Grinds, slides, ramps, and stairs—skateboarding is an exciting physical activity that approaches public spaces in a different way by looking for obstacles to overcome, fostering determination, creativity, and friendship.
Though not well-known in Egypt compared to other sports, skateboarding is gaining popularity at a rapid pace.
It may seem intimidating watching the pros pull off mind-boggling tricks, but skateboarding is not about how good someone is, rather it is about how much they are enjoying it and expressing themselves freely. And though it is never easy, as skateboarders are always challenging themselves, it does get easier once the basics are mastered.
For beginners who do not know where or how to start, here is a brief guide to skating in Egypt.
Where to Buy a Board?
First of all, it is important to note that skateboards can come as a complete skateboard or as independent parts.
A skateboard is made of a deck (the wooden part of the board), and bolts holding the deck to the trucks (two metal pieces underneath the deck) which hold the wheels and the bearings inside the wheels. Finally, a piece of griptape is plastered on top of the deck, which would otherwise be too smooth and slippery to use. The griptape, however, takes a toll on a person’s shoes, which also need to be strong enough to not get ripped too quickly.
For beginners, it is recommended to get a complete.
In recent years manyskateshops have emerged in the scene. Based in Cairo, Temple Skateshop, Amulet Skateshop, and Oxada Skateshop all work to provide high-quality goods to skaters in the capital. Alexandira-based Skateimpact, the oldest skateshop in Egypt, also delivers to Cairo and anywhere in Egypt. Additionally, though not a skateshop, Decathlon also stocks skateboards.
Last but not least, Skatealligent is a skateshop based in Suez, working hard to grow the skate scene in the city.
Where to Skate?
Where to skate depends on what type of skating is done.
The overwhelming majority, if not the entire scene, practices street skateboarding—pulling tricks on or over common obstacles such as stairs, rails, ledges, and banks.
Vert skating with mega ramps is currently impossible in Egypt, as no such ramps exist in the country. However, those interested in transition skating—bowls and mini ramps—would be happy to learn that a skatepark suited for the task; Egyskatepark, has recently opened in Sheikh Zayed City.
In terms of street skating, a stream of skaters can always be spotted on top of Royal House supermarket, next to the Merriland in Heliopolis, on a Thursday or Friday night.
Another popular spot is in front of the Omar Ibn Al Khattab mosque in Rehab. In the greater Cairo area, other spots can be found in 6th of October City and Madinaty, among others. Outside of Cairo, there are a few well-known spots in Alexandria and, of course, each city has its own spots.
Finally, if a prospective skater is interested in freestyle skating, all that they would need is good flatground.
How to Start Learning?
Tutorials on YouTube can be very useful to understand the basics of skating and the tips and tricks of the trade. However, it all comes down to practice.
Skateboarding both ingrains and requires a certain determination and persistence; oftentimes hundreds or even thousands of attempts are needed to learn a specific trick, but it can be very rewarding for those unafraid of falling and getting back up.
After growing comfortable on the board and learning how to push, stop, and turn, beginners typically have the option to learn one of two tricks at first: ollies and shuvits. Ollies are the basic jump, while shuvits, whether backside (rotating forward) or frontside (rotating backwards) are the basic rotations of the board itself, while the body does not rotate.
From there, various tricks are unlocked including jumps with rotations of 180 degrees and variations of the shuvit. Once more basics are mastered, a beginner can start attempting flip tricks, such as the kickflip and the heelflip. In general, each new trick learned unlocks a whole category of other tricks based on the trick combinations under one’s belt.
Once a beginner is ready, they can start moving on to obstacles such as stairs, ledges, and banks. Dropping off of a one-stair and rotating on a bank are basic movements that should be learned early on.
It is highly recommended to skate with others more experienced as well as those at the same level for guidance as well as inspiration. While individually-practiced, skating can very much be a community activity.
Who to Follow?
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