Steamboat coach to begin offering skateboard lessons in June |

Steamboat coach to begin offering skateboard lessons in June

Winter Sports Club coach sets out to teach beginners, intermediate skaters

Luke Graham

— It seemed like a natural fit, so five summers ago Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Snowboarding Director Jon Casson decided to give a summer skateboard program a try.

With Casson's interest in skateboarding, and many of the athletes he coaches also interested in it, it made sense.

Five years later, the program is stronger than ever.

Casson will lead three three-week sessions this summer for beginners and intermediate skateboarders.

"The skatepark has improved at Howelsen, and with the new (Bear River Skatepark) it's worked," said Casson, who early in the program would load skateboarders into a van and go to surrounding skateparks. "For parents of younger kids, it allows kids in the park and shows them how to learn and progress safely, because I learned to skateboard by crashing a lot."

The beginner sessions are for those who have limited or no experience. The session focuses on balancing on the board, turning and basic techniques in a skatepark.

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The intermediate session is for those who have experience in the skatepark. These skaters should be able to stand on the board and be able to do common obstacles in a skatepark such as banks, ledges and quarterpipes. The focus will be on refining skills and learning new tricks.

Beginner sessions are June 13 through June 30, July 12 through July 28 and Aug. 2 through Aug. 28. These sessions will meet from 9 to 11 a.m. Mondays and Thursdays.

The intermediate sessions run June 15 through July 2, July 13 through July 30 and Aug. 3 through Aug. 20. These sessions will meet from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays.

Registration for all skateboard programs is available in the Winter Sports Club office at Howelsen Hill. The cost is $125 per session.

Casson said he would limit each session to 10 participants. He said the first sessions already have six people registered.

"Skateboarding is super fun," he said. "Of all the so-called action sports, it's one of the hardest and most gratifying. I hope to at least help some kids get comfortable. Once they get through that point, it's easy to progress."

— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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