When the passion for something drives you to pursue it further, you know you’re on the right track. For 23-year old Adnan, his love for skateboarding developed while he was playing a skateboarding video game – Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2. Since then, there’s been no looking back. In conversation with us, he talks about his love for skateboarding, how he got into it and what the scene today is like.
A fourth year engineering student from Hyderabad, Adnan has been skate boarding for about 5 to 6 years now. His love for any form of art, especially visual got him into gaming and one thing led to another. His brother already had a board so he borrowed it and started trying to ape the tricks he saw in the game. “I was very amused by snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding games as a kid. But when I saw the bonus videos of skateboarding, it took my breath away.” It wasn’t just the tricks though, it was everything about the culture, the feel and lifestyle of skateboarding that appealed to him.
Taking inspiration from the bonus credit videos and post playing Tony Hawk, Adnan started looking at various skateboarder videos that were available online. “I got my first skateboard from Qatar and I had to assemble all the pieces together. I would take the board and try and improvise. I had to figure it out on my own because there was no support or encouragement I got from anyone”, he says.
His inspiration kept growing despite not having anyone to look up to, and he continued to learn further. He informs us, “My inspiration is the sport itself. The fact that such a form of transport even exists makes it so much cooler. But what really gets me is the humble and artistic lifestyle and culture behind it.” There are no rules or opponents or referees to control you, he says. “It’s about the feeling – you do what you feel on your board. The sense of freedom you get while you’re trying the tricks… it’s elating and gives me an adrenaline rush!”
Once he got serious about skateboarding he went out looking for other skateboarders but sadly, there weren’t too many, especially in Hyderabad. “The skating scene was zero when I started, now at least there are a few people who’ve started trying to skateboard and the numbers are definitely increasing,” avers the young skateboarder. He took to social media to reach out to other boarders where he got in touch with foreigners who skateboard from around the world. On his page he posts pictures and videos of the workshops he hosts to promote the skateboarding movement. “I post schedules of skateboarding sessions too on the page and anyone is welcome to come and try it out. There’s no restriction of race, or age and that’s what’s beautiful about this sport.”
The downside, however, to a sport like this is that there’s no skate park in Hyderabad. So where does one go to practice skateboarding? “A lot of malls, because the steps and the railings come in handy for tricks, but the few of us tend to practice post midnight when it’s less problematic. Right now we skateboard at this abandoned railway station in Lakdikapul,” he elaborates.
So how does one help better the scene? “The few of us who are here, are trying to reach out to other people and make them aware of what skateboarding is and encourage those who want to try it out. There’s our Facebook page and other social media accounts where we post what’s happening.” They’ve also started conducting free workshops and teach people how to skate in colleges or at any sports event. Adnan’s contribution to the sport is just spreading the awareness of its existence and he hopes that one day, he can open a skate park of his own so people can enjoy skateboarding just as much as he does.