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Man with skateboarding school up for prestigious honor, hopes to grow sport in eastern Idaho

<i></i><br/>Skateboarding school owner

Skateboarding school owner

By Kalama Hines

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    CHUBBUCK, Idaho ( — Rudie Aguiar started skateboarding when he was 16 years old. When he moved to the United States from Mexico, the sport helped him learn English and the way of life in America, and through it, he developed deep friendships that last today — more than 25 years later.

Now, Aguiar, 42, is sharing his love and appreciation for the sport with Pocatello Boarding School — which he says is the only skateboarding school of its kind in Idaho.

“I want to start, in a sense, a revolution — to show people what skateboarding can do to somebody’s life, so they will begin to see a skatepark as something as needed as a basketball court or a baseball field,” he told

By day, Aguiar is a peer support specialist — as he described it, “rehab for the mind.” At his day job, Aguiar provides medical and recovery care to patients suffering from mental health ailments.

Once he’s done at the office, he jets to the Pocatello Boarding School — at 4902 Burley Drive, Suite 8, in Chubbuck — for classes or private lessons. During those lessons, Aguiar admits, he uses a lot of the same tools as he does at his day job — compassion, positive support and a little bit of love.

Aguiar launched his business late last year by providing lessons at the Ross Park Skate Park. But he decided the park and its “harsh atmosphere” was not an ideal atmosphere for kids who want to learn to skate.

So he started teaching lessons out of a friend’s garage until the new space became available. And he already has dreams of expanding.

“I’m fired up to get these kids what they deserve,” he said.

As part of that dream, Aguiar has entered Tony Hawk’s Skatepark Hero — a competition in which the top 1% of skateboarding role models will have the opportunity to meet Tony Hawk (perhaps the sport’s greatest legend) and win $10,000.

Winners are selected purely based on popular vote, meaning the only way for Aguiar to win is by him receiving more votes than other finalists You can vote for free here.

Aguiar said that he has no personal plans for the money should he win. Instead, he would love to pick Hawk’s mind about how to spread their shared love for the sport and then use the money to put their combined ideas in motion.

“Our goals are ultimately the same — to grow skateboarding in the communities that don’t have access to those resources.”

Aguiar’s wife and co-owner of the Pocatello Boarding School, Amelia, said that she has been surprised how many kids have shown interest in skateboarding lessons — and the wide range of things they learn from his husband.

She believes many of the kids get into sports in search of adult mentor other than their parents and that is what many of the kids find in Aguiar.

“We’ve been able to provide that place for them. And skateboarding makes it fun,” Amelia said.

Skateboarding, she finished, offers an alternative to traditional sports, while still bringing the camaraderie and competition so important for kids in other sports — like baseball, basketball and football.

Classes at the Pocatello Boarding School are for kids between the ages of 5 and 17, but private lessons can be set up for students of any age, Aguiar said.

“I want this sport to grow, I want this lifestyle to continue,” he said.

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