How did you first get into skateboarding? What keeps you interested?
I got into skateboarding around the end of 1999 at age 12. A female friend of mine was rolling around the Strand Lifesaving Club parking lot one afternoon and I grabbed her board, rolled around a bit but pretty much fell in love within the first two minutes, trying to ride up a bank and over an edge. I couldn’t believe such a small obstacle could stop me dead and ever since then I have seen the world around me through skater’s eyes, wanting to ride and conquer the streets around me. Skating to me is the sickest form of expression and freedom. I’m no artist, so this is my way of getting out and doing what I want, how and when I want to do it. Go FAST, skate whatever is around you and enjoy every bit of every session no matter how good or bad your day has been.
Tell us about Africa Skate
Around March 2010 I started sharing a ton of skate content on Facebook. This quickly morphed into creating a WordPress blog called AfricaSkateNet and after 10 months or so I bought the web domain AfricaSkate.com. The idea being to share national, African and international skateboarding-based or related content from an online hub for all to see. Little exposure is given to the small communities around SA and Africa, so Africa Skate is a platform to share insights, events, news, skate happenings and a huge motivation for us to keep going and growing. It’s not just myself running the site and events, but a group of skaters, filmers and photographers that have been involved in the SA skate scene for years. There is so much capacity for growth in the African skateboarding scene so I really encourage people from across the nation and up into Africa to drop us an email, link to a video or even a few photo’s and words from their skate scene so we can get you some exposure.
Find us online, send us an email or Facebook message, tag us in a photo or video:
Photo by JJ van Rooyen
And Go Skate Cape?
GSC started out in February of 2011 as a local skate get-together. The idea being to host a local event for skaters at a different location around the Cape Peninsula on the last Sunday of every month from 12pm to 4pm. This got skaters from a bunch of communities together for a fun afternoon of skating and the chance to pick up some product by simply being there and having some fun. We always have photographers and filmers at each spot to cover the event and do a post event re-cap via the site. Check out the last Go Skate Cape event we held at Edgemead.
What do you think about the state of skateboarding in South Africa?
Right now the SA skate scene is thriving and growing at a rapid pace. Our scene has gone through many ups and downs over the past decades but it’s in a good space at present and getting better. Best aspects: seeing so many youngsters; boys and girls from all backgrounds picking up boards and skating whatever there is around them to skate. The progression and skill development is monumental. Worst: skaters expecting to get given product and provided with parks/skate spots.
What do you think we could do to improve it?
Educate, encourage and incentivise the youth to get them rolling and creating self-sustainable skate communities, and become part of the national and global skate scene. The skaters need to know it’s up to them to help build the scene from the ground up and not to expect hand-outs from anyone.
You’ve been in Jeffreys Bay for a while now. What were you doing there?
I’m living in Jefferys Bay till December doing some work with the Christian skaters and surfers. By the time you get to read this I’ll have just come back from a series of events that I had been managing and assisting with. We hit towns like Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Jefferys Bay, Port Alfred and East London running events, skating and surfing with locals at their local spots.
What was your involvement with the Kimberley Diamond Cup?
I’ve been working alongside Chinner in setting up and managing the KDC website and social media online. This year’s event went down incredibly well despite the short time-frame we had in planning. I’m pleased to be a part of what KDC and Skate for Hope are doing within the SA skate scene, and are continuing to do.
Any future plans?
Keep rolling, working and to keep helping the growth of African Skateboarding both online, on the ground with the homies through events and in any way I can.
I got to give it up to my parents, family and the Lord Jesus for keeping my passion going for so long. I’m truly blessed and hyped to be skateboarding almost every day as well as earning a living through skateboarding. BIG UP to my homies and African skaters from across this amazing continent as well as the companies that have backed myself or Africa Skate in any way! Thanks to Revolution for hooking me up with shoes and boards. Clayton you’re the man!
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All photos: Andre Visser