He flies through the air with the greatest of ease.
Jackson Andrews just turned 14 on July 21, but he’s an absolute wizard on the skateboard. Young skateboard enthusiasts have enjoyed a chance to learn from him and develop their own skills at the Chemainus Skateboard Park during a special SkateCamp he organized with his dad Cole.
“I’ve been skateboarding for around five years,” said Jackson Andrews. “My dad skates and I just practice so much – at home every day.”
That explains how he got so good at it – practice makes more than perfect in his case.
Andrews is actually from Fort St. John, but he’s spending the summer with his grandparents Tammy and Rick Andrews in Chemainus. Jackson, who’s going into Grade 9, also hopes to move to Chemainus, possibly as early as the next school year but more likely in 2022-23.
His skateboarding prospects for the future are just beginning to take flight.
“I’ve got three sponsors right now,” he said. “I’m just trying to turn pro.”
Relocating to this area would give him the added exposure needed to advance.
“So many more people skate down here,” Andrews noted.
The SkateCamp has been a great chance for him to pass along his expertise and help younger kids just starting out to find their form.
“It’s something we organized,” he said. “I wanted some extra money and give back and teach some skate lessons. It’s been working out great. The kids have been loving it and they’re progressing.”
It’s indeed a treat to see someone of Andrews’ ability in action and the way he masters the board is incredible.
Watching the Summer Olympics in Tokyo has given him incentive for what could happen in the future.
“That’s actually what I’m going for,” he said.
Instructing the younger kids helps with his own view of the sport and he’s happy to pass along his expertise.
“It’s not too difficult,” Andrews pointed out. “You have to get them set up and they can keep practicing on their own and give them tips on the way. Definitely had a few wipe-outs. Everyone got back up from it and tried again.”
Skateboarding is one of those sports that appeals to certain individuals.
“It does take a lot of courage,” said Andrews. “There’s a good group of friends, they’re all neck to neck and competing with each other.”
The learning never stops, even for someone like him who already has so much skill at a young age.
“I’m learning lots of new tricks, too,” he pointed out. “There’s lots of room to get better.”
Cole is on board with his son’s personal abilities and helps to teach others.
“I work with the school district,” he explained. “We do programming with School District 60 up there (Peace River North).
“It would be great if this school district would do it as well. The kids are very responsive to the program.”
Once Andrews relocates here, they hope to make it happen for Cowichan Valley School District kids.
The one interesting thing about skateboarding, Cole pointed out, is “bravery is rewarded more than athletic ability.”
All parks are different and skateboarders need to keep that in mind as they learn the basics and advance.
“This is a really tough park for beginners,” he reminded of the Chemainus Skateboard Park. “I think the one in Crofton was built with more beginners in mind.”
Everyone’s enjoying themselves at the camp and support they received from Beyond The Usual helped get it off the ground.
There’s one more three-day camp coming up at the Chemainus Skateboard Park near Chemainus Secondary School for interested young skateboarders, Tuesday, Aug. 17 through Thursday, Aug. 19 from 10-11:30 a.m. For details, Jackson Andrews says he can be connected by text at 250-224-2007.