2022 Grants Challenge

Serving Community Through Skateboarding

Havalina Skate Co. supports the underserved communities of Los Angeles by helping them discover the benefits found in skateboarding with free skate clinics, skateboards, safety gear and engagement. To accomplish this, we create community engagement opportunities that allow us to serve community members with skateboarding resources. We believe in the positive benefits and the skills learned while practicing skateboarding; youth are taught basic skateboarding techniques, safety skills, team mentality and creativity while in a group environment.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Community Safety

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Unlike sports such as baseball, basketball, and soccer, that can be played with minimal equipment, skateboarding requires a skateboard deck, grip tape, wheels, trucks, bearings and hardware that range from $150 to $200 and up to get started. Many families cannot afford the cost of one skateboard and when they have more than one child it's that much more difficult; so many children never get the chance to experience the awesome benefits of skateboarding. Although many inner city parks have free public skateparks there are no programs that provide community members with skateboards. It has been our experience that children will use old handed down and broken down skateboards that are dangerous to ride.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

In 2021 we gave away 1,048 skateboards with the 1,000 Skateboards Project and with this grant our goal is to give away another 1,000 skateboards plus include a helmet and safety pads with each skateboard. We create fun and exciting opportunities for community engagement. We host skateboard giveaways at community centers, churches, and skate parks throughout Los Angeles County with the focus being the most underrepresented and underserved communities. Our volunteers work with the youth and teach them basic skateboarding techniques and how to fall, educate them on properly fitting their safety equipment (helmet and pads), and maintaining their skateboards. The kids always make new friends because we bring together a crowd of skateboarders and work together in a group setting. We know families are struggling and we know it may have been a hurtle to attend our events so we always provide a lunch or snacks for everyone in attendance.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Our vision is a more united and uplifted Los Angeles. We know first hand the gratitude that community members feel for the work we are doing and with this grant we can continue to uplift and encourage families throughout LA. We have heard countless stories from kids and parents telling us how skateboarding has changed their lives. How our program keeps their kids out of trouble and focused on a confidence building sport. Youth that have shared that if it weren't for the free skateboard they got from Havalina they wouldn't otherwise be able to make it to their after school job. Parents who say they couldn't afford one skateboard and they are so grateful that we could provide boards for all five of their children, giving them a way to safely play together and have a great time. It is clear to us that skateboarding is needed, is growing in LA and it serves the community in a positive and encouraging way.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Havalina Skate Co. has been giving away free skateboards since 2021 and we have kept a log of all our giveaways and to what parks, community center and churches we have served. Our evidence on the impact of our program so far has been from informal testimonials we have received from our participants since we started. With the grant funds we plan to keep a roster to track the 1,000 skateboards and ask for written testimonials or questionnaires 3-months after the participants received their skateboard to record the impact of the gift.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 1,000

Indirect Impact: 3,000