If you’re into extreme sports or pop culture, you would have heard about skateboarding. The movements are more prominent especially in Western countries, thanks to the likes of X-Games legend Tony Hawk or even 2018 Thrasher Skater of the Year, Tyshawn Jones. For youngsters, the sport is also highly associated with distinctive fashion trend that accompanies.
Several skate-related brands such as Supreme and House of Vans have rose to fame over the past few years and are now becoming household brand names for “hip and trendy” get-ups. Even so, it is hardly likely for us in Phnom Penh to come across snapback-clad boys and girls wheeling around on a skateboard, unless you are in the know.
In fact, some are still clueless about skating hotspots in the city or even where to buy skate accessories from. Fret not, Lim Sonalis has got you covered as Youth Today brings you into Cambodia’s skate world.
Where to skate?
Wat Botum Park
Located at Oknha Suor Srun Street 7, Sangkat Chaktomuk in Khan Daun Penh, the park stood in front of the Wat Butom Pagoda where Cambodians would visit for religious purposes. Surrounded by luscious greeneries, it is a good space for people who want to exercise or do other recreational activities. Without a doubt, you’ll be able to spot some skaters around the big pond there. Typically starting from 4pm daily, skaters would gathering in groups as they prepare to skate. The perk is that the space is free for public to use, however, it doesn’t have the facilities that a skate park would have.
Skateistant is a non-profit organisation which was created in 2008 as a skating school. “Our main aim is to empower children, woman and people with disability through skateboarding and education,” said Kouv Chansangva, General Manager of Skateistant. As of now, Skateistant has cooperated with the Factory, Phnom Penh, where it is open for public from 5:30pm to 7:30pm every Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 12pm to 6pm on the weekends. To encourage more female participations, the venue is only open for skater girls every Tuesday. “We see that skate helps to create confident which could help to develop individual composure, especially it is a big part of health support. So we hope that in the future more woman and disable people are willing to joint us skate,” Chansongva added.
Local skateboarding stars
Ly Panhaboth (Majer)
“Skating has turned me into a better person as it built self-confident and gives me freedom to express myself,” said Ly Panhaboth who is known by many as Majer. This 20-year-old skater has been skating for 5 years now. Majer views it as a healthy activity that also makes him happy. Having quite an experience, his skills have lead him to receive sponsorship from the only skate shop in Phnom Penh, 10K Skateshop. Every day, he usually skates from 4pm to 8pm at Wat Botum Park while on the weekends, you can catch this skater boy doing tricks at the skate park.
At the age of just 15, Chou Chanvy has been skating for close to three years. This talented teen describes skate as what makes him the person he is today, adding that skating brings joy to his life. Chany is not all that different from Majer as the duo would always meet each other up to skate together. Due to his perseverance, Chanvy has successfully won two local skate competitions. The young boy said he wishes for more people to start skating and he also welcomes visiting skaters to pop by Phnom Penh’s skating venues.
Get your gears
10k skate shop
This is the one and only skate shop in Phnom Penh. Situated in the Russian Market area on Street 464, you will able to spot a big white building with a sign that reads “Magnet” where 10k skate shop sits on the first floor.
“2013 was the year I opened 10k skate shop and there were only 10 skaters here. Now the scene is growing and some of them could make difficult tricks look so easy. As you might have noticed, skate videos have also gone viral on social media in recent years,” said Luon Dysamil otherwise known as Steve, the founder of 10k skate shop.
A wide range of skateboars from various brands line up the wall of the shop. Skaters can also find full accessories for skateboard such as boards and wheels. To complete the whole skater look, you can also find shoes and local indie t-shirts at the shop.
Some skate shop couldn’t make it over the years but 10k has stepped into something bigger by cooperating with few shareholders. “10k is now bigger and better,” he added.