Skateistan Building a Skate School in JHB

Skateistan Skate School

Skateistan Skate School

The best thing about skating is that it keeps us away from the streets and drugs. – Happy, 12, Skateistan South Africa student

Over 100 students already participate in Skateistan South Africa’s regular programming and this number is growing every week. They now need a space of their own for the kids to learn and play! You can help them fund the creation of a safe learning center and skatepark in central Johannesburg by making a donation.

Scheduled to open in mid-2015, Skateistan South Africa’s skate school will be a safe space for ages 5-25, with a focus on girls, migrants and vulnerable youth.

So far they’ve raised 58,275 USD during the Keep Skateistan Rolling campaign. With your help they can reach our goal of 60,000 USD and continue to provide safe spaces and quality programming to over 1200 youth each week.

Your investment in Skateistan allows them to ensure their skate schools in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa are safe, inspiring environments for our students, especially the skater girls.

Click HERE to make a donation.

A Safe Space for At-Risk Youth

Skateistan Skate School

You have to think bigger than the streets. Think bigger than where you come from. – Ayanda Mnyandu, Skateistan South Africa Operations Officer

In South Africa, children under the age of 18 make up 37% of the population. Youth face a range of issues such as urban poverty, health issues (particularly related to HIV), lack of employment opportunities, social/racial divisions, and gender-based violence. In our focus area of central Johannesburg, young people, especially those from low income and migrant backgrounds, face violence, drug abuse, poor quality education, and social isolation.

Located on 990m2 of donated land in central Johannesburg, the skate school will include a containerized education and training center, together with an outdoor skateboard plaza (concept pictured above). Programming will run six days per week, with a capacity to teach up to 700 children weekly.

The learning center will feature a classroom, study lab, office, and multi-purpose rooftop space. Beside it will be an outdoor skate plaza (the only one in central Johannesburg). The entire space will reflect the creativity, inspiration and new opportunities for the youth.

Watch our new “Safe Spaces” video to see what Skateistan youth think about having a safe space to skate and learn. In a neighborhood that includes both a rundown, low-income industrial area and the growing artistic community of Maboneng, the Skateistan South Africa skate school promises to be a transformative and exciting space for youth coming from all walks of life.

The long-term vision is for the skate school to become a training hub for youth to create and lead their own community projects in South Africa and the continent.

What Your Donation Can Do

Every bit counts. To give you an idea of just what your donation can do, here are some examples:

$10 – Emergency first-aid supplies for student injuries

$50 – Monthly internet connection for student exchange programs

$100 – Wood to repair our mini ramp in Johannesburg each year

In-kind sponsorship to reduce costs. If you area able to provide shipping containers in South Africa please contact us at

#SafeSpaces – Because Every Kid Deserves It

Skateistan Safe Spaces Because Every Kid Deserves It

Over the month of December, Skateistan are hoping to raise $60 000 to help keep Skateistan rolling into next year. This is your chance to make a huge difference in the life of a child.

Why? It matters for kids to have safe places to play, especially those living in difficult circumstances or in a conflict situation. In places like Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa, the streets aren’t a safe place for children. We know the value of a warm meal and school supplies, but Skateistan’s programs provide all that and more. Children deserve more – they deserve a childhood. They deserve an escape from the realities and stresses of growing up in an extremely difficult setting.

Keep Skateistan Rolling!

Skateistan South Africa Footage: Wim Steytler ( All other footage courtesy of Skateistan.

The LB Project: A European Art Exhibition Through Skateboarding

The LB Project

The LB Project has been created to unite the European skateboard scene through art shows in Berlin, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam and London.

A Year ( June 2014 – June 2015 ) where artists, skateboarders, stores, media and brands will unite to make skateboarding and art accessible to all.

Michael Sieben, Todd Bratrud, Jeremy Fish, Mark Foster, Jeremyville, Kid Creature, Funeral French, Mike Kershnar, Chad Eaton, BB Bastidas, Lucas Beaufort

Everyone who suscribe on this project will have the opportunity to get a chance to win 27 from the 54 unique skateboards.

Registration will end on june 2, 2015 at midnight.

Winners (27) will be announced on june 9, 2015 via

The other half of the artworks will be donated to Skateistan in order to support this NGO to run their fight in Afghanistan and Cambodia.


Revolution Presents: Skateistan The Movie Screening

Revolution Presents a Screening of:

Skateistan: Four Wheels and a Board in Kabul

10 April
Revolution Woodstock, Cape Town
Free Entrance

Find out all the details on the Facebook event here:

Changing the lives of Afghan youth through Skateboarding – a feature documentary about Afghanistan, Skateboarding and the people who started Skateistan.

SKATEISTAN – Four Wheels and a Board in Kabul:

In Kabul, torn by more than thirty years of war, a couple of Australian aid workers discover the surprising power of the skateboard to connect with young Afghans of different genders, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Documenting the ambitious efforts of SKATEISTAN, Afghanistan’s only co-educational skateboard school, the film journeys into the lives of Afghanistan’s urban youth with surprising results.

It also captures exclusive footage when an international group of professional skateboarders, including Holland’s Louisa Menke, America’s Cairo Foster and Kenny Reed, and Syria’s Maysam Faraj visit Kabul to work with Skateistan’s kids and to explore the city for interesting skate spots. We see Kabul through the eyes of these pro’s and share their emotions when they first encounter Kabul’s street kids. We’re with Louisa when she experiences the challenges to being a female skating in an Islamic world – but we also capture the joy when Skateistan’s kids and the pro’s skate the streets and landmarks of Kabul together.



35% Off ‘Skateistan – The Tale of Skateboarding in Afghanistan’

Starting today and ending Sunday 27th October, the Skateistan book, Skateistan – The Tale of Skateboarding in Afghanistan will be available to purchase at 35% off its usual price.

100% of proceeds will go towards Skateistan’s activities in Afghanistan and Cambodia.


About the Book

What’s it like growing up working on the streets in a warzone, or spending the first 15 years of your life pretending to be a boy? How does it feel to be one of the first skateboarders in a country, and at the same time a girl in a conservative Muslim society? In a nation divided along ethnic and gender lines, how do art, education and skateboarding intersect to create new possibilities for change?

Skateistan’s 100% self-published book chronicles the first five years of the grassroots charity’s skateboarding and education project, including its struggles, successes, and its lasting impact on Afghan youth.

This is a story about Afghanistan you won’t find elsewhere. Read about Faranaz’s journey from selling tea in the streets, to becoming a paid skateboard instructor and mentor for hundreds of girls. Witness Afghan boys and girls skating in the empty pool where the Taliban once carried out executions.

Skateistan – The Tale of Skateboarding in Afghanistan gives a rare, in-depth look into the lives of exceptional young Afghans facing incredible challenges and giving new life to a city that has been ravaged by war.

Skateistan’s photos and stories have been featured in several international media sources since 2008, and continue to connect with audiences worldwide, providing a rare glimmer of hope and happiness. What’s more, the purchase of the Skateistan book allows the reader to give back at the same time, with 100% of proceeds going directly towards helping Skateistan’s award-winning youth development projects.




A beautiful production and will elevate any bookshelf, and it’s a perfect gift for the skateboarder that has everything.” – Tony Hawk Foundation (THF)


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.

Find out more:


The Sk8room is the first online platform to promote skateboards from around the world that are works of art. To get the wheels rolling they recently collaborated with street artist Roa on 3 variations of limited edition skateboard. Twenty percent of all sales are donated to Skateistan who are a not for profit empowerment program that teaches children how to skateboard in places like Cambodia and Afghanistan.