After the Gurus in the Ganges trip I stayed in India an extra 10 days to cover the Holy Stoked Skatepark build in Bangalore, India. Probably a place you’ve never heard of. It just so happens it’s where one the best skateparks in Asia is now located. Local skate collective Holy Stoked partnered with Levi’s to bring a crew of builders and skaters together to give a fledgling skate community what it needs most. Now there are two skateparks, one built in the 80s has fallen into disrepair, but with the addition of the new one – well, if you ever wanted to go to India, now you have an even better reason.
This park is amazing and features a small cradle, various sizes of quarters, a funbox with two variations of banked/curved ledges, steep and mellow banks and a volcano with a palm tree growing out of it plus a few hidden gems of gnarlitude. Levi’s has a history of supporting various sports and activities without the agenda of a pro team. They are in it for the good of the sport and they are down with Skateboarding. Stefan Janoski, Omar Salazar, Al Partanen, and Chet Childress came out to help build, skate, and show their support along with the 2er Builders Crew from Germany and some English mates as well.
The goal was to clear a plot of land purchased by Holy Stoked and build, from scratch, a professionally made park in less than two weeks. After a few mishaps, lots of beer, some angry neighbors, near misses of cows in traffic, some amazing food, some not so amazing food ending in many prayers to porcelain gods, new friends, partying till 4am and building at 6am, heavy metal, kids learning to skate barefoot, sunrise skate missions, skating till the sun came up, and a lot of concrete, the deadline was met and opening ceremony held. The pros destroyed, everyone ripped, and the project was a complete success.
Now it’s time to find a way to Bangalore.
Words: Jonathan Mehring – @mehringsbearings
Photos: Jonathan Mehring and Levi’s
Holy Stoked co-founder "Shake" Abhishek, does a Bean Plant thread-the-needle to - Ice Plant says Grosso. Lance called it a Pretzel Dance, Chet and Partanen said it's a Bastard Plant. We'll call it a Shake Plant.
Being almost completely cut off from the modern skate world the locals have begun making up their own tricks. Amit Subba power slides under a flatbar at the old park.
Omar Salazar and Fabian "Baumi" Baumgarten get fancy with a back tail nosegrab and front crailslide doubles over the bench at the old park.
Shake and Holy Stoked co-founder Shashank "Soms" Sommana catch a ride on a tuktuk during an early morning session.
Shake and Soms - Early morning skate by the temple of Lord Hanuman, the Hindu god of strength, perseverance, and devotion.
Omar Salazar hippie jumps a bike as students look on. This was probably the first time they had ever seen a skateboard.
Al Partanen back tailslides the bowl at the old park.
Chet Childress bluntslides in the heat of the mid-day sun at the old bowl.
Al Partanen - back boneless in the deep end.
Omar saw this hubba out of the side of a tuktuk one day but the gate was down. He asked the store owner for permission to skate and soon the gate was up and Omar was grinding. The rain didn't stop him either.
The park getting under way.
2er Builders Crew with some help from Chet, Al, and Shake.
The kids are alright. Witnessing that feeling - The discovery of skateboarding was pretty amazine. These kids were stoked beyond belief.
Al Partanen - Crail block at the Holy Stoked Park.
Darryl Nobbs - Stalefish in the cradle at the opening party.
Local kids at the opening party.
Omar Salazar - Boneless in at Holy Stoked. A local kid with a homemade board.
If you can find this street you can find the park. Only trick is finding the street. A map of Bangalore looks like a plate of spaghetti.
Holy Stoked Skatepark - complete.
A very special thanks to Holy Stoked, Levi's, 2er Builders Crew, and everyone who helped make this project possible.