Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Thursday, 30 June 2011 15:42 UK

School Report: Learning longboard

Ben Skinner surfing
School Reporters interviewed surfing Longboarder Ben Skinner

Bodmin College School Reporters have interviewed World Surfing Games Longboard silver medallist Ben Skinner.

By Chloe, 14, and Luke, 14
From Bodmin College, Cornwall

Ben Skinner, AKA "Skindog" is no stranger to media interviews having been a competitive surfer since the age of nine, and jumped at the chance to be interviewed by young BBC School Sport Reporters Kristian, 14, and Ed, 14, from Bodmin College.

Surfing is a massive part of my life, it is how I support my family
Ben Skinner, Longboarder

Skinner told BBC School Sport Report how he first got into the sport: "I was pretty lucky actually, I was about 3-years-old and my dad was a surfer and I just got to spend all my time at the beach really.

I saw what he was doing and just wanted to be able to surf like him. Once I started, I fell in love with it so it has always been a part of my life from a very young age."

Ear infections and stomach bugs

Skinner hopes that he will inspire his own children into making surfing a big part of their lives: "Surfing is a massive part of my life, it is how I support my family, I like to think my kids will do the same," he said.

Skinner is also very passionate about environmental issues. He told Kristian, 13, about his involvement with Surfers Against Sewage: "Thanks to this organisation, which is something pretty close to my heart, things are a lot better now. There is nowhere near as much pollution.

"When I was your age, we would come out of certain breaks absolutely stinking and you would be able to see sewage floating round in the sea.

"This could cause things like ear infections and stomach bugs and not much was being done about this till Surfers Against Sewage launched."

I loved interviewing Ben Skinner, it was amazing to have such a high calibre athlete in the studio
Kris, 14, School Reporter

When asked what the highlight of his surfing career was, Skinner replied: "Winning the European Championships in Jersey, in the Channel Islands, because this was in front of a home crowd where I was born.

Really stoked

I surfed for Jersey from the age of 9-years-old and was really stoked to win in front of the people who taught me to surf."

Offering words of advice to surfers, Skinner, who is now hungry for a world title, said: "Just keep surfing, that is main thing. If you have got a passion for it then you will keep doing it every day and make the most of all the surfing conditions."

Speaking after the interview, Kris said: "I loved interviewing Ben Skinner. It was amazing to have such a high calibre athlete in the studio. It was really interesting learning about his lifestyle and the sport of longboarding."


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