Olympic skateboarding events inspire young boarders at North Bay skateboard camp

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan has for the first time introduced skateboarding as an Olympic event with several medals being awarded out to young athletes.

In North Bay, the sport is growing. At a unique skateboarding camp, those grinding up and down the ramps are inspired by the pros.

"There are multiple tricks I can do and it's just really fun," said boarder Mackenzie Clements. 

Amber Moffatt, lead instructor for Inertia Skate Co., is teaching the next generation of boarders everything from the basics like safety to more advanced tricks in a skateboarding day camp. It's the first time this camp has occurred.

"Skateboarding is not about being the best," she said. "It's about going out and having fun and building your best and being better than you did the day before."

Moffatt is a former competitive boarder herself. She says it's time to pass on what she's learned over her years on the ramp to the next generation.

"A lot of people have kids so this is bringing it full circle to help the parents of kids that want to skateboard as the parents don't know what's going on," she said. 

Young boarder James Kirstein has been watching the Olympic skateboarding events closely. He is inspired to be Canada's next skateboarding star.

"You can go on lots of adventures," he smiled. "I'd like to go to the Olympics to become a pro skateboarder."

The sport has become more widely accepted. In the past, it was mostly a male dominated event. But now the rise in popularity is pushing a lot of younger girls to find their love for the skate park.

"I'm free to ride wherever I want," reflected boarder Tegan Pigeon.

Ramona Mitchell has been skateboarding for three days.

"I feel like I'm actually riding on an airplane," she said. "I love skateboarding."

Boarder Jacob Kirstein hopes through the camp he can improve on one tricky move he struggles with.

"I've been skateboarding hard-core since last year," he said. "I've been trying to perform a revert-fakey ollie. That's when you're on your board, you spin your board around, you pop your tail, and slide up your foot."

Twisting, an ollie here or there or speeding up and down the ramp, Canada could have a bright Olympic skateboarding future from athletes right here in our own backyard.

The next skateboarding camp is set up for Aug. 28. More information can be found here.