Tag Archives: New York

Coach Profile: James in NY

Coach Profile: James in NY

NY Coach Profile

We asked our coaches in New York a few questions about how they got into action sports, mentoring and STOKED.  This week, meet Coach James and learn why he’s excited about working with STOKED.

Coach: James Manges

Sports: Skate, Snow & Surf

Coach for Years: Middle School, Yr 1, and Yr 2

james1

What do you love most about action sports and the industry?

I love the freedom when you get on and just go where the board takes you. You don’t think about what responsibilities you have to handle, the arguments you had, or any other problems you might have. It’s all about what is in front of you.

Why did you choose to become a STOKED coach? 

It was a really hot day during the summer of 2015. I was coaching a middle school summer program. Most of the days we would work on cruising, playing games, or learning new tricks. This day was different because of the searing July heat. We just sat on our boards in this little shaded part of the schoolyard and skated this little quarter pipe. It was the simple bonding time with my students that i remembered the most. It felt like we were a crew. That’s when I realized I wanted to be a STOKED coach.

What are you most excited for/looking forward to this year as a coach?

I’m excited to get back on the mountain with the Stokers. It is such a life changer when these young adults snowboard, some for the first time. For some of them, it’s is the first time they have seen a mountain. Through these trips, I believe, is when they start seeing the bigger picture – that we are cultivating a family of Stokers.

Who is your mentor and what is the best advice he or she has given to you?

My Mentor is a retired Neurologist that used to give me rides home with his daughter when i was in high school. We used to talk about politics, religion, and how the brain worked. He instilled in me an intense passion of always pushing to learn more. I got amazing advice from him throughout the years, but it was his belief in me that has always stuck with me.

james3

For more information on STOKED, click here.

 

 

Coach Profile: Jenny in NY

Coach Profile: Jenny in NY

NY Coach Profile

We asked our coaches in New York a few questions about how they got into action sports, mentoring and STOKED.  This week, learn how Jenny’s first job shaped the way she sees the world.

img_2936

Coach: Jenny Irving

Coach for Year: 1

Sports: Skateboarding

What do you love most about action sports and the industry?

I love the body awareness, the flow, the play with gravity, the dedication, the progress, the fun. Action sports are the fountain of youth.

Why did you choose to become a STOKED coach? 

It kind of chose me. My friend recommended me for it and the rest just fell into place.

What are you most excited for/looking forward to this year as a coach?
I am excited for the art – one of the quickest ways to see inside someone’s brain! I am also super stoked to see more passion for the board life ignite.

Who is your mentor and what is the best advice he or she has given to you?

If I had to choose a mentor, it would probably be my first boss – a pizza guru in Rhode Island. He taught me that things have a way of working themselves out for the best, and if you figure out how you learn, you can learn anything. He’s a wordsmith, a merry prankster, and a lover of the law of attraction (our thoughts shape our world). He also made sure the workplace was a joyful environment for everyone, so that going to work was a treat not a chore. Very important stuff.

11667388_10204679883185511_6603421946599128118_n

To learn more about STOKED go here.

STOKED NeON Summer Skate Program

STOKED NeON Summer Skate Program

Words and photos by Brad Williams

When I was first briefed on the STOKED/NeON summer skate program in Brownsville, Brooklyn, I had no idea what to expect from it. I only knew that it sounded like something I definitely wanted to be a part of. Skateboarding isn’t something that comes to mind when one thinks of Brownsville. The neighborhood is too often characterized by the reports of violence and gang/drug-related crimes that frequent local headlines. That’s not the Brownsville I know, but even when I lived there in 2012, it was rare to meet a fellow skater from the neighborhood. Sure, someone was always making use of one of the many spots in the area, but they were mostly from elsewhere, and just made a trip out to skate spots they’d seen in videos. Now, just four years later, Brownsville’s skate scene has grown immensely. With plenty of youths trying to get the most out of their neighborhood on a deck, two trucks, and four wheels.

On the first day of our program, I was genuinely surprised to see the majority of kids we spoke with on recruitment day actually showed up! None of them owned a skateboard, yet some already knew how to ride. A few couldn’t even set foot on a board. Still, with brief instructions and a little encouragement, everyone was pushing and stopping comfortably by the end of day one. By day two, it was clear that the group was having more fun than anyone expected.

The next week we encountered a group of teenage skaters rolling around Betsy Head Park. They were quick to skate over and greet James and I with plenty of questions. After we explained what the program was about, they were eager to join us. Even with the wide range of skill levels, everyone in our group has made notable progress over the past few weeks. Not only are the older participants learning tricks like heelflips and bigspins, but they’re gaining confidence in their abilities on and off the board.

With a multitude of personal backgrounds, everyone stands to gain something unique from this program. Some participants used to skate, but gave it up at some point and got in legal trouble along the way. Others started before the program, and others are just discovering their new abilities this summer! Regardless of background, I know they’ll leave our program with new friends and valuable skills. Despite the area’s reputation, this group contains are some of the most genuine and motivated people I’ve worked with in my five years of teaching skateboarding. I hope to read headlines about pro skaters from Brownsville in the near future.

IMG_6107

IMG_6142

IMG_6148

For more information on STOKED programs click here.

STOKED to Serve – A Mentor’s View

STOKED to Serve – A Mentor’s View

Words and photos by Vanella Richardson

STOKED mentoring is as bold and dynamic as the name suggests: all-day snowboarding in the winter, surf Saturdays in the summer, and skateboarding sessions in-between. My first introduction to the program was far from the slopes of Belleayre or the beach at Rockaway but just as impactful. On a bitter-cold but sunny day in November 2014 I trekked up to the Bronx to volunteer for a community service project, STOKED to SERVE. I nervously stepped into my first STOKED circle, introduced myself, and the rest is history. To this day STOKED to SERVE is still one of my favorite parts of the program.

April 16th was the first STOKED to SERVE of 2016, and it did not disappoint. The weather was perfect. The kids and mentors, a hearty mix of familiar and new faces, were happy, eager, and present. The agenda for the day was simple; spend the morning cleaning and beautifying the East Side Community Garden followed by an afternoon skate session and a well-deserved pizza lunch in between. After a quick run-through of what needed to be done; raking, weeding, planting, we separated into our groups, tools in hand, and dug right in. I am always impressed by the work ethic these kids have. Even though we weren’t perfecting 180s or paddling for a wave, everyone had that same quiet focus. The plant boxes were cleaned and filled with flowers, carefully spaced out and alternating in color. The dead, twisted ivy that covered the chain-link fence was picked clean and raked into neat piles.The kids who trickle in later in the morning don’t hesitate to ask where they are needed and jump right in. I had the pleasure of getting to know Ronny. We instantly connected over a shared interest in nutrition and botany. I can see it in his face and hear it in his voice that he is passionate about the subject. Although he mentions that he has a more “sensible” back-up plan, for the moment it’s nice to compare notes and share ideas without the pressure of having to “figure it all out”.

StS1

StS3

StS4

Admittedly, although I told myself that I couldn’t stay the whole day, that I needed to go home and tend to some overdue “adulting”… I couldn’t resist. Two hours later I’m borrowing a skateboard I swore I wouldn’t ride and learning a trick I didn’t plan on learning. The atmosphere is so magnetic and the people so fantastic that you cannot not want to be a part of it.

Eventually we regroup for our closing STOKED circle, which has somehow tripled in size since the morning, and give out our kudos. STOKED to SERVE may officially be over but we still linger. Some stay and continue to skate, most kick over to a nearby skatepark, while a handful of us stay on for a bonus pick-up soccer game. When I get home, content and relaxed from a full day of fun and fresh air, I realize how important days like these are for both mentors and mentees. They provide a welcomed break in our hectic routines, an outlet for our stresses, and an environment where existing relationships are maintained and new ones fostered, strengthening our bond as an organization.

If you’d like to get involved with STOKED, go here.