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Skateboarding in Russia: The Cold Pavement Surfers

By Andres Pachon

A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.

 

So, how did such culture coming from America got to the almost closed gates of Russia, the answer might surprise you but is one of the many forms of art that spreads trends, fashion and culture through the world before the internet was even in anyone’s mind! Films and cinema! Turns out that young people got to see movies made in America where main characters are shown as rebellious young dudes cruising around on skateboards, this caught the eyes of Russian counterculture youth and inspired them to grab a board and start skating! Some of the most popular films that influenced this culture in the cold motherland were Gleaming the Cube, a cult 1989 American movie that came to Russian cinemas simultaneously as the rest of the world, this made a huge impact on the early skateboarding scene in Russia and actually made it grow even more, along with another flick called Thrashin’ released in 1986.

 

DIY Skateboards

Skateboard_Russia_Do_It_Yourself
Photo: Mikael Cho (Unsplash)

Another amazing fact that shows the harshness, determination and hard-working dudes Russia is known for is the fact that at the beginnings of their skateboarding blooming scene, the precursors of this sport in Russia used to get engineering magazines that published articles explaining the step by step on how to make your own board! That’s right kids, back then it was not as easy as going to your local skate shop and getting your gear, you actually had to do it yourself!

 

 

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The first actual skate shop in Russia was not opened until 1999, and the Russian skate scene was active from almost as early as 1978! Crazy right?! All the way to ‘99 Russian skaters had to find gear, clothing and even shoes from abroad and second-hand stores where they could find a pair of VANS or even a pair of nice baggy jeans, some of the older folks on the scene tried to imitate the American dressing style wich in Russia came across as almost extravagant and all of this influenced by VHS skating tapes and skateboarding magazines brought from America, I bet some of you youngsters don't even know what a VHS is right (LINK To VHS Broadcasting article)? Well go look it up! Remember this was pre-internet and these guys really had to make an effort to even get a good pair of skating shoes! Do you realize how lucky we are to even be able to shop for some SHIT® just sitting in the comfort of our homes?!

 

Skateboarding in Russia in the new Millenium

One of the biggest challenges for skateboarders in Russia nowadays is the overall post-war culture and the harshness of the authority in this country when it comes to respecting the culture and your country, most of the younger crowd tend to omit these and focus on other things such as skating, however, the economy in Russia is not very good and a skateboard could cost as much as half of a monthly salary which is VERY expensive and if you get caught by the police skating around important WW2 or political structures and monuments you could spend a few days in jail, yikes!

Here are still, skaters in most of the main cities keeping the culture alive in these cold lands, showing their skills and waving the Russian flag around the world, currently, the top 3 ranked skateboarders in Russia are:

#1 Max Kruglov

Age 30, Instagram: @mad_maxim 

#2 Egor Kaldikov

Age 25, Instagram: @egorkaldikov

#3 Konstantin Kabanov

Age 26, Instagram: @koba.94 

Fun fact, all 3 are GOOFY skateboarders! And there you have it, some Worldwide skateboarding his…

 

Read also: Skateboarding in The Czech Republic

Read also: Skateboard Bar in Barcelona: Nevermind

 

 

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