Africa Skateboarding Diary Issue 01

Page 1

Managing Director Usama Ahmed

Executive Editor

Augustine Rutasingwa

Contents Submission Contributing Writers Mike Chinner Nkosana Ashley Chris Stylianou Warren Stopworth Marshall Doyen Contributing Photographers Mike Chinner Neo Nemo Ware Jacob Nawfel Hafidi Nicolas Jacuemin Aubin Sadiki Lars The views and opinions expressed in editorial and advertisements within Africa Skateboarding Diary do not necessary reflect the opinions of Africa Skateboarding Diary nor any of its associates. Africa Skateboarding Diary welcome all letters, e-mails, and photos. We will review all the contributions and assess whether it or not it can be used as print or online content. Everything contained within is copyrighted Africa Skateboarding Diary. No material may be reproduced without written permission.

Skateboarding was first started in the 1950s, when all across California surfers got the idea of trying to surf the streets. No one really knows who made the first board — instead, it seems that several people came up with similar ideas at the same time. Several people have claimed to have invented the skateboard first, but nothing can be proved, and skateboarding remains a strange spontaneous creation. These first skateboarders started with wooden boxes or boards with roller skate wheels slapped on the bottom. Like you might imagine, a lot of people got hurt in skateboarding’s early years! It was a sport just being born and discovered, so anything went. The boxes turned into planks, and eventually companies were producing decks of pressed layers of wood — similar to the skateboard decks of today. During this time, skateboarding was seen as something to do for fun after surfing. In 1963, skateboarding was at a peak of popularity, and companies like Jack’s, Hobie and Makaha started holding skateboarding competitions. At this time, skateboarding was mostly either downhill slalom or freestyle. Torger Johnson, Woody Woodward and Danny Berer were some well known skateboarders at this time, but what they did looked almost completely different from what skateboarding looks like today! Their style of skateboarding, called “freestyle”, is more like dancing ballet or ice skating with a skateboard. Then, in 1965, skateboarding’s popularity suddenly crashed. Most people assumed that skateboarding was a fad that had died out, like the hoola hoop. Skateboard companies folded, and people who wanted to skate had to make their own skateboards again from scratch. But people still skated, even though parts were hard to find and boards were home made. Skaters were using clay wheels for their boards, which was extremely dangerous and hard to control. But then in 1972, Frank Nasworthy invented urethane skateboard wheels, which are similar to what most skaters use today. His company was called Cadillac Wheels, and the invention sparked new interest in skateboarding among surfers and other young people.

In the spring of 1975, skateboarding took an evolutionary boost toward the sport that we see today. In Del Mar, California a slalom and freestyle contest was held at the Ocean Festival. That day, the Zephyr team showed the world what skateboarding could be. They rode their boards like no one had in the public eye, low and smooth, and skateboarding was taken from being a hobby to something serious and exciting (Read more about the history of Dogtown and the Zephyr team). The Zephyr team had many members, but the most famous are Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta. But that was only the first big jump in the evolution of skateboarding The Zephyr team, and all the skaters who wanted to be like them, also made skateboarding even more edgy in the public eye, and added a strong anti-establishment sentiment that still remains in skateboarding today. In 1978, only a few years into the popularity of this new style of low-to-the-ground skateboarding, a skater named Alan Gelfand (nicknamed “Ollie”) invented a maneuver that gave skateboarding another revolutionary jump. He would slam his back foot down on the tail of his board and jump, thereby popping himself and the board into the air. The ollie was born, a trick that completely revolutionized skateboarding — most tricks today are based in performing an ollie. The trick still bears his name, and Alan Gelfand was inducted into the skateboard hall of fame in 2002. Unfortunately, near the end of the 70’s skateboarding faced its second crash in popularity. Public skate parks had been being built, but with skateboarding being such a dangerous activity, insurance rates got out of control. This, combined with less and less people coming to use skateparks forced most to close. But skaters kept skating. Through the 80’s skateboarders started to built their own ramps at home, and to skate whatever else they could find. Skateboarding began to be more of an underground movement, with skaters continuing to ride, but to make the whole world into their skatepark. During the 80’s, smaller skateboard companies owned by skateboarders started cropping up.

This enabled each company to be creative and do whatever they wanted – new styles and shapes of boards were tried. It was also during the 80’s that the VCR came on the scene, and opened up the world of skateboarding to any kid, anywhere. Stacey Peralta and George Powell pulled together a team of young talented skaters and named them the Bones Brigade. Stacey had a talent for filming, and in 1984 shot the first of a long series of revolutionary skateboard videos – The Bones Brigade Video Show. The team included Steve Caballero, Tony Hawk, Mike McGill, Lance Mountain, Rodney Mullen, Stacy Peralta, and Kevin Staab, among piles of other huge named skaters. Peralta made more Bones Brigade videos – Future Primitive in 1985, and the famous Search for Animal Chin in 1987. There are many, many more. Skateboarding began influencing clothing styles, music and culture. Unfortunately, near the end of the 80’s, skateboarding started to dive in popularity again. Vert skateboarding quickly lost popularity, and most skaters only rode street. Each time skateboarding has fallen in popularity, it has fallen a little less. But these dips in popularity have huge impacts on pro skaters. Pure vert skaters like Tony Hawk had a very difficult time holding on through the late 80’s and early 90’s. The stress on Tony Hawk was incredible, and he even lost his first wife during this time. Vert skateboarding took a dive in fame in the early 90s, but skateboarding still remained, though it became primarily street. It was then that Mike Vallely and Natas Kaupas came on the scene and pushed street skateboarding even further. Skateboarding started to grow again in popularity in the 90’s, this time with a more raw, edgy, and dangerous attitude. This coincides with the rise of more angry punk music, and the general discontent with the current system that raged throughout this time frame. Call it discontent, or call it Post Modern frustration, but the image of the poor, angry skater punk came to the surface loud and proud. Interestingly, this only helped to fuel skateboarding’s popularity.

In 1995, ESPN held their first Extreme Games, in Rhode Island. This first X Games was a huge success, and helped pull skateboarding closer to the mainstream, and closer to being accepted by the general population (read more in the History of the X Games). In 1997 the first Winter X Games were held, and “Extreme Sports” were classified. Plenty of skaters resent the way skateboarding has slowly moved from underground to mainstream. However, the X Games did bring vert skateboarding back into popularity. The X Games and competitions like that have continued to keep vert skateboarding popular, even though vert few skaters actually ride real vert ramps. Vert skateboarding has slowly become a much loved spectator sport. Since 2000, attention in the media and products like skateboarding video games, children’s skateboards and commercialization have all pulled skateboarding more and more into the mainstream. The benefit of this is that, of course, skaters are more accepted, and the assumption that all skaters are criminals is slowly being torn down. Also, with more money being put into skateboarding, there are more skateparks, better skateboards, and more skateboarding companies to keep innovating and inventing new things. However, there is a large group of skaters who miss the underground days, and who strongly disagree with the way skateboarding has been made more mainstream. One benefit of skateboarding is that it is a very individual activity. There is no right or wrong way to skate. However, if skateboarding is officially classified as a “sport”, many skaters fear that this freedom will die out. There is currently a great deal of concern about skateboarding becoming an Olympic sport (read Skateboarding in the Olympics? for more). But, with all this history crammed into such a short period of time, it’s easy to see that no one knows where skateboarding will truly go from here. Skateboarding still hasn`t stopped evolving, and skaters are coming up with new tricks all the time. Boards are also continuing to evolve, as companies try to make them lighter and stronger, or try to improve on their performance. Skateboarding has always been about personal discovery and pushing oneself to the limit, but where will skateboarding go from here? Wherever skaters continue to take it.

WARREN AND THE TECHNIQUE ARMY Interview By Augustine Rutasingwa

What is your name, and how old are you? My name is Warren Stopforth, I am 33 years of age. Do you have a skatename! And what do you do in skateboarding? Big White or Bossman, this name was given to me from my team. How long have you been skateboarding? 26 years Who inspired you into skateboarding? I was inspired by the Tony Hawk and Ray Barbee Tour to S.A back in 1991, also Early 90’s South African skateboarders like Errol Bong, Sven Martin, Roger Coyles, Arnie Grey, Eben combrink, Clint van der Skyfe, Greg Finch and many more. How your work in skateboarding did start? In the early days I rode for 1610 distribution and then soon after that Psycho Skateboards, inbetween that all I worked for Booglaoos and Skatelab, after leaving the skateboard industry for a few years to work a normal better paying job, I suppose one can drift away easily, after working out of the industry, My life felt empty…I felt like I needed a calling and I was mentally ready and wise enough to give something back to an industry shaped me as a person I am today. That’s when Technique Skateboards came into the picture. Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by? You may be disappointed if you fail but doomed if you never try. “Kris Markovich” Did skateboarding change your personality? Hell yeah! Skateboarding taught me a lot of life skills in general. What you learn out there on the streets definitely adds value to ones character, this is a streetwise virtue you cannot find elsewhere. What do you say about children and youths interaction in your community with skateboarding? I think skateboarding is a urban culture that has proven to bring people from all walks of life, skateboarding has no age,has no skin colour,

has no religion, has no rules, has no regulations. It unites people and creates balance where needed. SONY DSC “Skateboarding Is not a crime” what can you say about this phrase? In an ideal world that would be nice in some cases! Freedom of expression doesn’t always fit in under certain circumstances. I suppose it comes down to individual opinion, however we are not criminals or vandals, there are much bigger things to worry about that we can call crime in this day in age. What are your views on skateboarding in next 5 years? The Skateboarding industry is at it’s biggest, love it or hate it we cannot avoid the corporate companies getting involved and flooding the market, love it or hate it we cannot avoid Olympic committees getting involved, this is the nature of the beast. Let’s just make sure we don’t forget our roots, it’s up to the little guys the “Steve Roccos “ of the industry to keep it balanced through all the corperate madness. Future is bright! What do you say about skateboarding at the park and street? Park is great to learn foundations of tricks, it keep one self well rounded, it keeps your stamina strong for the streets but street is where it’s at! However you look at it, street provides one with an open canvas for creativity. Skateboarding in Africa grows as a mushroom does this happen also in your place? Yes, if you mean by this phrase it is fast growing, starting from small to big? I have seen the evolution of skateboarding in S.A and am proud to be part of it. What advice can you give to young skateboarders? Be humble, show respect, have fun and don’t get blinded by the whole sponsorship thing, to get sponsored is not just about getting free product and getting paid, there are a lot of pressures and stress that come with it, you have requirements to fulfill you constantly on a pedestal, people are watching, you an ambassador for a brand. It can be physically and mentally tough. To skateboard at a level above average requires commitment, hard work and passion.

What is your favorite skateboarding event and why? Kimberly Diamond Cup stands out, as it brings all the skaters from all over Africa and the world together for a few days, and it makes me proud to see how far we have come together since back in the day. Skateboarding is a future, what can you tell Africa skaters? America had its time, Australia had its time, Europe as a whole had its time. It’s now our time! We have the worlds eyes on us at the moment, time to shine but don’t blink for one second otherwise you get left behind. Seize that moment, be a wolf not a sheep, don’t live in a pros shadow make your own shadow! Do you have any recommended resources to share (books, seminars, websites, coaches)? The man who “souled” the world, The Steve Rocco documentary. A true inspiration for Technique Skateboards. Well, lets close this with any funny experience you have on skateboarding. Crashing a dinner party at Skatelab premises the night before it opened, then being asked to do a unplanned demo with Christi Weihahn and Dallas Oberholzer to opera music whilst high society and corporate people watched and said as I recall that was “graceful”. To this day they still play the song “Time to Say Good Bye” at 6pm closing time every day in remembrance of this random demo. Thank you for your time keep spreading about Africa Skateboarding Diary! Share the #skatediary Only a pleasure, glad to help.

What is your name, and how old are you? My name is Aura brédart and I am 24 years old.

But my model now is Leticia Buffoni for her professional mind and Alexis Sablone for her hard tricks!

Do you have a skatename! And what do you do in skateboarding? I don’t have any skate name, My name on facebook is like “Aura of daisie” it is like a trick with my name and the name of the flowers in french.

What are your views on skateboarding in next 5 years? I hope more footages, more results, more meeting and more tricks!

How long have you been skateboarding? I start at the age of 7 ! Who inspired you into skateboarding? Nobodys and everybodys! Sometime, I’m inspired and sometime I don’t! haha How do you feel being a female skateboarder? I feel like a “skater” not like a girl skater or something else… I don’t know, for me, there are not differences… There are more boys who skate for sure, but there are some girls too, and there are some kids really young who skate, some men are really old and skate… it’s the same for everybody, so I think I’m just a skater. What challenges are you facing on your daily skating as a female skater? I fight myself for my personal progress… everyday… I try to skate better than yesterday… How your work in skateboarding did start? It’s difficult to call that “my work” but it’s my objective now, I want to turn pro! So I begin this progress when i make the second place at Vigo O’marisquino world cup, I understand what I can make in skateboarding, and I decided that my future will be professional. Did skateboarding change your personality? Hard question… maybe, I don’t know. That give me a “sport mind” that learn me to fall and try again, skateboarding learn me so much things for sure, but I don’t really know if that change my personality. What do you say about children and youths interaction in your community with skateboarding? I like to see children on skate! I remember me when I was young, I like to learn some trick too then. Who is your best female skateboarder you can name as a model? In first , it was Evelien Bouillard, because she was the first girl I see who skate with this motivation and I’m happy to know her!

What do you say about skateboarding at the park and street? I begin skateboarding in the street so it’s for me the “real skateboarding” for sure! But now I know the park too and I think it’s a good spot for learning and for the progress. Skateboarding in Africa grows as a mushroom does this happen also in your place? I don’t think so, in my city, skate is almost dead for long time ago… Bruxelles stay alive! And in Belgium, it’s the north coast who stay in move. What advice can you give to other female skateboarders? Don’t think about the others people… think at first time about yourself, and don’t stay alone or with your girls group, go skate with boys and with everybody!! What is your favorite skateboarding event and why? I like Far’n’high world cup cause it’s a french event and I know better this organization, it’s not so far and the park is always funny! I like Mystic cup too, cause that’s so big and crazy! Skateboarding is a future, what can you tell Africa skaters? Keep rolling keep smiling! When you want, you can! Do you have any recommended resources to share (books, seminars, websites, coaches)? Just thankful to people who support me! And thank Africa Skateboarding Diary for the interest! Well, lets close this with any funny experience you have on skateboarding. Recently I was in Tampa for Tampa Am, and I move in LA too… it was just amazing, like a dream… my French mate won the contest and give so much happiness around him… Thank you for your time keep spreading about Africa Skateboarding Diary! Share the #skatediary

My first name is Nkosana, otherwise well known as ‘Ashley’ Mthembu. I am a 25 year old amateur skateboarder with the belief of going ‘Pro’ from South Africa, in the Northern Free State from a town called Sasolburg. I started skateboarding 13 years ago with the intention to just learn how to kick-flip being the most awesome I have seen at that time.

“During my teen years all I dreamt about is working in the skateboarding industry, either as a professional skateboarder or behind the scenes in the production of products” - Nkosana

During my teen years all I dreamt about is working in the skateboarding industry, either as a professional skateboarder or behind the scenes in the production of products. I then finished High School and went on to study further and obtain a bachelor’s degree in business administration. However, I still struggled to get my foot into the skateboarding industry after I had completed my studies. I began to skate competitively and filming in the streets of Sasolburg in 2013 came out with my skate first edit early 2014 and met Chris Stylianou, Nathaniel Minaar & Frank Smit from Sicktrixs Skateboards. In February 2014 I applied for sponsorship and have been on the team for a good year & 8 months to date, funny story that being a sponsored skateboarder was my main goal during my teens and I actually achieved it an odd 10 years later in my life. The opportunity allowed me to see skateboarding not from just a rider’s perspective but the owner’s perspective as well in terms of skateboarding development as a whole. It showed me the various careers one can pursue in conjunction with skateboarding. The opportunity has also inspired me to revive Premium Blend Skateboards, which was a crew I had formed with a close friend back in 2005. Back then it was just 4 dudes skating throughout the entire town, today Premium Blend Skateboards consists of 15 skaters and the number of interested youngster want to try skateboarding or their parents want to get them into skateboarding but although Sasolburg is full of resources, it doesn’t yet fully support skateboarding as a sport to invest in. Premium Blend Skateboards mission & vision is from crew to wellknown skate brand. At the current moment we as Premium Blend Skateboards are in talks with the local municipality for the erection & construction of a community skate park. The vision is to develop and nurture talent, not having kids have to worry about entrance money to do so.

This has shown me that skateboarding is not just entertainment but can have a vital social impact on our surrounding community. Skateboarding has also enhanced my creative side; I have been creating my own and other skateboard/ non-skateboarding related edits. Videography, especially of skateboarding is one aspect I am currently exploring to enhance the experience of watching local dudes shred gnarly spots. One of my recent edits is a Premium Blend Skateboards Skate Video called ‘Blending in the Burg’, YouTube link is as follows: . This edit was a combination of my filming efforts and Nathan Daltons creativity & together we formed ‘Abstract Films’, as a platform to spread creativity in any way possible. Vaal Skateboarding- VSKB is another initiative that brings about spreading the skateboard talent & pushing development within the Vaal Triangle, earlier this year I got an invite from a talent youngster named Paul Melato to work on a young VSKB edit called ‘Up N Comin’. It made me realise that we are skate paving a legacy from the following generation to follow or enhance & it is vital to support the younger generation as older more experienced skateboarders. YouTube Link to the edit: . This is my journey in the shortest form I can explain how far back my passion for skateboarding goes. Kind Regards Nkosana Ashley Mthembu

Kumba skate Plaza by Mike Chinner Situated only a stone’s throw from the world’s largest manmade hole (AKA The Big Hole) is The Kumba Skate Plaza in Kimberley, South Africa; the Southern Hemisphere’s first city, one that once thrived on the diamond mining industry in the late 1800s. The skatepark was originally built in 2011 by California Skateparks to accommodate the Maloof Money Cup competition and was left to enjoy by the local community and South African skaters for generations to come. In the years since its construction, the the Maloof Money Cup and Kimberley Diamond Cup competitions that would occur over the next few years have hosted some of the world’s top skaters including Nyah Huston, Evan Smith, Bob Burnquist, Luan Oliveira, and Jimmy Wilkins, just to name a few. In addition to hosting some of some of the highest grade ripping that South Africa has ever seen, the Kumba Skate Plaza has also served as a venue for weekly skate lessons, competitions, and other activities to keep the local skaters of the community busy, off the streets, and in love with skateboarding. The skateboarding scene of Kimberley has grown from a mere 10-15 skaters in 2011 to about 300 in 2016; with another 300 that WISH they had a skateboard or the skills to skate. It has been amazing to witness the growth of our sacred pastime in the Northern Cape over the years since the park’s inception. Although the local skaters have been blessed with one hell of a skatepark, they still face the same adversities that most skaters in smaller, poverty stricken African cities face. For one, there is no skateshop in Kimberley. Since 95% of Kimberley’s skateboarding population is unable to afford skateboarding equipment, skaters have relied on one of the following means of obtaining gear since skateboarding’s initial boom in 2011: Hand me downs from one of the few affluent local skaters. Giveaways from visiting pros during the Kimberley Diamond Cup competition that would occur annually. Prizes or giveaways from local competitions held by Kimberley Diamond Cup or the Northern Cape Government. Without any of these factors steadily in the equation anymore, hardcore skaters of the area have found it increasingly difficult to come by skateboarding equipment to continue to do what they love on the daily. Although many of the die-hard local skaters don’t have a steady flow of gear, they have done all they can to make it happen and keep the spirit of skateboarding alive in Kimberley. Skateboarding teaches one to adapt, and that trait is not uncommon in Kimberley skaters. These guys (and girls) are a tough bunch who love skateboarding and are holding it down in a part of the country that is greatly distanced from the majority of the skateboarding industry and established skateboarders. Keep an eye out for more from the Kimberlaaities in the near future!

Doyen Skate Shop from Lusaka, Zambia promotes underground talents and empower the youth to pass on skateboarding to the next generation . Striving to move skateboarding and all other extreme sports from an underground and unrecognized perspective to one that is recognized and respected by Zambian community, Africa and the whole World.Setting a good example to the community that sports can keep away our beloved ones from bad vices such as drugs, alcohol, theft just to mention a few. Believing in a drug free sport and community services. Doyen Skate Shop hosts different events such as Back to School, Halloween Festival, and so many others which helps Zambian skaters to grow their talents. Most of their events are sponsored by Mountain Dew Brand in Zambia. Also Doyen Skate Shop sponsors best Zambian Skateboarders including Innocent Sichande who represented Zambia together with other skateboarders at World Skateboarding Championships, THE KDC 2015 where they competed for Africa Street Skateboarding Championship Title. Doyen Skate Shop supplies and sell all skate facilities such as decks, trucks, wheels, bearing, and so many other.

Skateistan is an award­-winning international non-­profit organization that uses skateboarding and education for youth empowerment. Over 1600 youth, aged 5­-17, attend our Skate Schools in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. Through our innovative programs, Skate and Create, Back­-To-­School and Youth Leadership, we aim to give youth the opportunity to become leaders for a better world. We work with youth ages 5-17 Over 50% of our students are street-working children Over 50% of our students are girls Globally, more than 1600 youth attend our programs each week We have 4 Skate Schools - Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif, Phnom Penh and Johannesburg The fine folk at Skateistan have been working hard over the last 2 years building a reputation in Johannesburg for the great work they do for the inner city youth and encouraging the children of Jozi to get involved in such a rad initiative. Concurrently, they have been planning the construction for their skate school and skatepark facility in the Maboneng precinct in Johannesburg. International staff have been preparing local skaters and volunteers to take hold of the wheel and have confidently passed the torch to an awesome, motivated local crew who are sure to keep the program in good hands. The official opening of their amazing state of the art facility went down on Sunday, 14 August which brought out skateboarding personalities/ philanthropists such as Tony Hawk and Jim Thiebaud as well as rippers such as David Loy, Shawn Hale, and Thalente Biyela to break in the facility and welcome a new generation of skateboarding radness to the city of Johannesburg. Written By Mike Chinner