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Feb 05, 2014

Third Eye Tour: India’s first skateboarding extravaganza

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The Outdoor Journal

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The 8-day event witnessed international skateboarders travel to Bangalore, Hampi, and Goa competing and conducting workshops

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India’s first skateboarding competition and tour will kick off in Bangalore from January 11-20, 2014. The ‘ThirdEyeTour‘ is an eight-day three-city tour in south India where 25 skateboarders from Europe and Asia will compete with Indian riders at Bangalore’s skate park Play Arena.
With over 200 skateboarders expected to congregate in Bangalore for the much-awaited event, the objective is to create synergy between Indian skateboarders and those from other countries. Even though skaters from Sweden, Denmark, Norway etc are expected to flock the skate-bowls for the week-long event, not all are professional skaters, the orgnisers told The Outdoor Journal, Adventure Media Partner for the event.

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“Skateboarding has had a underground history in India. It began with Nick Smith, from Advaita Collective, who helped set up India’s first skate park — Sk8Goa, in 2006. He then built the Play Arena Skatepark in 2011 and then co-founded Holystoked, India’s first public free-to-skate park in Bangalore, last year. Since then, skateboarding has become popular in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Ranchi and Visakhapatnam. These places have had their own scene, which is largely underground and poorly documented”, says Abhishek Khan, an outdoor sports journalist based out of Mumbai, also one of the co-organizers of the event.
“I used the word ‘underground’ because skateboarding still isn’t popular despite its rise in popularity. Not many people outside the circuit know skateboarding exists in the country. Events likes these would help spread the word and unite skaters, see each other’s talent and encourage each other”, he added.

The 8-day show kicks off from the Bangalore Skate park (Play Arena), with a series of skate jams, competitions and workshops. The competition is divided into eight categories – Under 13 Street, Under 13 Bowl, Under 17 Street, Under 17 Bowl, Adult Street, Adult Bowl, Open Category Street, Open Category Bowl. The Open Category is for overseas participants.

The workshop is primarily to introduce skateboarding to beginners and will be conducted by Nick Smith and other skateboarders.

Post the Bangalore event, 45 skaters will head for the ThirdEyeTour road trip by bus provided by Red Bull, the first stop being Hampi. On the 16th, the Hampi skate jams are scheduled at 2er Bowl. After Hampi, all the skaters and crew head to the final destination of the tour, Goa. The Goa jams take stage at the Alis bowl, which was made a few years back in Morjim, a beach-town in the popoular holiday destination.

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The prize winners at the jams will be decided based on the tricks performed and the run-of-the-mill winner and runner-up format has been done away with by the orgaisers. This system ensures no participant leaves empty handed.

Event round-up

Over the ten days of the event, skateboarding in India earned a good fan-following. The jams were a crowd-puller and people cheered for every trick performed. Each rider was given a prize, ensuring no one went home empty-handed.

Mumbai street skaters trying the GoAlis bowl at Morjim, Goa. Hari Adivarekar Photography

Although India has a skateboarding history since 2003, it’s only in the past few years that the scooting frenzy has really picked up. India has five public skate parks spread over Bangalore (2), Hampi, Goa and New Delhi. Apart from the parks, the country also has an active skateboarding scene in several cities.

 

The Third Eye Tour was conceptualised to bring together this community and expose them to these homegrown skateparks. Before the tour, the community was loosely connected on just social media. Foreign skateboarders gave away skateboards, accessories and other merchandise to encourage local talent. What made this tour stand out is how local talents have matured in the sport over the ten days.

After the Bangalore leg of the tour, the group went to Hampi by bus (provided by Red Bull) on January 13. Amidst the scenic rock hills of Hampi, is a small guest house named Sima Guest House. The guest house is a collection of huts run by a simple family. From the outside, one could never guess it housed a mini-bowl and a half-pipe for skateboarding. The mini-bowl was built by the 2er (Zwier), a German skate crew, last year; the same group who built the Holystoked skatepark in Bangalore.

Shreyas Kudari dropping in during his free run. Rammohan Paranjape

After skateboarding in Hampi, the contingent headed-off to Goa on January 15, 2014. Shiva Palace at Morjim Beach houses the GoAlis bowl+mini ramp. The skate jam on January 16th attracted a large number of foreign travellers and skaters to the event. At this event, local rookies pulled off some great new tricks. The Goa jam saw some amazing tricks that psyched out the crowd. Skaters tried new moves over and over again until they nailed it with precision.

Young spanish skater Sky ripping the bowl in Hampi. Rammohan Paranjape

Third Eye Tour has garnered a lot of attention in the international skateboarding community who’re keen on coming back next year. The tour has also given a good thrust to the skateboarding culture in India. Notable Skaters:

Under 13
  • Dhanush a.k.a. Bullet, 6 (Bangalore)
  • Parth Mittal, 5 (Bangalore)
  • Shreyas Kudari, 13 (Bangalore)
  • Tanvi Kudari, 9 (Bangalore)

Bangalore skater Devappa grinding the lip of the ramp..Rammohan Paranjape

Under 17

  • Ankit, 15 (Bangalore)
  • Shamaz, 14 (Bangalore)
  • Devappa Chandrappa, 15 (Bangalore)

Bangalore skater Mohammad Khadir riding the crest of the ramp.Rammohan Paranjape

Adults

  • Sagar Wagehla, 19 (Mumbai)
  • Abhishek, 28 (Bangalore)
  • Amit Subba, 25 (Bangalore)

Danish skater Mathias Hall Lauren going airborne during the bowl session.. Rammohan Paranjape

Open Category

  • Dean Palmer, 25 (Sydney)
  • Mathias Hall Lauren, 20 (Copenhagen)

Jubliance-and-euphoria-after-the-prize-distribution-ceremony-Ramoham-Paranjape

(Skate jams are free skating sessions where the participant showcases their talent.) Image © ThirdEyeTour

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Place: New Delhi, India


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