Three years ago, High School teachers Bill Curtis and Bruce Macartney created the evolutionary Gone Boarding class at Michigan’s Forrest Hills Eastern High School. With a goal of combining industrial arts and physical education, students who partake in the senior level class get to design and build their own custom longboard, surfboard and either a snowboard or pair of skis.
“We go right to the bare bones and they choose each integral part. It’s like an old craftsman style to bring them full spectrum – from the start to finish,” said Macartney, who teaches industrial arts. “The first time a kid gets up on something they’ve made, it is unbelievable. These kids are just happy and proud of themselves. That just drives the passion even faster and harder. They’re racing past us to get to finish the boards so they can try to use it.”
Video by FHE Gone Boarding
In its third year, seniors flock to sign up for the Gone Boarding class, which offers 20 spots each semester. Recently the class caught the eye of snowboarding giant Burton, who invited students to its headquarters in Burlington, VT and donated new equipment for the class to try out.
“It’s really innovative and it’s exciting that the school is looking at new ways to keep kids engaged,” said Jeff Boliba, Burton’s Vice President of Global Resorts. “Together, I think there are a lot of opportunities to help each other out. I’m looking forward to working with these guys.”
Check out footage from the students visit to Burton Headquarters here.