- Written by Joey Bidner
- Category: CWMag Blog
- Published: 26 November 2013
- Hits: 104
Mikey Ortiz finding a spot to skate in the dense mountain Village of Janda Baik,
photo by Joey Bidner
The question can often arise of how a skateboard or longboard scene is formed along side the limitations imposing of an area. Within North America, we are mostly struggling with the sports social, political and legal acceptance. You would think that this is the sole issue everywhere you go, but being in South East Asia, there is a sure culture shock of how a skate community is formed. The limitations down here are in fact a polar opposite of what we struggle with in most parts of the world. Socially, the sport is welcomed with open arms. On a political level, there is a lot of support for youth activity and funding is provided to build facilities for a variety of sports including skateparks. You are rarely ever kicked out of a spot for riding, cops and pedestrians will in fact stand by to watch and encourage your session. But the limitations here can stretch to the terrain. In Kuala Lumpur, the nations financial capital and epicenter of the longboard scene has an abundance of mind blowing hills, but virtually no possibility to commute on a skateboard. With close to no sidewalks, districts separated by highways, unimaginable traffic and erratic drivers, a longboarder does not get into the sport initially by commuting, which is how many of us got our feet wet. A longboarder does not have the privilege here to learn the basics on a bike path, calm residential road or do a long distance push. Most are thrown into the sport by being forced to ride the gargantuant hills which are plastered with speed bumps to control the huge street racing scene. This brings less riders into the culture but those who are able to dip their toe into the sport come out with the awareness and skill to handle the harshest of longboard environments.
Temple jams with Leunam Segura photo by Joey Bidner
Because of this daytime limitation to ride with traffic, we most often ride at night from
handicapped access where we almost felt bad...but Didn't. We managed to find a public downhill luge track, similar to the one in Mt Trenblant Quebec, which you may remember Mat k skating from the cover issue of Skate Slate in their late summer issue. Even though we could not skate the epicly winding and perfectly paved track, we charged it in our little luges in regular draft formation, fiercely battling each other to be the first one down.
After spending some time in singapore and seeing first hand its difference from Malaysia we noticed a huge contrast. Only 4 hours away from KL, and you feel like your are in an entirely different continent. Not only does it urbanely resemble North America, but at a glance it is a street skating paradise. We were soon shocked to hear some detrimental news....It is illegal To skateboard in singapore. Not just a by-law, but a criminal offense. This astonished us as there is a pretty solid longboard scene in singapore. But how could a culture and community grow in an environment where the sport is not only socially rejected but legally banned. Stay tuned for our future blog posts to hear about the story of a scene built underground with local interviews and community tales.
With Tim Practically healed, We ventured back to the jungle to skate what we could find in the untouched environment of Janda Baik. With an open mind, we meandered threw the streets looking for anything to shred. In no time at all our session exploded as all the guys creatively adapted to the unusual terrain and environment. We ducked into alleys, dodging mopeds taking the back streets of this little mountain village. Locals crowded, and kids got exited. Old ladies held traffic for us, and business owners let us ollie of their deck into the streets. Longboarding inspired the whole community in the area to get engaged with us as we showed them how to turn their everyday environment into a play ground. This has to be one of the most precious experiences in traveling to remote areas for a skate trip. Longboarding can be a mode of communication with people you would have never come in contact with or possibly inspire, simply due to the fact that they are in amazement of how we are able to transform their everyday environment into a creative atmosphere.
Mikey killing is as the owner of the restorant encourages him in the backround
photo by Joey Bidner
With our 20 Landyachtz completes, and 8 Roarocket Press Kits finally arriving, our first clinic will take place on Dec 1st, so stay tuned to see how we can transform the perspective of some kids in Malaysia’s Capital, Kuala Lumpur.
This very moment I am sitting outside in the jungle getting eaten alive by malaria infested mosquitos as I squat next to a building for Wi-Fi to speak to all of you, so on that note, till next time Thane Kittens.
- Written by Joey Bidner
- Category: CWMag Blog
- Published: 15 November 2013
- Hits: 271
Having a vibrant longboard scene and industry is something some of us may take for granted in North America. At the moment we are sitting in the fruits from the labours of those before us who paved the way, allowing our communities to flourish, and an industry to grow. However, in many parts of the world this seed has not exactly sprouted, calling to action those who have the vision and skill set to actively construct a healthy community and thriving industry.
The Malaya Street Bombers (MSB) have taken on this roll in Malaysia and have kicked off a 6 month cross South East Asia tour to begin this snowballing effect on the longboarding community in the area. Jez M Izman, the host of the Street Bombers, took it upon himself to personally fund and host this tour. With over 6 years of savings, he brought down a crew of riders from all over the world to join him for 6 months, traveling Malaysia and the surrounding countries to host longboard clinics, teach board building, host sessions, scout venues for international races, and to spread the positive message about an inclusive longboard community.
Naturally, Concrete Wave and Longboard for Peace jumped on board to support this tour as it coincides with everything we have believed in and worked towards since day one. We are traveling along side this group of motivated individuals for one month of this tour to help with organizing the clinics as well as document whats going on for you thane kittens out there to enjoy.
We weren't the only ones that saw serious merit in this tour, Landyachtz donated 20 completes to make this a reality. These completes will be used in our clinics and may be a god sent to a local kid who cant afford, or simply get his hands on a board as they are extremely hard to get in Malaysia.
Roarockit skateboards is also supporting this tour in a huge way by donating 8 thin air press kits to teach and encourage board building. Boards are so expensive and hard to get because they are shipped from overseas. By encouraging and teaching board building, we hope to spark the inspiration in some locals to start their own local brands to kick start a micro industry.
On board in this tour is Tim Del traveling from California, Mikey Ortiz from Puerto Rico, and Leunam Leo Segura from New York City.
Leunam Leo Segura
photo by Kyle Thompson
While we wait for gear to arrive from Canada for the clinics we have been bombing Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia's capital for late night sessions. These steep and narrow runs meandering through residential KL can only be hit late at night as traffic subsides. Inevitably, our sleep schedule has taken shape to accommodate such a lifestyle where we sleep all day and skate hard all night.
Tim Del mobing to make the light in KL.
After a week of vampire embodiment without seeing a day of sunlight we flipped our schedule to head up to the jungle to skate one of the worlds oldest rain forests. It is plastered with long winding runs resembling those in California with the added feature of a canopy that can swallow you whole if the wrong line is taken.
A mind blowing 10Km run recorded on the Speedmeter app
After hitting some 3-10km long runs we scouted out a potential track for a major race to bring the elite to this seemingly small peninsula for a race that would challenge the peak and pinnacle of the DH world. On the way up scouting this 10km road, Tim was on the floor crying in joy and anticipation to soon hit the run, as the one-way downhill spilled switchbacks and off camber hairpins one after another. Here is a tease of the recorded track on the Longboard Speedmeter app, stay tuned as an edit just might surface, exposing this behemoth of a run.
Tim Del, Leo Segura and Joey Bidner bombing in the jungle
With gear still yet to arrive for the clinics, we are taking the time to traveling up north for a week long road trip in and around Malaysia, with some dabbling into Thailand and Singapore. Keep a close leash on this trip, as more will come to expose these shenanigans soon.
Ok, enough reading. Now get up and off your computer and go skate