Saturday, June 13, 2015

Skateboarding in India.

For most of us in India, we normally get to see this kind of action only on TV. But little do we know that these X games are gaining popularity in India (at least in the Tier 1 & 2 cities).

X Games are really fun watching and extremely exciting to pick up one of it as a hobby. I came to know of one Skatepark in Delhi, FreemotionSk8, and did my first visit to the center last week. Rack display with a variety of stake boards is the first thing someone will notice as they enter the indoor Skatepark operating at the basement of a building near the IGNOU University. Variety of boards carrying excellent work of artistry and some really funky images sets up the mood for you to get going.

The thumping sound of wood over-powers the loud music being played. A bunch of young guys zoom around the pillars and up the ramp. Despite some touch up work pending, as the center has been moved from a different location to the present facility recently, there is no stopping of action at this indoor Skatepark. There were beginners like me who were trying to push the board and trying to maintain the balance and there were some experts who were doing mind-blowing stunts.
FreemotionSk8 is the first indoor Skatepark in the country. Steve Weightman who runs this skate park teaches the newbies the trick to ride the board.

You will be amazed to see how fast you can get to know the people around and everyone is giving inputs, cheering up on your moves and backing you. You don’t have a skate board? No worries, the center provides skate board and safety gear to the visitors who wanna try this sport. Visitors are charged for the same. Hourly/daily rates for one time visitors and monthly membership for those who are seriously into skating. They also sell the skate boards if you wanna own one for yourself.

Outdoor skateparks exist in other cities like Pune, Goa, Bangalore and there is a growing interest in this sport. Unlike in US or elsewhere where roads are good enough for the skateboarders, there are limitations in India as to where you can skate. With the kind of road traffic in India, skateboarding on the roads could be dangerous. However, quite a good number of playgrounds/stadiums exist in the country and they could be modified a bit to encourage such sports.

After three hours and quite a number of falls and bruises, I got the groove. It was an exciting experience that I am eagerly waiting to set my foot on the board next time.

After all, as Confucius said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

This article is written by Anand Prabu. Follow him on Linkedin here.