Welcome to another round of Comacan Questions and our last one for 2022. This interview is 85, through the year we have been able to host 48 interviews highlighting people’s favourite brands, artists, initiatives, and individuals. We’ve enjoyed getting to spread the word and even learn more ourselves along the way, we are looking forward to sharing more interviews chosen by the readers next year. To end this year, we thought we’d focus on a newer initiative to pop up in the KW area that is spreading the positive impact of skateboarding in their area and beyond, but we will let them tell you more about that. Please enjoy this week’s interview with Dan, Josh, and Jessica from WWSB. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
What does WWSB stand for?
WWSB is Waterloo-Wellington Skateboard, as in the Region of Waterloo and Wellington County our two local municipal governments in KWC and Guelph. ~ Dan @danimal_ca
What is the goal of this organization?
Our goal with Waterloo-Wellington Skateboard is to create a not-for-profit platform where skateboarders are able to formally advocate on behalf of their community to local governments as well as the Canadian skateboarding industry.
We started by working with the City of Kitchener to expand their indoor skateboarding program at Queensmount Arena. We aim to bring more of these opportunities to fruition so that skateboarders in KWC and Guelph are able to practice their passion year-round. In 2023 we have plans to put on some exciting contests and events, aiming to get more industry support in our underserved area. ~ Dan @danimal_ca
What was the inspiration to start this organization?
This region has a substantial population of skateboarders, a ton of outdoor parks, but no public indoor skate spaces. It just seemed like all we needed to do was get some people together to show K/W there was a need for an indoor space. We made a survey and shared that with Kitchener, and it worked, we got 3 indoor nights this winter at Queensmount arena. ~ Josh @steponeskateboarding
What are the positive impacts you believe skateboarding can have?
Besides being a great form of exercise and entertainment, skateboarding changes the way you look at the world around you in a bunch of ways.
First, no one is good at it right away. You have to work for it. This forces you to adopt a growth mindset. You start to see the direct relationship between practice and proficiency. you start to think “I may not be good at this now, but if I chip away at it long enough anything is possible”.
Second, you look at the city differently, curbs, ledges, stairs, and other features we overlook everyday become new, interesting playgrounds. Something as simple as a parking block or a curb can become a meeting point for skaters, a community hub.
Third, it can be some people’s first taste of a subculture. Discovering new ways of thinking, dressing, and behaving, that often contradict and/or intersect with popular culture in unique and interesting ways. This can completely change how you look at the world around you, and your place in it. ~ Josh @steponeskateboarding
What does skateboarding personally mean to you?
If you asked each of us, you’d probably get a different answer. For some it’s a form of artistic expression. You can’t learn every trick; you have to pick and choose what to focus on. Trick selection and style are unique ways of expressing yourself. For others it’s a sport, where competition can bring out the best in you.
As we mentioned before it’s also community and culture. Skaters worked hard to make companies and products for themselves, pushed for parks and competitions all for the love of this weird thing we do on a piece of wood with wheels. Being a part of something that kind of built itself from nothing feels good. ~ Josh @steponeskateboarding
How does WWSB support all corners of the skateboarding community?
We strive to have our skateboarding community to be a safe space for everyone. Known for its large male presences we are beginning to see more females and trans people. Keeping the entry fees low makes it more accessible to lower income families to enjoy this sport. ~ Jessica @jessicakrzilla
How can people get involved?
If you have any ideas to share or would like to get involved with Waterloo-Wellington Skateboard please contact us on Instagram @wwsb.ca or email email@example.com. We are an open, not-for-profit collective and everyone is welcome to share their voice.
A great way to get involved is by coming out to an indoor skateboarding session at Queensmount Arena in Kitchener, the success of this program is instrumental in growing indoor skateboarding locally.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
We’d like to thank everyone who filled out the survey, and Nathan Moore who works for Kitchener’s youth programing. He believed in our idea for an indoor space and helped us turn that into a reality this winter. ~ Josh @steponeskateboarding