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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Holladay summer skate camp still going strong in 14th year, thanks to ‘Spock’

Jul 25, 2017 12:07PM ● By Jesse Sindelar

Spock has been running these skate camps for 14 years. (Eric Uequillas/Holladay)

By Jesse Sindelar | [email protected]

While one can learn many things about skateboarding at one of Eric “Spock” Uequillas’s skate camps, there is more than just skateboarding being taught.

“We are all about teaching kids how to skate and the safety and park etiquette that go with that. But we also want to teach respect — for their environment, their self and their fellow skaters. And most importantly we want all of that to be fun,” said Spock.

The camp teaches all levels of skaters, from first timers to those with a deeper experience on a board, with both a beginning class and an intermediate class. Skaters bring their own boards, and they are then split up by ability.

The instructors, led by Spock, coach these skaters with a lot of feedback and hands-on supervision.

“The kids are taught with progression. So we start with balance and staying on the board, and then we can move to tricks and how to use the skate park as a whole,” said Spock.

Spock’s recruiting process for instructors is a simple, yet effective method. He works as the assistant director for the sports school at Brighton Ski Resort.

“When we do hiring, I’m working with and looking at snowboarders who have good chance of also being a skater. Since we train so extensively in this kind of stuff, it’s perfect for those excelling at boarding, who know how to skate, to teach kids how to skate,” Spock said.

Other instructors have more familial ties with the participants.

“Numerous dads help out as well. It’s great, because if they know how to skate, they, as dads, know how to deal with kids too,” Spock said.

The first camp was in 2003, and there was just one. Now Spock hosts skate camps across the valley, far and wide.

The original skate camp, which is still going on today, started at the Holladay Lion’s Recreation Center in Holladay.

Cam Barenbrugge, who oversees the administrative aspect of the camp, doesn’t see this camp going anywhere anytime soon.

“We don’t have any plans to upscale or downsize, because its works so well now. We never really sought an instructor for a skate class — we have this class more because of him (Spock), because he loves doing it, and because the kids love it too,” said Barenbrugge.

“It has been so popular with the kids. I think the beginning class has around 40 kids in it. It has been popular for a number of years, and occasionally kids will return and come back for the next year, in the harder class,” Barenbrugge said.

With a positive attitude and a patient willingness to teach these kids how to skate, Spock has been, and will seemingly continue to be, a great mentor for these kids, as well as an exciting instructor for an exciting sport. Live long and prosper, Spock.