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Saultites will soon enjoy skateboarding year round

Local young entrepreneur Kyle Jewett hopes for a September opening for his new indoor skate park
2016-06-16 Kyle Jewett DMH
Swamp Wood Unlimited owner and designer Kyle Jewett. Donna Hopper/SooToday

Hopefully soon, the Sault’s skateboard community will have the ability to skate year round without shovelling snow.

With grant money in the bank, a supportive landlord on his side, and a lease agreement in the works, local skateboard designer Kyle Jewett has his sights set on opening an indoor skate park in the former Steelton Bible Chapel this coming September.

Located on Wellington Street West, Jewett told SooToday he wants the facility to be an open and collaborative all-ages community space.

“I want to keep the momentum going and make this a hub in the community,” he said.

The space will feature a fully customizable modular skate park, Jewett said, and he’d like to collaborate with individuals and community organizations to create a regular schedule of events, pro demonstrations, competitions, film screenings, and live performances.

Building owner and President of Northstar Consulting Inc., Jason Naccarato, said he stands behind the project.

“Community building projects like this fall directly in line with what we’re about,” he said. “It’s something we’re very passionate about.”

Support for Jewett’s indoor skate park comes from Paro’s Social Enterprises for Northern Ontario CoStarter for Change program.

But this isn’t the first entrepreneurial undertaking for the 28-year-old skateboard enthusiast.

He’s currently a client of the Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship Business Development Program, building his skateboard manufacturing company, Swamp Wood Unlimited.

After being displeased with the longboards currently available on the market, Jewett decided to take on designing his own.

“Every single board I owned, I ended up chopping or modifying in some way,” he explained. “After feeling out where the gap was in the longboard market, I felt there were a few distinct board styles that followed classic design tropes for no real reason. The shapes were more aesthetic than functional. I tried to create the most open, versatile downhill style longboard that I could.”

After working closely with Control Skateboards MFG, his new 100 percent Canadian-made longboard has become his flagship product.

Although he began sketching potential board designs approximately five years ago, means and motivation prevented his vision from becoming reality until this past year.

Starting with one-of-a-kind custom spray painted boards, Jewett found the process very labour intensive and costly.

Swamp Wood Unlimited now offers a variety of pro board styles made from Canadian rock maple embellished with his own digitized work.

“If I have an idea, [Control Skateboards will] do their best to facilitate it,” he said. “It saves me a lot of effort and money developing the moulds myself and trial and error. If I give them an idea, they can make it happen.”

To celebrate this year’s Go Skate Day, Jewett will issue a new series of boards with limited-run graphics.

Go Skate Day takes place at the John Rhodes Skate Park on June 21 from 3 to 9 p.m. and will feature live performances, skate competitions, demonstrations, and product giveaways.

The event is open for all to enjoy and free to attend.

“It bothers me that there’s so much stigma around an easy, social, and athletic activity,” Jewett said. “It’s precise, it’s raw, it’s creative, it’s social, it’s athletic. It’s all the values that we try to push on kids. That’s skateboarding.”

To learn more about Kyle Jewett and Swamp Wood Unlimited, please follow him on Facebook.

For more information about Go Skate Day in Sault Ste. Marie, please click here.


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Donna Hopper

About the Author: Donna Hopper

Donna Hopper has been a photojournalist with SooToday since 2007, and her passion for music motivates her to focus on area arts, entertainment and community events.
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