#ThirdEyeTour : India's First International Skateboarding Competition & Tour - Homegrown

#ThirdEyeTour : India's First International Skateboarding Competition & Tour

The skating sub culture is taking the world by storm; whether it’s in the lush streets of Southern California or a skate park in the interiors of Karnataka.
This emerging sport has bred a squad of young skaters in India and opened its doors to people in remote corners of the country, creating a loyal fan base of skaters. In an initiative to celebrate this passion and inspire talent, organizers like Alis, Advaita Collective and Homegrown have collaborated to set up India’s first international skateboarding competition and tour called “The Third Eye Tour”, from 11th of Jan to 16th Jan 2014 across Bangalore, Hampi and Goa.
Although the sport is in its nascent stages, its reach has engendered a committed audience, who has let it grow into more than just a hobby, but a choice of lifestyle. The culture, however, didn’t give birth to itself, but was inspired by a handful of people who encouraged talent, by setting up infrastructure and providing resources, in order to propel change and support skateboarders across the country. 
For Steve Weightman, the idea of creating a skate park arose out of the surprising response he received while skating in the streets of Delhi.
“We went out skating in the streets of Delhi and lots of people came up to us and wanted to try it as well. I thought that this was an amazing response and there are so many young people in this country that it would definitely be something people would be interested in.“
After identifying an interested audience, he decided to set up infrastructure to facilitate the growth of the sport, which gave rise to Free Motion Sk8, Delhi’s very own indoor skate park. Weightman, a resident of Southern California, and a skateboarder himself, is excited to get people more involved and integrate skateboarding into their lives.
“The important thing here is that it’s not just kids that really come here to learn but adults too. A lot of people in their twenties and late-twenties come here to learn how to skate and that’s not something that happens in America and a lot of places around the world. I think that’s pretty amazing.”
For Aaron and Debora Walling, founders of Kolkata Skateboarding, their only dream is to to have a thriving skateboarding community and ultimately a skatepark where kids can be kids - to create, dream and play. From skateboards to helmets to pads, Aaron and Debora have provided all the gear and taken possession of a disused building in the leafy suburbs of Kolkata to conduct weekend classes every Saturday afternoon, teaching young kids the techniques of safe but exciting skateboarding.Over the last few months, a collective of individuals that go by the name HolyStoked Collective, have finished constructing their very own skate park, one of their biggest projects till date, they have built various skate parks & ramps across the nation to help spread the stoke . Teaming up with Levis and German skate crew, Zwier, they finally unveiled the park on March 9, 2013.  From this new base of operations, they have begun consolidating a community of skaters in Bangalore, offering classes to prospective students and under-privileged children living nearby. Abhishek from the Holystoked Collective, and member of alternative rock band The Bicycle Days, is excited about inspiring change. Holystoked has been instrumental in pushing the sport in all regions of the country.
“The skate park has become a landmark here at HSR Layout, Bangalore. We’ve been continuing with our skate classes in the morning and we’ve even been teaching some street kids how to skate. We gave them a few boards as well and they spend a lot of time here. The kids also wanted us to teach them English and we even ended up teaching them some English through classes in the afternoon! Now they even bring they schoolwork to the park and we help them with that as well.”In the light of this burgeoning culture, Third Eye Tour is an initiative to provide a national platform to showcase talent from different parts of the country as well as make people more aware of the scale of the sport with respect to its reach by bringing everyone together. The competition will also witness 25 international skateboarders from Europe and Asia, to give Indians skaters a chance to get up close and personal with professional riders, and understand elements of the skate culture abroad.
With over 200 skateboarders congregating in Bangalore from all over India, Europe and Asia, the project aims at creating a unique experience that infuses a sense of community around a common passion for the sport.
The 8 day event will kick off at the Bangalore skate park (Play Arena), where the one day event will see a series of skate jams, competitions & workshops. Steering away from a standard winner and runner up format, the winners at the jams will be decided based on the tricks they perform as opposed to rewarding just the top three. This system ensures no participant leaves empty handed. Following the Bangalore event, 45 skaters will head for the #ThirdEyeTour road trip by bus, provided by Red Bull, with the first stop being Hampi. On the 14th, the Hampi skate jams will happen at the 2er Bowl. After Hampi all the skaters and crew head to the final destination of the tour, Goa on 16th Jan 2014.
The aim of this initiative is to foster a sense of  identity between skaters all over the country, converging talent in competitive spirit and inspiring them to spread the stoke of skateboarding.
Here are some quotes by the organizers:
Albert Hatchwell Nielsen ( Alis ) :  " I did a ramp for fun in Goa in 2012 , 2013 I returned and we did a jam and builded some more , meet nick and discovered the asagao bowl , meet the guys from holystoked there and they came to Copenhagen in the summer 2013 . The idea of the third eye tour is to help spread the stoke in the country " Nick Smith (Advaita Collective ) : " My vision for the event tour is for as many of India's skaters to get to skate and hang out together and return home stoked to be part of this fast emerging scene. Also to showcase the Indian skate scene both within India and to the rest of the world ! "
Varun Patra ( Homegrown ) : "Our idea has always been to support and nuture the long tail of Indian Sub-cultures. Skateboarding is only going to grow in the country and we would like to help push the sport and the culture as far as we can, and give young skaters a platform they din't have before "
Abhishek Khan ( Action Sports Jounalist ) : " Skateboarding has been burgeoning across India in cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Vizag and even Ranchi. With an event like this I hope to unite the entire skateboarding scene and let other skaters meet everyone they've been following on facebook. Hopefully this should encourage some guys to hold skateboarding events like these in their cities. Just like it happens in the surfing scene."
Dates: 11th Jan,2014: Bangalore – Play Arena 14th Jan,2014: Hampi - 2er Bowl 16th Jan 2014: Goa – Alis Bowl, Morjim

Links: Facebook Page Event Page

Partners: Main Sponsor: Vans Prize Sponsors: Kokkivo Clothing & Top Grom Adventure Media Partner - The Outdoor Journal

Related Articles