INDONESIA SKATE JAM

Earlier this month the SbA Skateboard Hubs crew combined forces with some DC teamriders to bring a fortnight of free skateboard jams to the Indonesian public. Bugs Fardell, Jake Hayes and Casey Ainsworth repped DC and we took the cream of the crop of SbA coaches and logistical gurus. We caught up with our own multitalented Jim Dandy to give us the breakdown. Make sure you peep the clip by Tony Woodward as well.  

Words: Morgan Campbell and Jim Dandy
Photos: Jim Dandy except where noted. 
Video: Tony Woodward  

How did the Indo trip come about?
The very forward thinking staff at the Australian Embassy Jakarta contacted SbA enquiring about something new and relevant to the youth of Indonesia. Skateboarding is popular there but events and development programs like ours are very rare so it was a great opportunity to partner and bring skateboarding to the kids of Indonesia. 

Was it easy to transfer the Skateboard Hubs program onto another country/culture?
The biggest challenge was the language barrier whilst coaching: the majority of the kids only spoke a little bit of English or none at all so we definitely had to put in 110%. The local coaches were amazing though and helped out with translating what we were saying. They really picked up our coaching techniques and took on everything we were doing, so that by the end of the trip they were leading the sessions. We could step back, watch and really be confident that they knew what to do and how to run these workshops when we go, which was exactly the plan! The best thing about skateboarding is that no matter where you are and what country you are in its all the same, so when the language barrier was difficult then actions of skateboarding would be the way of communicating. 

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Taman Mini skatepark was going off! These little rippers were having a ball!

What are the main differences between Australia and Indonesia?  
Almost everything! The living conditions were crazy and a real eye opener. Just driving around was absolute chaos! Some places were one extreme to the next: high-rise buildings with expensive restaurants to families living under tin roofs. Very cheap to live day-to-day also. 

What is the most important thing to remember when you are teaching skateboarding? 
When teaching absolute beginners who have never skated before safety is definitely a priority. I’m not talking about putting a kids in a complete body suit to protect them if they fall but more about teaching the right way to stand on a board, the right way to push, how to jump off if they feel like they are going to fall. Helping them get started. In saying that though we don’t blow whistles like a soccer coach would if they do something wrong, skateboarding is free from all of that which is why it is so rad. We want to create a real positive and awesome first experience so first time participants are stoked on skateboarding and want to come back and keep doing it. It’s all about having fun. 

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Dandy + Gemzik at the Bali coach accreditation course. Pic: Tony Woodward

Skateboarding is so different from what most people consider sport, how do you stay true to its nature when giving people their first chance to skate? 
I guess I touched on skateboard coaches aren’t like traditional sports coaches, we will never blow whistles, make anyone do laps or say anything was done ‘wrong’ its really about helping them get started, giving them a head start and providing a rad, positive, awesome experience so they want to continue to skate. 

How long was the trip? 
15 days 

Was the weather an issue? 
Oh wow, the heat was so intense. Just walking around was hot enough, skating was brutal. Lots of sweat soaked tees. 

Which places did you visit? 
We started in Jakarta to Bandung then Surabaya and ended in Bali.

 

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Jake Hayes head high switch heel in Bandung.

Who exactly was on the trip? 
From DC we had Jake Hayes, Bugs Fardell and Casey Ainsworth. From SbA we had myself, Glenn (Walker), Steve (Murphy), Tony (Woodward) and local Brisbane and Gold Coast coaches Pat Gemzik and Jay Hetherington. 

Had many of the kids witnessed professional skaters before? 
About half and half, there were kids that turned up with signed tee shirts from other demos but the other half had never even seen a skateboard in their life so it was amazing to see their reaction on trying it out but also seeing what can be done when Jake, Bugs and Casey demoed.

Was it a heart-warming experience?
Definitely, just to see how stoked and appreciative they were of us being there, they never have anything like this very often (some cities never) so it was a great experience bringing skateboarding to the kids of Indonesia. We have definitely created some life-long skateboarders from this trip for sure. 

 

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Casey, Bugs and Hayes busy signing autographs in Bandung. 

What was the most unusual moment of the trip? 
Probably the most unusual but awesome moment was doing a demo inside the Australian Embassy! Can’t say that has ever happened before. 

How did you travel between places? 
We had our own bus driver (Ricky!) between Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya and Quiksilver took us around Bali. We had to fly to Surabaya and Bali though. 

Is skateboarding highly developed in Indonesia? 
Yes and no. They have skateparks and skate shops and there’s definitely a ripping skate scene but some of the skateparks we went to were super sketchy and had holes everywhere and metal coping sticking out. There are lots of skaters and they rip but they don’t really have events like we do here. It would be pumping if they did! 

Did you see any street spots? 
A few, more in the richer areas of like Jakarta and Surabaya. Pretty sick spots to. 

What were the parks like? 
They were definitely a challenge compared to the perfect smooth ones we have here but that was kind of cool! The locals would be so overwhelmed if they had something new though: looks like it has been a while.  

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Pat Gemzik introducing the day at Donkey Skatepark, Bali. 

Best Pat Gemzik quote? 
“Schralp Daddy G Sauce” 

What was the food like? 
Pretty good. There are few things you have to be careful with but we were all good. 

We have had a bit of a tumultuous relationship with Indonesia over the years. Did you experience any animosity towards you as an Aussie from the general public over there or was it mostly good vibes? 
It was all good vibes, everyone was so nice and respectful towards us and always down for a chat. However, in Bali, because its such a haven for your Aussie bogan in a Bintang singlet to go on holiday, you can see how that image of Australia has come about.  

Where are you going to take the Hubs program next? 
We would love to continue to take this great initiative to more countries! I’m not sure where the next one will be but I’m very excited no matter where we do it. 

Thanks to everyone involved on any level as well as the key players: The Australian Embassy JakartaDC ShoesCoca Cola and The Australian Sports Commission.   

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