According to Berto Boyd, flamenco guitarist and instructor at the Corvallis Skateboard School (CSS), Oregon is a world-renown skate stop where many professionals come to shoot promotional videos; And now thanks to the CSS, Corvallis has become an exceptional place for young skaters to learn the sport.
Boyd started skating in the 1980’s before taking a 17-year hiatus to pursue his musical career as a flamenco guitarist. Boyd is best known in Corvallis for his 30-plus years of guitar expertise, having studied in Spain and performed with famous musicians throughout the US. He’s played at many local venues and acts as both the Artistic Director of the Corvallis Guitar Society and Musical Director of musical group Flamenco Pacifico. Boyd recently released his first solo publication “12 Flamenco Etudes” earlier this year, in February. To add to an already impressive resume, Boyd has now taken on teaching our youth how to skate safely and confidently.
Boyd and a friend had the idea for an educational skateboarding workshop in Corvallis after Boyd taught a lesson to that friend’s daughter in 2016. In March of 2017, CSS was created, which joined with the Benton County Skateboard Association, allowing for increased support and awareness, as well as the option of fundraising. Since then, Boyd and his fellow volunteer instructors have taught 13 workshops with over 300 students. A new workshop starts this month.
Boyd likens his teaching style to “surfing on concrete.” Instead of focusing on advanced tricks, the CSS focuses on safety, confidence, and familiarity between students and their boards. The idea for kids that “It’s not hard, it’s just unfamiliar,” according to Boyd, helps them develop a sense of tenacity in tackling difficult developmental skills. These skills carry over into the students’ every day lives as they learn that practice and repetition pave the way to mastery.
Boyd sees the local skateboarding community as being supportive and accepting. He hopes to start a collaboration to get Dreamland Skate Parks to help make renovations on Corvallis’ downtown skate park. Dreamland is well known for setting up and developing skate parks that feature intricate obstacle layouts with maximum safety considerations.