Thanks to a generous donation of skateboard making kits from the Roarockit Skateboard Company in Europe, Skateistan kids now know exactly how skateboards can be produced. Using the amazing new air-press technology, even our smallest students were able to get involved. As well as learning about the logistics and hands-on methods of building decks, students were taught important lessons about the environment, safety, science, woodwork, design, leadership and teamwork.
Split up into a 5-week curriculum, the DIY skateboard curriculum has been one of our most successful. The first session was spent learning about how regular skateboard factories produce boards, and how the air-press technology works differently. Students learnt about vacuum pressure and woodworking without tools. A huge issue in modern Cambodia is centered around forest logging in the north, so students participated in discussions about the environment and why we used this particular maple veneer wood sent over from Canada (because of it's quality, durability and eco-friendliness).
The staff testing out the Roarockit kits before teaching the students!
In the classroom, students learnt about how to put together the 7 layers of wood to ensure the board is as strong as can be.
Taking turns, everyone got to glue the layers together.
Pumping the vacuum bag to make it air tight.
After leaving for 8 hours or so, the wood is ready to be shaped! Designing custom decks was also made possible to cater for small children.
The head engineer and mentor of this project was our Sports Coordinator, Pheakna, who took each class on an excursion to the wood workshop around the corner.
Thanks to the owner, Louie, for having us!
Once the shaping was done, Pheakna drilled holes in each deck to attach the trucks.
From there, some good old-fashioned sand paper was needed to finish them off.
...plus a set up (with a little help from the skateshop phnom penh) and voila! This is the very first deck made by our students in Cambodia, branded with the Skateistan logo in Khmer.
It has also become the new skatepark favorite!
The board in action - Chhay, 11 years old, nails his first Ollie on it.
Ek, from our disabled skateboarding program, dropping in.