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School’s in session

Jeff CaspersenGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

CARBONDALE, Colo. Abe Moreno never took a skateboarding class growing up. None were offered. He learned to skate the old-fashioned way, by watching and learning. “I just learned on my own,” he said. “I learned by watching skate videos and picking up tricks, watching the older crowd.”Nowadays, Moreno is part of that older crowd, and he’s passing on his skating know-how by more formal means. Through Carbondale Recreation Department, the 25-year-old is teaching helmet-donning youngsters – ranging in age from 5 to 13 – the basics of skating twice a week at Carbondale’s North Face Skate Park. And, to meet one-on-one teaching needs, the enterprising boarder also offers private lessons.By teaching kids, Moreno is also re-initiating himself with the sport’s fundamentals.

“It’s just bringing back the old days,” the Basalt resident said. “It’s so much fun. Teaching the kids is helping me out as well. When I see them, when I teach them, I’m teaching myself again. I’m learning how to redo stuff sometimes.”Moreno began teaching the class last year and loved it instantly.”It’s my first time giving lessons,” he said. “It’s so much fun.”Moreno is constantly wowed by the variance in his students’ learning styles.”I’ve had beginners that have trouble standing up on the board and I’ve had ’em who on their first day on a board are already going on bowls,” he said. “But they all learn really quick.”When he’s not teaching or skating himself, Moreno can likely be found filming skate video or working at Casual Culture skate and snowboard shop in Carbondale.Moreno hopes to start his own skate company – Tags – in the near future.

“I’m trying to start a company, selling boards and clothes,” he said. “We’re coming with board designs right now.”He’s enlisted the support of a friend’s skate company – CandyGrind – in helping formulate his business plan. The big-thinking Moreno would also like to open a skate shop someday and build his own skatepark. Anything to advance the sport that’s given him so much, and to squash negative stereotypes about the boarding community.”Skateboarding helped me out a lot. It kept me away from drugs and what not,” said Moreno. “A lot of people look at skateboarders and see them as all being troublemakers, but we’re not doing anything bad. We just want to skate and have fun.”Sideline Stories is a feature that runs every other Wednesday in the Post Independent. Have an idea for a good Sidelines subject? E-mail or call 384-9125.

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