Acrobatics in the air

The road leading to Bal Bhavan in Cubbon Park was packed with unexpected traffic recently as skateboarders from across the country converged on the park to celebrate ‘Go Skateboarding Day’.

It is the third year that HolyStoked, an initiative that brings together the country’s skateboarders, is celebrating the day. 

There were skateboaders as young as six who enthusiastically took to the board. Ahaan, who said that would he would be seven in a few months, couldn’t get off his board and even tried to do a couple of stunts. 

It was rather obvious that this was a male-dominated sport. Manasa, who was one of the few women there, said that her parents don’t know she skateboards. “I got money from interning and bought myself a board. Most parents are okay with it as long as it’s not their daughter falling and scrapping their knee — that’s how it is with my family.” 

Contrary to looks, it is an expensive sport. Manasa said her board cost her Rs 7000 but it can go higher. “I have always wanted to do it so I didn’t mind,” she said passionately. 

The co-founders, Poornabodh, Somanna and Abhishek, started the group in 2011. They built a do-it-yourself play arena in HSR Layout with the help of 50 skateboarders from across the world. Somanna said that the below poverty line kids around the area took up skateboarding as well.

 “Their parents were wary at first but now they thank us because it keeps them fit.” 

   Khalik said he likes to skateboard but doesn’t know why he took it up. Manasa said they pick it up real quick because they aren’t afraid to fall. 

People at the park did a double take as a skateboarder flew into the air. “This is a very nice event but I’ve never seen anything like this before. I would definitely want to encourage my son to get into this but he’s still too young,” said Saiju. Chirag M said that he felt like skateboarding after watching the event. 

The venue shifted throughout the day from their HSR Layout base and Cubbon Park to Rangoli Metro. 

   “Freedom Park is perfect for skateboarding but they don’t let you do anything there. While kids have jungle gyms and old people have walking parks, what do the youth have?” he asked. 

He agrees the event was not very well-organised. They hadn’t received the required police permission and the rains played spoilsport. But that didn’t stop the youngsters from skating their way to glory. 

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