Meet Calgary's "Skate Bats", A Group of Visually Impaired Skateboarding Kids!

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Meet the “Skate Bats”. They’re a group of local skaters, more badass than most skateboarders, because of a unique hurdle they’ve had to overcome. 

They’ve been skating at a spot called The Compound, a skatepark in Ramsay.

The Calgary Sun did a nice piece on the Skate Bats the other day, including a young dude named Curtis, who’s led the project to get fellow visually impaired kids skating.

“We’ve been doing this for visually impaired youth, working with bright-coloured, fluorescent duct tact that increases contrast, which is vital for some visually impaired skaters,” said Curtis Ruttle, a member of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s National Youth Council.

Ruttle, 15, has led the project, developing techniques that can be used to help people with vision loss enjoy the sport of skateboarding. The colourful tape is used to mark gaps and transitions, making guidelines for safe skating routes. Tactile strips, LED lights and audio beacons serve similar purposes, bolstering accessibility and safety for the blind boarders.