What began as a pass time between a handful of friends back in 2014, can now be considered one of the most popular sports in Goa today. For while the skateboarding scene in India may have taken its own sweet time to reach mainstream acceptance, it's definitely here to stay. Not to mention, inspiring new recruits everyday!
Photos by @safesilva & @siddhantvasphoto
Now to cover this topic in Goa, we wanted to connect with someone who really knows skateboarding.
Someone who's out there each & everyday and knows just the spot to skate in Goa. So who better to link up with than Velister Rodriguez. A skateboarder from Goa & avid member of the SkateLifeGoa community (more on them below), commonly known as Vrod.
Tell us a bit about yourself & how you got into skateboarding?
I started skateboarding in 2018 when I first saw a skateboard at my cousin's place laying under his bed. I was so tempted to check it out that I requested him to give it to me. Thankfully he did...
The only thing was, I didn't know how to ride a skateboard. So I had to learn. I started researching everything I could about skateboarding and only then did the real gold come into my hand.
Photo by @psyco_addlee
Skateboarding is not only a sport, it is a culture that doesn't judge you by your skin, colour, caste or gender. Whether you are rich or poor, it accepts everyone.
The thing that got me into skateboarding was that it is an individual sport. Unlike other games, there were no captains and anyone from a small kid age 5 to someone in their 60's could give it a go. It reminds you that age is just a number.
Skateboarding is an extreme sport which can help you to overcome your fear & gives you the strength to go out and face the world. It gives you the confidence.
Nothing like dropping-in from a seven ft wall or bombing hills (going downhill as fast as possible) to help you overcome your fears.
It also helped me to visit new places, meet new people and learn about their lifestyles too. Through skateboarding, I also came to know about different types of sports like slack-lining, surfing & snowboarding.
Photo via @museumofgoa
The sport has a variety of tricks and styles, so it becomes a never ending learning process which was the main point to keep me going on.
Failure is a part of this beautiful game.
If you fall, you get up and try it again and again until you get that trick.
The joy after landing the trick is out of this universe.
Photos by @siddharthashok, logo by Shreya Bora @_thelittleb, @Skatelifegoa
Feel inspired to start skateboarding?
Join the SkateLifeGoa community!
Initiated by Anveer Mehta, Samuel Ferreira and Vaibhav Rasam in 2017, SkateLifeGoa is Goa’s homegrown community of skateboarders. Within it are skateboarders from different social circles and age groups with a varied array of interests. The foundation of the collective is obviously skateboarding but along with that, everyone tends to find more than just the sport itself. It's free & open to all and really just wants to introduce skateboarding to everyone.
As SkateLifeGoa, the group also hosts regular skate lessons and camps (for all age groups). Where you'll see small kids and adults skating together, and both learning from each other. They also organize skatemeets, events and small competitions every year in Goa with past events in collaboration with Vans, Supervek, and Haul Apparel.
Follow them on Instagram @Skatelifegoa / Facebook @SkateboardinginGoa & find all the extra motivation you need by checking out the following skateboarders in Goa:
Velister Rodriguez @vrod_03
Andy Topo @ironsanta
Anveer Mehta @wrongbeach
Samuel Ferreira @safesilva
Ruth Beatriz Costa @ruthbeatriz07
Rohit Chari @creativeroh
Photo by @antoniocpacheco
So where is the best place to skateboard in Goa?
Vrod suggests the best place to start is at the Youth Hostel Miramar where he and fellow members of the SkateLifeGoa community come together almost every evening for their sunset skate sessions. For thanks to its prime riverside location, the Youth Hostel skatepark also offers up one of the best views in the city!
Other good locations for skateboarding in Goa include:
Skatepark at Cirrus in Anjuna (small but fun)
18 June road & the Altinho slopes in Panjim (best for cruising at night)
Anjuna parking lot (offers a lot of open space + obstacles like stairs and slopes)
Svami Build in Vagator
Shiva Palace in Morjim
Where can you find skateboards & equipment in Goa?
For everything you need, look no further than the Goa based company Piso Skateboards. Designed by a small team of local skateboarders, artists & designers, Piso Skateboards has by far the best boards in town and sells them at a good rate compared to other companies in India. You can find them online at pisoskateboards.com, where you can order everything from a complete skateboard to individual decks, spare parts & handy accessories.
You can learn more about their journey & steps to becoming a business right here!
Photos via @pisoskateboards
A big thank you to Velister (aka Vrod), Vaibhav Rasam, Anveer Mehta & the entire @Skatelifegoa community for their kind contributions to this post.
To learn more about the ever expanding skateboard community in Goa, be sure to also check out the following articles: Skateboarding by the Sea in Goa by Cara Shrivastava for Homegrown & The skateboarder of Goa by Karsten Miranda for Herald Goa.