Skateboarding is a sport going places. Not only has the number of skaters grown hugely in recent years, but news that it will be included in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo has proven it’s to be taken seriously.
This week there’s extra reason to celebrate it, too, as Wednesday June 21 is Go Skateboarding Day. The event was set up in southern California in 2004 by the International Association of Skateboard Companies to promote the sport globally.
“The day is a cool opportunity for skaters to get together and do what they love,” 21-year-old Red Bull skater Jan Hoffmann tells Time Out Dubai.
“It’s growing globally and there’s some huge contests with crazy prize money now.”
German-born Hoffmann grew up skating in Dubai. “It’s completely different now, the scene has grown so much over here,” he says. “Five years ago we didn’t even have a skatepark, we were just skating round the streets. Now there’s XDubai.”
Last year, Hoffmann took to the slides of Atlantis The Palm’s waterpark Aquaventure, alongside Alex Sorgente and Milton Martinez.
“It was super-fun,” he says. “We quickly got the hang of it and could do some tricks.”
Hoffmann started skating nine years ago. He has since travelled the world and had a win at Red Bull Lord of the Streets.
“With sports like football or basketball, you have to stick to game plan,” he says. “Skating is more of an expression, you do it the way you want to. I love the freedom of it. It’s pretty cool how popular it’s becoming.”