Mar 05, 2015
Youth learn to flip at India’s first indoor wooden skateboarding park
The country's only indoor wooden skateboarding park in New Delhi draws enthusiasts from over 200 km away.
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On a busy day, around 25 skateboarders come to learn skills on the ramp.
When a skateboarding aficionado from the US came to India over a decade ago he was disappointed with the unavailability of skateboards in the capital New Delhi. The result was Free Motion Sk8 which turned out to be India’s only wooden indoor skate park in January 2013.
Located in South Delhi’s Saket, the skatepark is the brainchild of 47-year-old Californian Steve Weightman, who has been on a board since the age of 5.
“When I came to Delhi, I could not find a skateboard. What I eventually stumbled upon was a long piece of wood attached to four tyres,” said Steve holding up an old skateboard.
Free Motion Sk8 attracts heads with a thirst for skateboarding from as far as Chandigarh, Meerut, Sonipat and even Gwalior, apart from the Delhi-based crowd including foreign nationals. “I asked about this place but not many seemed to know about it. I Googled to get directions. Skateboarding is a passion I picked up from very early since I was a kid and I used to skateboard with my friends in school,” said 21-year old Sam, an Englishman making his maiden visit to Free Motion Sk8.
While there is a nominal fee for skateboarding in the park, Steve has been philanthropic by teaching slum children for free. “It is really mesmerizing to see those kids playing and laughing while they learn how to skateboard. The sport can make huge impact on them and can bring about a life change in them for a better future”, said Aashiq Ilahi who helps Steve with the administration work of the skatepark.
Ashish Ranot, a mechanical engineer getting ready to hit the ramp said, “I used to get amazed by watching all the tricks they do in the movies and videos which motivated me to come to this park and try them myself.”
Steve is of the opinion that skateboarding has great growth potential in India and there were youth who were keen to take the sport seriously. “Skateboarding is easy to pick up. Practice will help in learning tricks and eventually, one can design their own moves,” he says moving on to demonstrate a flip to a teenager.
Beginners can virtually walk into Free Motion Sk8 without any gear and can take them from the organisers for free use.
It is open all days in a week from 2-9 pm on weekdays and 2-7 pm on Sundays. Fee: Rs. 200 a day and Rs. 1000 for a month which allows daily access to the skate park. Good news for wannabe female skaters, Free Motion Sk8 has slashed rates for them to Rs. 100 a day and Rs. 500 for a month. For those seeking private lessons, be ready to shell out Rs. 500 per lesson.
For more details, contact Aashiq Ilahi on +91 – 9312193598 or visit www.freemotionsk8.com .
Skateboarding is fun when done in the right way after taking precautionary measures. Most important gears which beginners should put on before they hit the ramp are:
- Knee pads
- Elbow pads
- Wrist guards
Other accessories which may be used are:
- Ankle stabilizers
- Hip pad
- Knee pad recaps
- Shin guards
Places in Delhi/NCR from where skateboards can be purchased are:
- Free Motion Sk8, Saket
- Quiksilver, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj
- Quiksilver, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon
- Decathlon, Noida