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Open Road Skateboarding Curriculum

Writing, Art, and Photographs by Paula Hewitt Amram

1. Understand and demonstrate movement concepts and principles in a variety of movement forms: Skateboarding requires self awareness, balance and physical control. Skaters learn to walk, push, glide, skate forward and backward, hop and jump (ollie), all of which teach movement concepts and principles. Momentum, inertia, friction, slope, incline and other concepts are learned naturally while skateboarding.

2. Cultivate interpersonal communication skills that respect differences and demonstrate responsible and social behavior:

Skateboarders depend on one another, learn from each other, work on skills in a group and work independently. Skateboarding in a group requires etiquette: responsible and social behavior. Skaters demand this etiquette, and learn to respect one another's physical capabilities and differences. Skater designed public spaces support this. Respecting one another's physical space, learning not to skateboard into one another, enjoying the achievements of others, and learning to assist one another in mastering the skills increases the pleasure of skating. In skateboarding culture whether a skateboarder falls in public or achieves a skill others show respect.

3. Practice a physically active way of life and explore opportunities for learning, self expression, stress reduction, employment, socializing, and fun through physical activity: Skateboarders participate in a physically active way of life. Skateboarding is naturally enjoyable and fun. Learning it is challenging, and by increasing the skills learned, the skater is continually challenged to learn more. Skating encourages self-teaching of skills at each skater’s own pace, allowing each to create unique choreography. Events expose skaters to work opportunities related to these skills. The physical and mental focus required to skate well, along with the sensation of freedom felt gliding, reduces stress.

4. Develop competency in a variety of physical skills with proficiency in several essential skills: Skateboarding requires competency in a variety of physical skills and the ability to practice them all at the same time. A skater develops a unique set of physical skills on the skateboard essential to their personal style, choosing from basic tricks and creating their own: pushing, gliding, skating forward and backward, balancing on one foot, hopping, jumping, turning forward and backward, and navigating creatively through street architecture, parks, and playgrounds.

5. Practice safe and responsible personal and social behavior in physically active settings: Skateboarders learn and practice safe behavior while using a skateboard in order to spend most of their time doing what they love, skateboarding. They learn to fall, to get up, to use and care for their equipment, and how to distinguish between safe and unsafe skateboarding behavior. Skills learned include the proper and safe way to execute each maneuver, with awareness of the possible consequences of not executing the maneuvers correctly. Skaters learn safe ways to avoid someone who has fallen, to avoid bumping into other moving skateboarders, and to respectfully alert other skaters who may not be aware of their proximity. Skater owned design firms employ skaters to design and build skateparks. Skateboarders practice political advocacy in groups and individually in order to be permitted to use public space for the practice of skateboarding.

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