Kevin Banahan has been running SKATEYOGI for several years now originally giving lessons at LES Skatepark. What started out as a small operation has evolved into a sustainable business. He recently took it to the next level and opened up his own facility in Brooklyn, NY at 140 Empire Blvd and operates with the help of his friends and family. The space has a bunch of moveable ramps mostly on the smaller size helping kids and adults learn how to skateboard. The front of his space is stocked with boards, hardware & SKATEYOGI merch and usually has skate videos projected on the wall constantly throughout the day. If you talk with him, he’s positive and optimistic about the space and the community around him. From either behind the front desk or in the skate area Kevin is helping people learn how to skateboard. We visited his new space to find out what SKATEYOGI is all about. Interview with Kevin below.
What is SKATEYOGI?
SKATEYOGI originally got its name as an adult beginner skateboarding class taught in collaboration with Urban Asanas, a yoga studio in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. From there we expanded to classes for both kids and adults. We embrace the parallels between skateboarding and yoga. Both are forms of moving meditation where you can experience a flow state of being in the present. We strive to create an ego-free environment where people can have fun and express themselves creatively.
When are you open?
Our regular hours are Sunday 9am-5pm, Monday 3pm-7pm, Tuesday 3pm-7pm, Wednesday 3pm-9pm, Thursdays closes, and Saturday 9am-7pm.
Describe the space?
The skate space has a polished concrete floor with a number of modular obstacles such as quarter pipes, launch ramps, boxes and flat bars that can be moved around easily. This makes the space versatile for a range of ability levels. We’ve seen some pretty interesting setups already!
The front of the space has a full service skate shop with everything you need to set up your own skateboard or cruiser, as well as a variety of safety gear and SKATEYOGI products. We also have a small gallery space and an area to take a break from skating to have a snack or watch a skate video on our projector.
What programs do you offer?
We offer group skateboarding classes for kids, teens and adults. We also offer an after-school program, day camps on public school holidays and a summer camp program for grades K-5. Private lessons and birthday parties are also available.
During our regular business hours when our skate space isn’t being used for classes we we have an Open Skate available for $10. We post updates on open skate in our Instagram story so it’s best to check there. You get a free open skate ticket with every $100 purchase in the shop.
How many people can visit?
The open skates have been pretty mellow so far. For the kids, we’ve easily had 12 skaters in there taking turns and having a great time.
What made you choose the location?
I grabbed my skateboard one day to go scouting for spaces in the neighborhood. It was literally the first spot I saw right around the corner from our apartment. I’ve lived in Prospect Lefferts Gardens with my wife and daughter for the last 5 years and we love it here. It’s a tight knit neighborhood where everyone knows everyone and lots of families are raising their children. It feels great to be offering this space to the community that’s such a part of our lives.
What’s the best part about being where you are?
The location is really convenient with the Prospect Park B/Q/S, Sterling Street 2/5, and major bus stops all nearby. We also have off-street parking for those coming by car.
How has the response from the community been?
It’s been so rad to see everyone that is pumped on the space. Whether it’s families walking by, college students popping in, or seasoned skateboarders, the response has been really positive. We’re looking forward to warmer weather when we can fold up our ramps and do some community skate clinics at local parks for the neighborhood kids.
Anything else you would like people to know about the space?
Besides being an indoor skate space, we are also looking to use the venue for cultural events such as art shows and film screenings. Email [email protected] if you’d like to inquire about renting the space. We’re currently showing Pushing Wood an exhibition by Ramiro Davaro-Comas through February 11th so come by to check it out and say hi. Stay tuned on our Instagram (@skateyogi) and website for upcoming events.