In the nearly 3 years since we've opened our doors at LBS we've met some pretty kick ass people. The Dunton brothers are some of our favorite shop regulars. Tom has been teaching science to high school students for about 15 years now, so maybe it's that Jeff Dunton also enjoys teaching kids. Or maybe it's that he & his brother Jeremy are also just laid back, family guys that absolutely love to skate and get others to enjoy it as much as they do.
We have set up a lot of first boards for kids over these few years. Parents often want to know if there's a place where their kids can learn some basics, meet some other kids that are starting to skate and gain some confidence. One of the closest just happens to be run by the one & only Jeff Dunton at hte YMCA of Southern Maine, right in Biddeford. Jeff has been at the Y helping out kids for over 7 years and his latest round of skate class begins this week, but kids can jump in at any time. Call the Y directly for sign up details (Northern York County Branch 3 Pomerleau Street, Biddeford, ME 04005 207.283.0100)
Here's more info about Jeff & what he does at the Y...
How long have you been skating? It's a family affair for you, right?
I've been skating since I was twelve so.. 14 years now and yes my little brother has also been skating 14 years. Growing up and progressing together is a pretty amazing thing even though he is better than me.
When did you start teaching at the Y, how did that begin?
Spring 2007 was when I first got into working with kids. I was fresh off a job at tj's pizza in biddeford and was doing a whole lot of nothing in my parents basement, then a friend brought up the Y was looking for some preschool help and I luckily got the chance to interview and well the rest is history.
How often is the class/camp - weekly, monthly? Can kids join in at any time?
Skate class is on Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 for 10 weeks in the fall and another session in the spring. Kids may join at anytime its just best and more beneficial to the skaters/new comers to be there from the beginning to end of the session.
If a kid has never stepped on a skateboard can they come? What if they've been skating for a year or so, would it still be a benefit to them?
Any kid may join whether boy/girl, never been on a board or have been skating more than a year. we have two different groups for the sessions but also there is some what of a secret above and beyond advanced group that sticks around after class time to work a little more on tech and other skate elements.
What do you do during a session?
Starting off a session we immediately talk about safety and keeping stretched, after that is down to the absolute basics (terminology, learning to fall, stance), then throughout the session we progressively more advanced.
How rewarding has it been to teach kids how to skate? Have you seen some of them make some real progress?
Rewarding is an understatement. The faces on these kids learning something they are so into is beyond rewarding to me, not to mention the parents so excited to see them excited and in a safe environment.
Where's your favorite place to skate?
One does not simply have a favorite place to skate!... but its usually where friends are skating.
What would your perfect skate filled day look like? Who, what, where, etc?
oh man! all my friends at one spot/park, grilling up some burgers and dogs. everyone is skating for fun getting that one trick thats been eluding them getting hyped on everyone else skating. If not that skating my parents driveway back home, dad sitting in a lawn sharing a six pack with my brother and myself and laughing at us when we bust our butts falling telling us " Dont get blood on my driveway! '', thats just about at perfect as i can get.