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    At a new skate ramp in Mahabalipuram, learn to master the board

    Visit the Thirukula St Fishe-rman’s Colony in Mahabalipuram on a weekend and you will find atleast 20 children waiting for a chance to try out their skateboards on a 20-foot-by-12-foot curved concrete mini skate ramp. A one-of-its-kind space in Chennai, it is built by Bengaluru-based HolyStoked Collective. The organisation not only builds skating parks, but also offers skatewear and boards, besides conducting classes. According to co-founder Poornabodh (the other partners are Abhishek and Somanna), “This is a mini-ramp where only two people can skate at a time. We had recently uploaded a video on Kickstarter, post which we received funds to build ramps in Goa. The leftover money was used to build the ramp here,” he begins. The team wants to make skate boarding part of our culture. “The skating culture is definied in other countries with tournaments and clubs. Here we are trying to do it only now. But I’m sure the sport will evolve over the years,” says Poornabodh. The company is currently working on a competition to be held on June 21 (Skateboarding Day) at Bengaluru. “When you play football or basketball, there is a clear winner, but that is not the case with skating. We make up competitions like the Sticker—where participants have to ride a big wall and paste a sticker. Whoever manages to go the highest gets the prize,” says Poornabodh, who also builds skate parks in schools and homes.
    Next, the company plans to build a ramp in Pondicherry and at Marina Beach. “We want to make skating as popular as surfing. The number of people following it is definitely picking up. According to us, skating is a platform to perform and meet new people,” he says. Meanwhile, Abhishek tells us that he will make anybody a ramp for free. ‘‘If someone suggests a space where everybody can come skate, we will build the ramp for free. It is about building a skating community and encourage the sport,” he concludes.
    Rs 3,000 onwards per child (in a class of 20). Details: holystoked.com
    —Mrinalini Sundar

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