On February 28 and March 1, Skateistan youth leaders and local skaters stirred the quiet jungle in Kep. They went face to face in the now-infamous skate bowl located in a jungle setting just beyond the seaside. This was the third and most impressive session at the bowl, but sadly the last because it will most likely filled in with water to create a swimming pool. This year the bowl competition was open to anyone who knows how to skate, wants to skate, or for the curious ones who just need to see it to give it a go. We welcomed more than 60 people on the day of the competition and no less then 20 skaters from all walks of life.
"I was really happy to skate! First I felt too shy and afraid to go, but I didn't want to miss this unique opportunity. So I convinced myself to go... I was so proud!"
- Nhoeun, Skateistan Cambodia Youth Leader
Our youth leaders dared to defy the steep slopes of the bowl. Even in the hot Cambodian sun, the Skateistan crew including Tin, Nhoeun, Pheakna and Nup, impressed a captivated audience. Their abilities have improved immensely over the years. Just 3 years ago, Mr Nup was Skateistan's Security Guard and had never skated before. Now look at him rip.
Mr Nup flying out of the bowl.
"I feel happy to see everyone from a different place, skate together, sharing experiences and stories and make friends with everyone. Especially it helped me to improve my English and skate tricks."
- Mr Nup, Youth Leader and Skate Instructor
The spectators enjoyed the moments spent there as much as the skaters. Everyone was excited to move down the road to continue with an after party at Le Pain de Jade, featuring music from our good friend Papa Dub.
On Sunday we returned to the bowl for a special girls only session. Even the least confident and complete beginner skateboarders had loads of fun.
"I was really excited to meet and face such good skaters. It was hard to skate but I try and try again until I got it. I'm really proud to be one of the rare girls that practices skateboarding in Cambodia."
- Tin, Youth Leader and Education Coordinator
Year after year, Cambodia is becoming an important place for skateboarding in South-East Asia. Even though the amazing Kep skate bowl may disappear, Skateistan will never give up improving its student's skills and we feel privileged to have shared such good times with the community. A huge thanks to the skateshop phnom penh and Neon Stash Mag for joining in on the fun, and to everyone who came along to give the Kep bowl a proper send off. We'll miss it.
Skateistan Instructors Tin and Nup, not afraid of a challenge.
Amping up the competition.
Tin breaking out some rock and roll.
The kep bowl in all its glory.