CHICAGO -- Chicago native Enrico Hufana has had a passion for skateboarding since the 90s. Now, he's sharing his love of skateboarding with a new indoor skate park.
It all started when Enrico was giving a skateboard lesson to his son, Rue, and some of his friends at a local park. A mom approached Enrico, asking if he could teach her son how to skate and he agreed. The mom posted a video of the lesson on Facebook and the idea for Little Rippers Skateboarding was born.
Using his experience as a real estate broker, Enrico knew of a vacant property in Jefferson Park. He then decided to transform the storefront into an indoor skate park. After convincing the owners to lease him the space and putting in a few ramps and flat rails, he was open for business.
Enrico enlisted the help of a few friends as additional instructors. Now they teach private lessons to more than 60 kids, ranging from 2 to 14 years old, inside the 6,000 square foot space.
During the one hour sessions, kids learn tricks, how to gain board control, how to skate with confidence and skate park etiquette.
"I see them grow as a skateboarder, but then translates to them growing as people," Enrico said. "Just being able to affect some of the kids' lives; I've never seen them lose the confidence and only gain a ton."
Enrico has been flooded with lesson requests and has no plans to stop. He hopes to open a different skate park pop-up each winter to reach even more families.
"I just want to help the future generation of skateboarders," he said.
Little Rippers Skateboarding is located at 5394 N Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. For more information on Little Rippers Skateboarding and information on how to book a lesson, head over to the Little Rippers Skateboarding Facebook page.