By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Skateboarding is part of youth and urban culture the world over, and in Rio de Janeiro, despite the sweeping mountains that surround the city, there are plenty of open flat spaces to ride.
For British expatriate in Rio Teresa Madeline Geer, she has found her calling with Guanabara Boards, which offers skateboarding classes along the Aterro do Flamengo (Flamengo Park).
Guanabara Boards offers daily longboard skate classes for adults in both Portuguese and English for locals and travelers in Rio’s Aterro do Flamengo. All the equipment and instruction is offered in a three-hour course or a ten-hour block of time.
The company first started rolling in 2012, lead by Carioca Alex Batista. Geer (who also reported briefly for The Rio Times) met him in 2014, and the two became an item and later married in 2015. Now she is a partner in the skateboading school, focusing on videography and marketing.
Geer explains which service is most sought after from the school. “Our most popular service in Rio de Janeiro is our ten hour longboard class package. This one-on-one package can be spread out in 2 or 3 hour sessions to the students schedule.”
Adding, “Ten hours gives us enough time to teach the student to an intermediate level where they can conquer their balance by pushing with either foot in both stances and then begin the very first steps of longboard dancing.”
Dancing in longboarding is the style of skateboarding where the rider is literally moving their body to propel the board and rider forward along flat surfaces. There are many techniques and ‘moves’ when it comes to dancing, and the trick is to seem fluid which takes time and practice.
For Geer, she explains that since partnering with her husband, business has been booming. “We teach everyday in Aterro do Flamengo and our clients include both Brazilians as well as foreigners who are visiting living in Rio.”
She continues, “We’ve been lucky enough to take our longboard skate workshops to São Paulo, Fortaleza, Brasilia, Salvador and even all the way to my homeland with workshops in Brighton and London in the United Kingdom.”
Looking forward, she explains “Our major goal for Guanabara Boards is to keep spreading our passion that everyone can, and should, skateboard throughout Rio de Janeiro, the rest of Brazil and eventually the entire world!”