Learning how to ride a skateboard properly, in this era of trick-oriented street skating, is best done via show-and-tell. Many kids in the barrio don't have access to big brothers or older cousins who ride, but Soul Skating L.A. and its founder, Armando Gonzalez, are the next best thing. Basic to intermediate classes cost just $20 for two weekends; if you're broke, Gonzalez will figure something out: “We've offered them for free to try to increase skateboard culture out here,” he says. These classes are not just about “Kick Push” or ollies — though you definitely will hit nearby Hollenbeck Skate Park. They're about exploring the art and history of the sport. Soul Skating provides the rides and safety gear, too. A key goal, Gonzalez says, is “gang prevention” — keeping kids on the streets, on four wheels. 770 S. Boyle Ave., Boyle Heights, 90023. (323) 266-6611, soulskatingla.com/academy. —Dennis Romero
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