The Riverbank Recreation and Park District’s second session of Skateboard Camp, aimed at intermediate level boarders, concluded a successful week at the Skate Park on First at Santa Fe streets last week.
Instructor Daniel Garbez, formerly a Riverbank resident himself, said the city had to turn away several applicants, since the number of students he could safely supervise by himself was limited. He said he hoped the city would be able to have two sessions of both the beginners and intermediate level workshops in the future. And he was hoping the camps might be held in the fall, or maybe spring, when temperatures were not quite so high.
Garbez said he was kidding his students, telling them that when he was learning to skate, there was no one there to catch him when he tried new moves. He just crashed, got up, and tried it again ‘til he got it down. He remembered when he was young and lived in Riverbank, driving past the Skate Park site with his father who pointed it out to him.
Garbez said the camp featured no competition. Each participant was only challenging himself. He has observed the progress some of his students have made since the program began five years ago.
Camp participants are required to wear protective equipment, including knee and elbow pads, gloves and a helmet, for safety.
Ribbon cutting for the Skate Park was held in June 2004. Money raised for matching funds for the grants required to build it was organized by a committee comprised of potential skateboarders, and idea presented by then-mayor Bill O’Brien. He’s currently representing the Oakdale/Riverbank district on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors.