Under Nitesh Hub, in the parking lot, kids (accompanied by their parents) and teenagers meet to use the empty space on P1 level to skate. Some bring their roller skates and some bring their skateboards. It is here that we caught up with two skateboarders, Shubham Surana and Kartik Jain, who have starred in the short film Two Shoes and expressed their love for the off-beat sport.
Why off-beat you ask? Because these two teenagers tell us that people still don’t recognise it as a sport in India. “The scene is different in Bengaluru and Mumbai. There they have proper skate parks and the infrastructure for skateboarders to practise. Nothing like that exists here,” says Shubham. The two are childhood friends and neighbours living in the same housing society.
They claim to have built the skateboarding ramp in a park near their residence, but since it was getting spoilt due to the rains, they decided to bring it to this parking lot. It is available for anyone to use and practise along with them.
How they got rolling?
Their eyes light up when they tell us what got them interested in the skateboard. Kartik says, “Shubham has a skateboard and he used to play with it. So I also got one and we started practising together.” To which Shubham adds, “Four years ago, there was a show on Dishney XD called Zeke and Luther. Those guys had amazing skateboards. When we saw their skateboards, we realised how basic ours were. Theirs had grip tape and all the works! We went to every store searching for skateboards like that, and finally found them. The guys on the show used to do amazing tricks and we started learning how to do them.”
They claim that they were naturals on the skateboard. “We didn’t have to struggle to balance and roll on the skateboard. We had to put in effort to learn the tricks like doing an ollie and a flip,” says Kartik.
Try an ollie
An ollie is a jump with the skateboard. “When we were searching for videos on YouTube on how to jump with the skateboard, we found out that it is a trick that is called an ollie,” says Shubham who has a YouTube channel of his own now where he puts up ‘how-to’ videos of the tricks they do. Kartik explains that the trick is application of simple physics. “You have to tap on the tail of the board, and then drag your front foot to the other end and jump. It’s a flow. There are slim chances of it happening on the first few times but you will get it eventually if you keep practising,” says Kartik.
He shares that it took the duo one year to get the ollie right. “It doesn’t usually take that long, but we were watching videos and trying them out by ourselves, there was a lot of trial and error because we did not have anyone teaching us. But when we did get it right, we felt great having done it all by ourselves,” says Kartik.
Learning how to fall
The boys are great with their boards, but sometimes gravity just doesn’t co-operate with their ambitions and things get rough. The two have broken bones, and got serious injuries, but that never discouraged them from picking up their boards again and trying the trick one more time. One wonders if the experiences of falling off the board so many times has helped them realise how to prevent a fall, but the truth is quite contrary. “I have learnt how to fall rather. But I have learnt how to get hurt less when I’m falling. Like, when falling down the stairs, I will try and fall on my ribs and slide down rather than on my back, which can injure my head,” says Shubham, as Kartik adds, “You fall, that’s how you learn. No matter how much you practise, you’re going to fall down some time. But don’t let the fear of falling come in the way of your love for the board.”
It is here that we caught up with two skateboarders, Shubham Surana and Kartik Jain, who have starred in the short film Two Shoes by TheVibe – an experiential content creator and expressed their love for the off-beat sport.