School of Riding | Mentorship Program


For the past 20 years I’ve always had multiple projects on the go. Typically one job is paid employment to support the family and the other is a passion project to help the community.

Back in 2010 I launched the School of Riding in my city of White rock BC Canada. It began after I completed my film, the Fellowship of the Bearing. Kids were so stoked about the film and what was happening in the scene that too many were flocking to join downhill skateboarding. The problem from this influx was that at that time standup slides (which are slides that involve not using your hands) were are all the rage. Kids wanted to run before they could crawl. So many weren’t choosing to learn the fundamentals because what was cool was doing big standup slides. It amused me and scared me all at the same time when I would see kids at sessions who could barely push, didn’t want to stop safely and were skating around the city in unsafe ways. I could’ve just sat back and watched it unfold but since I was the new father, I felt it was my responsibility to look after the youth. Although the School of Riding was barely a money maker, to this day it remains one of my favourite projects. I had a Mitsubishi Delica, and I would pack it full of skaters and take them to different spots around the city and teach them how to spot corners and look out for each other. Many kids signed up for multiple weeks at a time because they had so much fun. Mothers and fathers were thanking me for the experience. I might even have footage of one of the mothers getting very emotional because her kid was finally excepted into this community. Indeed there were a few students at my school that were challenging but to me that was the best part. The challenge of being able to suppport kids that are not excepted into society because of their differences. No matter my initiative, I have always give people like that a chance the big fat chance because that’s what I do.

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School of Riding

School of Riding Colabo Main 3-2.jpg

from Instagram

In 2010 , following the release of my film , the Fellowship of the Bearing(@colabo_innovations ) , I started a school for kids on a shoe string budget while working shift work on the Vancouver Docks. It was in #WhiteRock and the goal was to help ensure they had a good footing when they got involved in riding long skateboards. 

To this day it remains the project that I appreciated the most. No money but no regrets. Every year I wish I could go back to teaching youth and mentoring them in a positive way. I get my fix, if you will, helping children in Japan. Time will tell ,but I hope that will happen in the very near future.

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Dan Pape