Canada – Longboard4us, Quebec By Catherine D’Avril
The idea of starting a longboarding school for girls in here in Montreal came to me when I was in Australia. Living there was an amazing experience that changed my life forever! I totally fell in love with the lifestyle, as I was surfing, paddleboarding and longboarding daily. When I moved back to Montreal from Australia, I started Longboard4us as a pilot project, not really knowing what would happen. After a few blog reviews, from Montreal to California, and some radio time, the response was so much bigger and better than I could have ever expected. I was lucky enough to even get support from Restless Longboards and Rollin Boardshop. Both companies helped me, which was huge in getting Longboard4us up and running! Some great stuff is coming out for L4US: a brand new website, intermediate classes, a division in Quebec city, an e-boutique and a new sponsor for the helmets, Triple 8. The best thing about being a teacher is to see girls with not a lot of confidence at the beginning of class ending up longboarding fearlessly by the end! Giving the girls a chance to improve their self-esteem by doing a sport they would never imagine to try is something really special for me.
This past spring, Julie Quenneville found herself traveling to Brazil, and she decided to bring the spirit of Longboarding for Peace with her. “It took me about one week to appreciate my new environment,” Julie says, “because living in a favela meant being in a very noisy environment. At night kids are playing outside till very late and you can listen to your neighbor singing.”
Julie began venturing out at night with Bruno (the manager of the hostel) to find out more about the local kids, taking three boards with her. “There was a bunch of little kids, mostly around 5 to 11 years old, and they were kind of shy first,” she says. Within about five minutes of her starting to ride one of the boards, the kids were asking her help to find balance and learn new tricks. The kids and Julie skated all night together, and she saw firsthand the spark of happiness in their eyes. “I introduced some stretching and balance exercises to do before longboarding to help them,” she says. “They were really thankful, attentive and taking the advice seriously.”
One night when Julie came back home after riding with the Guanabara Board team, a group of kids descended and started screaming her name. “They invited me to join them for a session and gave me big hugs,” she says. “The love that I received was awesome. The kids were shining.” Julie says the experience gave her the desire to keep teaching.
USA/Nicaragua – Project Lumina
For the past six years, Project Lumina has been cultivating tomorrow’s feminine rebels and leaders of bad-assery (aka “Luministas”) by subverting the dominant feminine culture of judgment, need for perfection and fear. Project Lumina is a global community of women and girls focused on encouraging each other to shine in their hearts and be brave. They do this through the experience of travel and community service.
Project Lumina has been focused mainly on surfing in Nicaragua as the catalyst for change and growth. However, thanks to a generous donation by Never Summer Industries, the girls are now rolling on concrete waves. Six completes were donated to the kids at the Los Quinchos orphanage in Nicaragua in June 2016 in order to share the joy of longboarding with them.
Ahousaht Skatepark, British Columbia By Liam Mckenzie
The Ahousaht project is moving forward. On June 6th Landyachtz, Newline and Get On Board hopped a water taxi from Tofino to the remote community of Ahousaht to present them with the plans for their new skatepark.
The project was born from our love of skateboarding, what it teaches us and our desire to share that with the world. We will be breaking ground on the new park in the fall and can’t wait to turn wheels with the whole community.