15. Nathan Kolar – Skateboarding is Positive

July 23, 2021
July 23, 2021 Will Mackie

Welcome back to Comacan Questions, this week we’re speaking with a different kind of organization focussing on the lessons that skateboarding can instil. This program operates with the goal to teach youth not only how to ride safely but skatepark etiquette, some tricks, and respect for others, this is done all while teaching kids life lessons. Skateboarding is a great teacher, teaching resilience, patience and that practice is the only way to reach your goals no matter what they may be. Organizations like this show the youth the many benefits of skateboarding and so much more. We’re truly glad that these opportunities and lessons can be given to kids at such a crucial learning point in their lives. None of this program would be possible without the hard work and dedication from the man behind it all, Nathan Kolar, owner and skateboard instructor for Skateboarding is Positive.

1. Why did you choose the name skateboarding is positive?
The thinking for the name Skateboarding is Positive (@skateboardingispositive, #skateboardingispositive) was how neat would it be to have a message within the name itself! With a choice of the words to describe skateboarding such as feelings of happiness, enjoyment, and adventure, positive seems to be a key word encompassing all of these types of feelings which skateboarding sparks!

2. What services do you offer with your business?
The services Skateboarding is Positive provides include digital content, lessons, and advocacy. The digital content comes in the form of learning resources published on the website and social media. The lessons have been in the form of private lessons and group lessons events, bordering community events. Lastly, the advocacy piece includes working with partners to bring skateboarding into the public spotlight and continue dialogue about the construction of more skateparks.

3. Do you sell merchandise? If so, where can people view it?
The merchandise Skateboarding is Positive sells comes in the form of clothing. In particular, t-shirts and sweaters. The link to the merchandise is: https://skateboardingispositive.com/shop. What is noticeable when viewing the clothing, is the large selection of colours for the Skateboarding is Positive logos on the clothing, as well as the t-shirt and sweater colours themselves.

4. What motivated you to start your own company?
This is such a good question, and my answer may be a tad different than a usual answer. There has never been a master plan to start a ‘company’ like Skateboarding is Positive. What happened and happens in other areas of my life as well, is I started expressing my passion, and then over time it built up. Originally, I wrote articles about how I indeed think skateboarding is positive for youth development. Then, I became more familiar with marketing and communicating a message. A conversation here, and a conversation there, the private lessons began, which then transitioned to the group lessons. Doing so, more established entities such as government reached out to me. So, I started with small steps, and as I reflect, giving back to others through Skateboarding is Positive has really happened! You can bet I am excited for how the future can unfold, with good intentions.

5. How long have you been running this?
I have been running Skateboarding is Positive since 2015! My earliest memories were writing the aforementioned skateboarding and youth development articles in various coffee shops.

6. How can people contact you?
People can contact myself and reach Skateboarding is Positive through email, contact@skateboardingispositive.com

7. Are you involved with any other programs?
In terms of involvement with other programs, a current collaboration for Skateboarding is Positive is with the Camp Kidaca Youth Camp through the City of Hamilton. This includes creating programming to introduce the campers to skateboarding, and how health and fitness fits in and complements skateboarding. Other individuals who host skateboarding movements as well who I absolutely love conversing with is Tyler Stem from Skate 4 The Brain, and Trent Stamml from the World Skateboarding Health Foundation.

8. What does skateboarding mean to you?
What skateboarding means to me is an outlet to express yourself. Whether this be through skateboarding itself, or the art, architecture, photo/video, or music, surrounding skateboarding and the skateboarding community. Skateboarding provides a means to think creatively, and then act it out and express oneself. Along the way, when I can express myself through skateboarding and can have indirect benefits such as being social (friends), and health, how amazing that!

9. What is your goal with your business?
The goal of Skateboarding is Positive is to create safe skateboarding experiences for beginners. This means providing the time and space for beginners to ask questions about skateboarding, without the fear of judgement, or being exposed to negligent teaching practices. When beginners can learn the foundation of proper technique and skatepark etiquette, they can let their passion for skateboarding thrive, as they truly begin to understand the nature of skateboarding.

10. Anyone you’d like to thank?
I love this question about recognizing others and thanking them. I can answer this in two parts. First, to thank all of those who have interacted with Skateboarding is Positive thus far. This means those who have engaged with Skateboarding is Positive through digital and social media, and also those who participated in in-person lessons and group programming. Second, to thank my counterparts and mentors if you will, who I am grateful to also call my [best] friends. They are the ones who provide business and design insight to grow Skateboarding is Positive. One minute we are chatting about travel and new music, the next minute we are drafting action plans for bringing our passions to life. For myself, this passion is Skateboarding is Positive.