Photo courtesy of Skateimpact
Amin Rida is one of the very first skaters in Egypt. In his last year of college, the 22-year-old is studying mechatronics engineering and also plays drums in the punk band Assfell. We talk to him about his take on the past, the present and the future of Egyptian skateboarding.
Egypt Today: How did you start skating?
Rida: When I was a kid, I liked to watch skateboarding videos and play skateboarding games. But we didn’t have any community or shops that supported skateboarding. But then in 2005 Skateimpact came into business, and that was really cool. And so on August 28, 2005 I bought my first skateboard there, and I have been skating ever since. I’ve been skating for 11 years now, so I guess I can call myself one of the very first skaters in Egypt.
ET: How did you end up being a part of the Skateimpact team?
Rida: We used to make short videos of us skating and putting them on YouTube. Skateimpact was sponsoring skaters, so we sent them videos to get sponsored. In 2009 I became a flow rider for Skateimpact. A flow rider is a skater who is temporarily sponsored by someone, and so they have a limited amount of time to prove that they’re good. After a year or two I became a permanent team member of Skateimpact.
ET: How are you trying to spread the culture?
Rida: Our aim is to support the scene and get more people to go out and skate. We post videos of us doing tricks and we encourage other people to do the same. The nice thing about skateboarding is that you can do it alone or with your friends. At the same time there’s a lot of freedom in skating because you don’t have a coach that tells you to run laps.”
ET: What’s the future of skateboarding in Egypt?
Rida: The scene is growing slowly because not many people support skateboarding, it’s really just our small community. But I think, in the next 10 years there will be real skateparks in Egypt and there will probably be more skateshops. And more people will know the sport better. At the moment, not a lot of people know what skateboarding is. When they see us in the streets they think we are aliens.”
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