Skate India Expedition - Chapter 2.
The last we had left off in Chapter 1 of the Skate India Expedition was on the way to Goa, the ride from Hampi to Goa through Karwar is an amazing ride. The views, the twisty roads are just a pleasure to ride on! Watch out for the traffic though, it can get pretty rough.
© Gautham Nalasingu
Our first stop in Goa was at Agonda, where we met our dear friend Velu, who is also an amazing surfer. A surf session and an off road ride to visit butterfly beach made the visit to Agonda a very memorable and fun experience.
After a couple of days we headed to Panjim and met up with Vaibhav, a skater from there itself. He conducts skate classes for kids (about 10 of them), who were given a one day workshop by Happy. Then we hit up a few street spots, Panjim has good spots to skate. The skate scene here is still in it's developing phase, but we're sure that it will grow fast.
Panjim Skaters © Gautham Nalasingu
After spending a couple of days in Panjim, we headed out to Vagator, where we met up with a kick ass skater, Sian. Goa has a couple of skate spots but very few skaters.
The pink colour Alis bowl in Morjim! It's a tough spot to skate on, but that didn't stop Sian and Happy from shredding it out. This is a spot which just looks amazing on footage! The eye catching shade of pink makes it looks very different from the other skate spots in India. We spent a good couple of hours there, from around late afternoon to evening.
Morjim Bowl © Gautham Nalasingu
Then the Jungle Bowl (which is actually an inactive skate park) came our way. It's an amazing park, the first in the country, thanks to Nick Smith! A beautiful skate park that is not used. What a waste! We still managed to get a full session in that place, with a little bit of help from the neighbours as well.
Company at the Jungle Bowl © Gautham Nalasingu
Jungle Bowl © Gautham Nalasingu
Sian pulled out a sick transfer. There have been ongoing talks about getting that place being reopened, so keeping fingers crossed, hope it gets through soon (don't hold your breath though). What a day that would be !!
Sian transfer at Jungle Bowl © Gautham Nalasingu
Then of course there is Cirrus, a completely DIY spot which has a very unique vibe, which is also one of the destinations of Holydetour. Being as we were in Cirrus, which is like home ground for skaters in Goa along with the other skaters from other places who have already been there, it called for a fire session. Lit the coping on fire and shredded it.
Be wary of the dogs though! They can come off as a little scary if you panic!
Fire session at Cirrus © Gautham Nalasingu
We managed to find some more skate parks during our stay there. All in all, Goa kept offering us more and more spots to skate on and kept our vibe alive! What else can a skater ask for? We can’t wait to see how the Goa experience changes once the skating scene intensifies.
The streets of Goa were no strangers to us! We spent a day catching up with some friends in Vaayu, Surf Wala and Aloha Surf School. We lodged at ‘ Sri ‘ in Vegator, which never fails at offering a much needed peaceful setting after a long day. And the food there, oh boy! Definitely one of the best dishes that I have tasted.
After 10 days of fun, it was time to leave Goa. As much as the idea of continuing with our road trip excited us, we were slightly saddened to leave such an amazing place.
Goa Street Session © Gautham Nalasingu
With that we said goodbye to Goa and headed up north to Pune. The ride was fun with some twisty roads in the beginning, and later on open stretches allowing us to cover the distance faster!
We headed straight to the Rolling Academy in Sinhgad , which is about 20 mins outside Pune. This place hosts a mountain biking trail and a mini ramp. Its the training ground of an epic upcoming mountain biker who goes by the name of Rohan Gawade.
Shubham at the Rolling Academy Halfpipe © Gautham Nalasingu
After a full days ride, immediately upon reaching, Happy had to skate for a demo for all the people who were at that place for a weekend kite flying festival.
The place with the mini ramp is a very raw and grungy place, with some graffiti around and proves to be an excellent spot for skate and camp trips.
Halfpipe, Rolling Academy © Gautham Nalasingu
The other place we hit in Pune was Montreal (Baner) - which has a Fresh Park ramp set up with small kickers and a rail as well. This place has regular skate classes going on every weekend. Another workshop for the kids there and then later a skate session joined by 3 other travelling skaters who happened to be in Pune at that time, and Happy showing off his skills in riding up and down the stairs on his bike.
© Gautham Nalasingu
Setup at Montreal (Active8 Sports) © Gautham Nalasingu
Pune has a few very enthusiastic skaters - Harshdeep, Shubam, Karthik and Navin.
There is a wooden mini ramp set up with a kicker inside the parking lot of a mall called Nitesh Hub in Koregaon Park. the ramp, being situated inside the building , makes it ideal to skate in any weather.
Halfpipe at Koregaon Park © Gautham Nalasingu
This spot is looked after by Harshdeep and skateboarding classes happen here as well.
It was a fun session at this spot which ended with Harshdeep, Happy and Shubam hippie jumping together- Harshdeep doing a high hippie jump over a shopping cart.
Party Jump at Nitesh Hub © Gautham Nalasingu
The next place we visited was Navin's society, (Navin of Active8 Sports), which has an epic downhill bomb, which Happy went for all the way with power slides every couple of seconds.
Downhill Bomb © Gautham Nalasingu
There are a few ledges and stairs with small banks which made it an extremely fun session with Karthik killing it with his steezy crooked grinds and kick flips down onto the bank.
Karthik, Crooked Grind © Gautham Nalasingu
© Gautham Nalasingu
There is one more spot worth mentioning in Pune, which is again inside an apartment complex. It's a massive, empty swimming pool which has a double step tiled bank and is a difficult spot to skate. A kick ass rock and roll later, Happy had a talk with the manager of the place and this spot is potentially open for skating and skate classes.
Rock and Roll © Gautham Nalasingu
Skaters, if you visit Pune you will be meeting a bunch of skaters with amazing energy and it will be epic fun. Pune has a dedicated and promising skating scene, which I would not have guessed, so I can say I was very pleasantly surprised. There are so many spots to skate!
Blunt to fakie © Gautham Nalasingu
One spot which is worth a special mention is Aga Khan palace, an old palace, where inside its premises there is an old ramp built out of bricks, to form a perfect ramp to skate on. Of course, that place is not meant for skating, but we did manage to get a couple of minutes of skating time after talking to the guard (doubt it'll work again though). All in all, that was one hell of a surprise and whatever little time we spent there, was spent in awe as to how the ramps came to being so many hundreds of years ago, which doesn't exactly seem to have a very functional role if you're looking at it as a non skating purpose.