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Montreal Families

Female-only longboarding lessons empower girls

When Catherine D’avril first took up longboarding, she became instantly hooked. Taught by her friend, the only other woman she knew interested in the sport, D’avril was inspired to found Longboard 4us two years ago to make boarding more accessible to women.

“I knew a lot of girls who wanted to try it but never really had the opportunity to do so in a comfortable environment,” says D’avril, noting that many of her students have admitted to feeling a bit intimidated at regular skate parks.

Currently, there are beginner and advanced lessons for those 12 & up. Each lesson lasts an hour and fifteen minutes and is provided in an all-female environment, something D’avril says she believes is important. “I’ve seen a lot of camaraderie, girls are so supportive and it’s really cool to see them encourage one another during lessons.”

D’avril has taught a wide range of women, including teens, moms and women in their mid-40s. Those interested can register for group (up to six people) or individual lessons. And you don’t have to have your own board. Aside from helmets, all other equipment is provided.

Beginner lessons focus on the basics and look at riding as an alternative mode of transport, while advanced courses tackle more tricky skills such as going downhill. “It’s a great way to get from point A to point B,” D’avril says. “After one course, you will be able to ride well enough to go home and practice on your own.”

Once a month, D’avril hosts rides at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where girls can rent a board for $5 and connect with others who share an interest in this activity. Classes are given at the Olympic Stadium until the beginning of October, weather permitting. A class will take place Sept. 28 and costs $30; helmets can be rented for $5.

For more information, visit longboard4us.com.

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