardmaking School is located at 880 Millwood Road. The grand opening takes place on September 21 at 6:00 p.m. Photo by mr.bokeh from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

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