Ripstick - Riding Ramps

The Ripstik can be ridden in many areas. You can ride them on the street, on sidewalks, in parking lots, and you can also ride them at your locate skate park with ramps. The ripstik is a very fun board to ride on ramps. You can drop in off the ramps and do some awesome tricks. There are a couple things to remember when learning to ride your board at the street park. Always remember to start small, watch out for others, wear your helmet and pads, and have fun.

Starting small means that you should not go try the largest ramp right at the beginning. Find a small ramp off to the side that is not that steep and begin practicing on that. It is often good to start on ramps with less people so that you do not run into anyone. Once you feel comfortable on the small ramp you can move up to bigger and steeper ramps. When I was learning on my Ripstik I would try starting half way up the big ramps until I got real comfortable. You will catch on quick. By my second trip back to the skate park I was riding from the top of the ramps. I still have not been able to drop in yet, but the ramps that slope down I can ride great.

When you are riding be sure to watch out for other riders. Many people ride many different things at the skate park. You will see guys on skateboards, scooters, bikes and more. Keep an eye on how the other riders are riding and were they are. A collision could cause very bad injuries to everyone involved. You should also watch the other riders to see new tricks or to see how a trick is done. You can learn a lot from skating with and watching other guys on their ripstik.

Remember to wear your pads and helmets when riding ramps. Riding ramps can be very dangerous and it takes more skill then just riding on flat ground or even on hills. The risk of injury is much great so be smart and put on your helmet and knee pads. Knee pads help a lot when riding on ramps because if you need to bail off your board you can land on your knees and ride down the ramp. Sometimes it can be fun to fall onto your knees and ride down. If you look at the pros they all wear helmets and pads. Follow their example.

When you are ready to ride at the skate park always start small, be cautious of other riders and wear your pads. The more you ride the better you will become, and the larger ramps you will be able to ride. Ramps are a ton of fun so grab your Ripstik, a friend, find your local skate park and go ride. Once you have ridden at your local park try finding another skate park that is different to get even better on the Ripstik, and always have fun.

By: Josh Brennon

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The Ripstickis a sweet board to ride on ramps. I have learned a lot of cool tricks and I hope you can learn too.Plan B Skateboards are also great to ride. I ride plan b decks when I skate.


Christmas Gifts for Teachers

Gifts for TeachersMarc-Alain Savard, a teacher at Lawrence Grassi Middle School in Canmore, knew the holiday season was approaching when he found a six-pack of Corona on his desk last December.

Should Students Give Gifts To Teachers?

According to Graham White, spokesman for the Calgary Board of Education, "The practice of giving gifts to teachers of any kind is actively discouraged in our schools to the point where some schools have developed a no-gift policy. Teacher gift giving can compromise instructional objectivity and illustrate a stark separation between the "haves and have nots" amongst the students in a classroom." Jane Farrell, Media Relations Consultant with Edmonton Public Schools, says they have "no specific district policy" - they do not get into policies between parents and teachers about gift giving. Contact your child's school to inquire about their gift policy if you wish.

Coreen Kieser, a teacher with the Rocky View School Division, points out that teachers do not receive a Christmas bonus or get other perks. "Like everyone else, teachers just want a pat on the back, to be acknowledged for what they are doing. So a heartfelt thank-you card, especially one signed by the child, is greatly treasured."

If you choose to give a gift to your child's teacher, what is appropriate? Those extraordinary people spend five days a week with your children, show them how to expand their minds and teach them to be responsible. How can you show your appreciation?

Inappropriate Gifts for Teachers

It varies from teacher to teacher as to what gifts are inappropriate. Some think alcohol is a no-no while others appreciate wine or beer. A junior high teacher with the Calgary Board of Education who asked not to be named feels unsuitable gifts include, "Money (tacky), lingerie, and cigarettes. I remember once buying my teacher a box full of different kinds of cigarettes. He thought it was great but times have changed!" Marc-Alain Savard feels differently. "There is no gift that is not appropriate. A gift is a gift."

Gift Ideas for Teachers

What about donating to a charity in the name of your child's teacher? As Tanis Maxfield, a teacher at Ecole Elbow Valley Elementary School explains, "My best gift was a donation to a charity. Let's be honest - I am paid for this job and feel a little uncomfortable receiving gifts. I know the students enjoy giving them but if someone else who is more needy benefits, that is best in my mind."

Sometimes a group of parents from a class will get together to purchase a gift, buy one large gift certificate or organize a project. What is Marc-Alain Savard's favourite group gift? "One of my students was mentoring with a professional photographer and took a really nice black and white picture. It was in a large frame and all the students signed the frame around the picture."

Every educator interviewed for this article was in favour of gift certificates as holiday presents. Jeff Hammerich, a teacher at the Bearspaw School explains, "I think the most appropriate gifts for students to give their teachers are gift certificates. They are practical and reduce the amount of unusable things we sometimes get. It also reduces the amount of garbage produced - an envelope and a card. The best gifts I like are gift certificates to Mountain Equipment Co-op where I buy climbing or ski gear."

If you really want to get your child's teacher something special but it is not financially possible, rest assured. Most teachers treasure something homemade. Tanis Maxfield recalled, "One year I had a child from a family encountering financial hardships who really wanted to share something with me. I told him to go home and make me something like a card or write me a story. The next day he brought me the most detailed drawing of his favourite time at school with me. I still have it." Jeff Hammerich said, "A memorable gift I received was a card that a student made me. It was a "Top Ten List of Why Mr. Hammerich Rocks." Wow - I was blown away by that." Have your child write a letter telling their teacher the reasons they like or respect them. You can put the letter in a box and wrap it up like a present. The gift of gratitude is always appropriate.

Do You Need to Give Gifts to All the Staff?

Do you need to give a gift to the school principal, vice-principal, lunchroom monitor, custodian, sports coaches, teaching assistants, bus drivers, counsellors, librarians and office receptionists, among others? Principal John Beaton at the W.P. Wagner School in Edmonton said, "To my knowledge none of the staff members mentioned (himself, the three assistant principals and the custodial and office staff) receive gifts." If you feel someone needs a special thank-you, a card or a small gift is suitable and will be appreciated.

The most important requisite for holiday gifts is to choose something with the teacher in mind. Tanis Maxfield loved receiving a 4-week diaper service. Jeff Hammerich was given a skateboard on which his students showed him some tricks. Marc-Alain Savard loves ski passes, something not everyone would enjoy.

Put some thought into what the teacher would like, not what you would like to give the teacher, and the gift will be perfect.

More Gift Ideas for Teachers

Here's a few more ideas for gifts teachers have received and appreciated:

Gift certificates for movie rentals with a box of popcorn or candy attached.A coupon for the teacher stating your child will bring the teacher lunch on a prearranged day in January.Packets of thank-you notes.Mail a letter to the school principal praising the teacher and give a copy to the teacher.A disposable camera and an IOU for processing.A piece of equipment or a stack of books for the classroom.Ask the teacher if he or she needs any school supplies.Happy gift giving!!

Interviews with Marc-Alain Savard, Graham White, Jane Farrell, and the unnamed junior high teacher were done by telephone in October 2007.

Interviews with John Beaton and Tanis Maxfield were done by email in October 2007.

Interviews with Corren Kieser and Jeff Hammerich were conducted in person in October 2007.

For gift ideas that are easy on the wallet, check out:

Free (Or Almost Free) Gifts to Give Teachers for Christmas


Call for Nominations in Global Skateboarding Awards | Reuters

Awards to Honor Outstanding Contributions in Social Responsibility, Volunteerism and Corporate Citizenship

ISTANBUL, TURKEY--(Marketwired - March 18, 2015) - World Skateboarding Federation today announced a call for nominations in the first-ever Global Skateboarding Awards to honor those in the skateboarding industry who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of social responsibility, volunteerism and corporate citizenship. The awards will be presented Friday, May 22 at the opening night reception for the 2015 Global Skateboarding Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. 

Nominees should demonstrate one or more of the following:

Social Responsibility -- promote youth development and growth through activism within the global skateboarding community. Examples include development of skate parks, educational scholarships for skaters, skate clinics, mentoring programs, etc.

Corporate citizenship -- efforts to use and promote environmentally friendly manufacturing and production practices.

Volunteerism -- donating one's time and getting hands on to change lives for the better. Examples include free skate clinics, demos, shoe and skateboard drives, skate park construction, etc.

The GSA's will be presented in the following categories:

Nonprofit Organization of the YearLifetime Achievement Award

"We're excited to present the Global Skateboarding Awards at the Global Skateboarding Summit in Istanbul. As the first-ever gathering of the global skateboarding industry, it is the perfect place to recognize these philanthropic leaders in the industry who have taken an active role in improving the lives of others," said Tim McFerran, president of World Skateboarding Federation. 

To nominate a company or individual, visit the official nomination page at

Nominees will be announced April 1, 2015. Online voting begins April 2 and ends April 30. Finalists will be notified on May 1 and the winners will be announced during the opening night reception at the Global Skateboarding Summit on May 22.

About the Global Skateboarding Summit

The purpose of the Global Skateboarding Summit is to bring together skateboarders, organizations, groups, federations, and associations, for the first time, in an effort to collaborate, organize and create a meaningful direction for the sport of skateboarding while supporting its athletes. Designed to be an annual meeting to help support skateboarders globally and further the growth of skateboarding, the summit will be packed with top tier speakers from the global skateboarding and international sports community. An exhibition area will be available for companies to share merchandise, activities and connect with the largest collection of global skateboarding athletes, retailers, manufacturers and brands. There will also be valuable networking and one-on-one meeting opportunities for attendees. To register for the summit as an attendee or exhibitor, visit 

About World Skateboarding Federation (WSF)

World Skateboarding Federation is the leader in providing skateboarders around the world with funds to help pay for travel expenses to attend international contests. WSF actively donates skateboards to youth in poverty stricken areas and supports worthwhile skateboarding organizations like Skateistan in South Africa. WSF is currently working with a number of countries, providing leadership and expertise, to help them form national federations. The mission of the World Skateboarding Federation is to promote skateboarding around the world; to grow and connect relevant skateboarders, organizations, brands and manufacturers for the further expansion of skateboarding; to assist in building quality skateparks; to provide financial assistance to top skateboarders to attend international skateboarding contests; to create a centralized judging and scoring system; and to provide a platform to create national, regional and local contests. World Skateboarding Federation is a USA incorporated nonprofit 501-c-3 organization. For more information visit

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Scared? Shaun White deserves better

( - Only Shaun White knows if fear is the main reason he pulled out of the Olympic slopestyle competition.

Max Parrot doesn't know. Neither does Sebastien Toutant.

Still, the Canadian teammates chose to criticize White's decision with tweets they quickly deleted, but not before making the wrong kind of headlines on the eve of the Sochi Games.

White hurt his wrist during a training run Tuesday on a course that has drawn criticism as being potentially dangerous. He cited his wish to focus on the halfpipe event and the risk that an injury on the slopestyle course might keep him from competing for his third straight Olympic gold medal. (Norway's Torstein Horgmo broke his collarbone during a slopestyle run on Monday.)

After White announced his decision to withdraw, Parrot said he thought the American snowboarding star was "scared" to compete and "knows he won't be able to win the slopes."

"It's easy to find excuses to pull out of a contest when you think you can't win," Toutant wrote.

Parrot offered an apology for his comments, saying he didn't mean to offend anyone.

What he should have said was that White deserves better.

Shaun White is snowboarding's Greatest of All-Time -- the Wayne Gretzky of his sport. There is no disputing this.

A more apt comparison might be to equate his success to that of Tony Hawk, the skateboarding icon who pushed boundaries with his tricks and became the face of a growing alternative sport, pushing it into the mainstream.

There are few modern athletes whose talents and likenesses have done more for their sport, bringing the type of money and recognition that can benefit and be enjoyed by other competitors.

It's the type of trickle-down prosperity golfers have enjoyed in the Tiger Woods era.

The year before Woods won his first major at the 1997 Masters, nine players made more than $1 million on the PGA Tour. Last year, 82 golfers hit seven figures. And if you think that's a coincidence, I've got a 1-iron I'd like to sell you.

Still, a small number of golfers have publicly criticized Woods with little regard to what he means to their sport and livelihood. Taking shots for the well-publicized scandals in Woods' personal life is one thing. Provoking him in competition? That's poking the bear.

In 2006, after Stephen Ames made an ill-timed joke about Woods' game, he drew the world No. 1 in the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship and suffered the worst loss in that tournament's history -- 9 and 8.

That means Woods was nine holes up with eight to play. The match was over after 10.

Asked if Ames' comments motivated him, Woods had a simple response: "9 and 8."

A year later, Rory Sabbatini accepted an invitation to play in Woods' Target World Challenge -- worth a guaranteed $170,000 paycheck -- and withdrew before the final round, citing shin splints. He was in last place at the time and the move was widely seen as disrespectful to Woods.

"He's messing with the wrong guy," said Fred Couples.

Those are words Parrot and Toutant might want to heed. It's not that there's evidence White is vindictive. But there's also little evidence suggesting he is soft.

While Parrot and Toutant moved directly into the slopestyle final with good runs in their heats on Thursday, White was setting his sights on the halfpipe, where he is known to be a boundary-pushing virtuoso.

And certainly not a softie.

Before the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, White smacked his jaw on the ledge of the superpipe during a practice run at the Winter X Games with so much force that his helmet popped off. He got up, dusted himself off and made another run.

A month later White won his second straight Olympic gold medal in the halfpipe with a trick -- the Double McTwist 1260 -- that was equal parts dangerous and awe-inspiring.

Still, he pushed, and his new must-see aerial trick is bigger, wilder and even more dangerous. White debuted the frontside double-cork 1440 in December in a video posted online by one of his sponsors.

I read that it's similar to the Double McTwist 1260, but with another half twist added. At full speed, I can't tell for sure.

What I do know is it's not the trick of a coward.


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