Zero Skateboards and Skateistan have released a series of three colab decks. Each design tells its own story about skateboarding in Afghanistan. Proceeds from the sale of each deck supports Skateistan.
“There is not much that’s better than seeing your own name on a skateboard deck from a hardcore skate brand. It will connect kids that skate all around the world with Skateistan projects and there will be a little more humanity in the world,” says Skateistan’s founder and executive director, Oliver Percovich.
Here’s the story behind each skateboard:
“Zero x Skateistan Army” Skateboard Deck – 8″ x 32″
Although Skateistan’s dedicated team of staff and volunteers see themselves more as a family than an army, we’ve had some fallen soldiers over the years who we will keep alive in our memories forever. These include four students and volunteers who were killed by a suicide bomb last year, as well as our former Sport Coordinator in Kabul, Khalid, who was a talented Afghan-Canadian skateboarder that joined Skateistan as a volunteer in 2010 and sadly passed away in 2012. When we saw the design above we thought immediately of Khalid and how excited he would be have been to see that he made it onto a Zero board graphic. One of three photos appearing on the board, it shows Khalid ollieing on a bridge behind Darulaman palace, where Afghanistan’s royalty used to live. The other images in the collage were taken by Skateistan volunteers, and are likewise a testament to our amazing team around the world, whose hard work and passion help to keep Skateistan rolling.
“Zero x Skateistan Logo Rifle” Skateboard Deck – 8.125″ x 32.125″
While the AK-47 gun has become a pronounced symbol of war and conflict, Skateistan’s logo of the gun broken in half creates an equally resounding symbol against violence in favour of peace and conflict resolution. In our full logo, the AK-47 is being broken by a skateboarder, which our students in Afghanistan have identified closely with. The youth have hope for a future of peace, unity, development, and sports.
“Zero x Skateistan Bombs” Skateboard Deck – 7.62″ x 31.5″
When Zero’s design team asked for photographs of street scenes from Kabul, Afghanistan, one image taken at the iconic (and now demolished) Russian Cultural Centre came to mind. The bullet ridden and destroyed building was one of the city’s most iconic and historic locations, as well as a popular street skating spot for Skateistan’s team. The location was once featured on the cover of Kingpin Skateboarding Magazine after a visit from pro skaters in 2012. It was also one of the hotspots for Kabul’s local street artists to express themselves. The Cultural Centre showed the scars of war and suffering, and was not in use except as a place for drug users or sometimes kids playing cricket – and of course skateboarding. The photo above was taken during a skate session with some of the Skateistan team in 2011: Khalid, Merza, Oliver, and Rhianon.
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