KTR Indoor Action Sports Franchise Emphasizes Training—and Has an Olympic Medal Alum | Franchise news

Jagger Eaton said he credits all of his success to KTR — and he’s had plenty. The 21-year-old made history last year as the first American skateboarder to win an Olympic medal with his bronze in the men’s track final at the Tokyo Olympics. He followed that up this year with his first X Games gold medal, 10 years after he was the youngest ever X Games competitor.

Eaton was just 11 years old when he went down the 80-foot MegaRamp at the X Games, but he had been skateboarding for seven years after his father, Geoff Eaton, built a ramp inside the gymnastics gym he ran in Mesa, Arizona. It was Jagger Eaton and his brother Jett’s interest in skateboarding that spurred the development of what would become KTR, an indoor action sports center, now with four franchise locations and a large.

“It was a dream childhood,” Eaton said of learning to skateboard at KTR, short for Kids That Rip. “It’s this safe environment where you can skate indoors for 12 hours,” something unique—and necessary—in Arizona, where temperatures can reach 120 degrees. It was at KTR that Eaton said he learned to train like an athlete and elevate his skating beyond the level of recreational activity.

Jagger Eaton, who won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, started skateboarding at the age of 4 at what would become KTR.

“I consider myself a sportsman. I live like an athlete, I train like an athlete, I eat like an athlete,” he said. “Right now I’m on my way to two hours of swimming.”

Although it wasn’t intended to be an Olympic training ground for skateboarders, Geoff Eaton designed KTR to bring real structure and training to the sport. The son of world champion trampoline gymnast Mark “Stormy” Eaton, Geoff Eaton, an elite gymnast in his own right, took over the leadership of Desert Devils Gymnastics in Mesa after his father’s death in 1995.

“Knowing elite gymnastics myself … I had a really good understanding of developing a curriculum and teaching people the tricks safely at a very young age,” Eaton said. What started as a few ramps inside the Desert Devils gym eventually became KTR, with the first freestanding center opening in Mesa in 2004.

“It turned into a full school,” Eaton said, with kids skating six hours a day. It added a parkour-style program with obstacle courses, fade lines and more, plus air floors, trampolines and sports courts. By 2014, “I felt we had mastered how KTR could operate as a franchise,” he said. Enter Ron Sciarro, co-founder of Aqua-Tots Swim Schools.

“I’ve known Geoff forever. Thirty years ago, we went to high school together,” said Sciarro, who with Paul Preston launched Aqua-Tots in Phoenix and has grown the swim school franchise to 120 locations. others. “The first Aqua-Tots pool was actually in Geoff’s gym.”

KTR obstacle course

KTR’s Ninja Zones feature obstacle courses, salmon ladders, fade lines and more.

Sciarro was intrigued by the KTR concept that, like Aqua-Tots, helped kids develop skills and stay active while having fun. Now a managing partner and lead developer of the franchise, Sciarro helped perfect the KTR model which combines skateboarding, parkour, scooter, slide and trampoline classes with options for group events and holiday rentals and memberships.

Three Arizona franchise locations are open, in Mesa, Chandler and Scottdale, with a Phoenix center coming soon, plus one in Midvale, Utah. It costs about $3 million to build one of the 40,000-square-foot facilities, Sciarro said, “and we’re really sensitive about not growing too fast. Opening one or two a year is the pace.”

Other children’s entertainment franchises like Sky Zone and Urban Air Adventure Park have more than a hundred locations each, but Eaton sees those concepts more as indoor playgrounds for kids. “People try to put us in the box of a trampoline park,” he said. Yes, “it’s this mall overlooking Disneyland” and gameplay is important, but so is skill progression.

“The people on our team are the elite of the elite and we know how to progress the development of skills,” he said. “Everything from a downhill to a 540 to a 12-foot ramp. Our goal with KTR is to provide the best training and education.”

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