Kick-flips and ollies have become a common sight on the streets of Swindon after the popularity of skateboarding soared during lockdown.

One skate shop actually ran out of stock because of high demand

Diana Kirk, who co-owns ATBSkate next to the Oasis Leisure Centre, said the sport has seen a rise in popularity thanks to children being stuck at home.

She said: “You could only buy things online and via click-and-collect so they could come to the door and we wouldn’t go near them.

“That’s been quite successful. Skateboarding has gone mental and we’re not the only ones seeing that.

“All of our suppliers have pretty much sold out of stock and we’re having to pre-order stuff now and it won’t be in until September or October.

“I think people are just looking for activities they can do on their own and not go near people.

“You can skateboard in groups but it’s an outdoor sport and you can successfully do the whole two-metre distancing.”

And when it comes to keeping the children entertained, some parents have had to get creative.

Diana added:’ “Even though people weren’t visiting skateparks during lockdown, I know full well that lots of parents were being bullied into building skateparks in their back gardens for their kids.

“I’ve had a lot of parents send me emails and photos of their kids on ramps that they’ve built and some have been quite big.”

Diana also operates an indoor skatepark behind the shop and it was due to host the annual Urban Rider Games back in April. But the pandemic meant it couldn’t go ahead.

She says she still can’t open the park even with lockdown being eased.

She explained: “Restrictions have been relaxed, but for us we don’t feel like we can reopen at the minute because even if we drop down to the one-metre rule if anyone injures themselves you’re going to have to get close to them and that’s endangering lives.

“We might be closed until September but we’ve got to go with what the government says and hope we don’t get another spike.”

“We have furloughed all of our staff,” She said: “It does cost around £100 per month per member but we’ve managed to do that and not sack anyone which is nice.

“Everyone will come back to a job and so many people have wanted to support us by buying products.”