Morning joggers and night strollers at Marina seaside are sometimes handled to acts that showcase velocity, steadiness and defy gravity. In the centre of this spectacle is the Skateboarding In Chennai crew, higher referred to as SIC. The eight-year-old collective began by Deepak Shukla and Tanzeem Ahmed has over the years welcomed skate boarders from throughout the metropolis into its fold, giving them the house and encouragement to pursue the sport.
When Vijay Dominic first picked up this sport as a 16-year-old, individuals would snigger at him whereas he practised on the road in entrance of his home. It made him acutely aware, and he stopped until he found SIC in 2016. Today, 28-year-old Vijay teaches skateboarding to 25 youngsters in Madras Wheelers Skatepark, OMR and G Skatepark, Medavakkam. “I used to teach on and off. Since 2018, there was a spike in curiosity in this sport. Ever since, I’ve been educating daily.”
His college students are a mixture of leisure skaters and severe ones who need to characterize the State. Ten of his college students additionally made it to the Nationals held in Bengaluru final yr. They are primarily in the six-to-17 age group; he additionally has a 36-year-old-student.
For Jacob Dan Paul, a former dancer and one other member of SIC, it was love at first fall. Just a few years in the past, his dance instructor launched a skateboard to check out new strikes. “I fell the moment I stepped on it. Being on the skateboard, nevertheless, was a totally different expertise. So, I ordered one for myself, on-line.” He began practising at Anna Nagar Tower Park, the place he met different skaters. Soon, friendships had been solid over the sport. Practise classes began in the early mornings and rolled into late nights and proceed to be that method.
Jacob additionally teaches youngsters twice a week, however Saturday nights are reserved for himself, when it is simply him and his skateboard, mastering new tips. At Decathlon’s flagship retailer in Nolambur, the place he works, he says skateboards are seeing brisk enterprise, with 30 to 35 being offered each month. Additionally, he additionally will get enquiries on social media from skaters throughout totally different cities asking the place they will purchase skateboards.
Ever since the introduction of skateboarding in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics held in 2021, extra mother and father are enrolling their youngsters into this sport. Hamza Khan who began WallRide Park in Hyderabad says there was a 60% enhance in the variety of skate boarders who frequent his facility. Last December at the Nationals, youngsters from his college gained two silvers and a bronze. Before this skatepark was constructed, Hamza and few different fans used a stretch of street close to the Lakdikapul station. It was soiled and so they needed to sweep it earlier than utilizing it. ‘It was additionally seedy at occasions and we couldn’t actually practice youngsters there,” says Hamza, who bought WallRide Park constructed in 2017.
Around 100 skaters flip up at the park each month, principally in the six-to-30 age group. There are a few 40-year-olds as effectively who’ve joined, intrigued by the tips. Quite a few individuals who grew up overseas and had been uncovered to this sport now have the alternative to refresh their expertise at these skateparks.
Abhishek, who arrange WallRide Park, is an avid skateboarder himself and has constructed almost 35 to 40 skateparks round the nation. Abhishek, with fellow skater Darius Bharucha began 100 Ramps, a skilled skatepark firm in 2015 and has over the years constructed services in Chennai, Hyderabad, Calicut, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Pune, Gwalior, and Goa. All these cities have a skateboarding tradition,” says Abhishek who began skateboarding 13 years in the past, when the sport was nonetheless in its nascent phases in India.
At that time he says there have been simply 4 of them doing it in Bengaluru. In 2010 Abhishek began Holystoked Collective in Bengaluru with a few different skate boarders. The collective organises workshops, has a store which sells gear, and offers a house for individuals to roll. “It was all the time about rising a group and involving the members. We even have artists and musicians who come to hangout and join with different individuals. These sorts of locations are essential,” says Abhishek. In a week 150 to 200 individuals flip as much as skate, of which 20 are regulars. The numbers have grown exponentially and now he barely even is aware of the newcomers as there are such a lot of.
A way of group is essential, feels Hamza. “When I used to be studying a few tips off the Internet, it took me six months. When I began attempting them with the group, I observed I learnt a lot sooner,” he provides.
Other than devoted skateparks, Jacob says skate boarders in Chennai and Mumbai have additionally been utilizing the ramp constructed by cafe-bar SOCIAL in their compounds in Express Avenue Mall and Khar. “It was such a nice vibe to skate there with a DJ enjoying music, and folks giving shout outs from the bar above. Now the ramp at Express Mall SOCIAL , nevertheless, is in want of restore,” he provides.
The long run objective for Jacob, Vijay and different skate boarders is to offer again to the group. They need to unfold the pleasure of skateboarding and have their very own academies, skate outlets, and make funky skateboards and merchandise. “It’s a sport that you have to expertise to grasp the way it could make you really feel,” says Vijay, including that it is laborious to elucidate why he is keen about it. While it challenges and pushes the skater bodily and mentally, he says, it additionally teaches an essential lesson: “To decide your self each time you fall , mud your self, get again on the board and by no means hand over.”