They are the members of Hue Skateboarding, a skateboarding community that has been in operation for more than 10 years in Hue City.
| Young people showing off their own skills
Pham Hong Duy (who was born in 1992), one of the founders of the Hue Skateboarding, shared that he knew about skateboarding when he watched a movie about the skaters on TV since he was a child. After watching that movie, he longed to surf on a skateboard… and asked his parents to buy it for him. He taught himself how to skateboard, and kept practicing even though he fell and injured his leg. Until 2008, he officially achieved the success. In 2010, Hong Duy went to university and brought along his passion from Dong Hoi City to Hue City.
As he had no acquaintances in Hue, he just practiced the skateboard alone for half a year. Then, a few young people asked him to let them join him, and they created a bustling and effective group. Good news has wings, other communities of hip-hop in the Ancient Capital, including parkour, rollerblading, and BMX bikes also got to know each other, and learned to skateboard.
"In July 2010, we established the community named "Imperial Citadel SK8", the predecessor of Hue Skateboarding now," said Duy. At that time, the Imperial Citadel SK8 had only about 10 members; its activities were mainly held in the square in front of the Imperial Citadel, and sometimes in the area around Emperor Quang Trung's statue.
“In those days, we faced a lot of difficulties to maintain the community. Many people could not afford a skateboard so that two or three people sometimes shared a skateboard. I often looked for old components of skateboards to fixed them, and gave them to the members,” recalled Hong Duy.
The Imperial Citadel SK8 overcame the difficulties simply thanks to the burning passion for skateboards. Currently, the Imperial Citadel SK8 has changed its name into Hue Skateboarding, and become a large community of Hue with more than 300 members. On Facebook, the group reaches 2,000 members. Duy has succeeded in spreading the fire of passion, as well as successfully building a developed skateboarding community as it is now.
| The Hue Skateboarding community
Do Ngoc Binh Quan (who was born in 2005), one of the leaders of the Hue Skateboarding, said: “Usually, at 4:30 every afternoon, we divide into groups of about 20 people to practice and share skateboarding skills such as how to ollie, nollie (jumping with the skateboards without using hands), or kickflip (flipping their skateboards 360 degrees in the air before landing)".
For skaters, it is too familiar to get scratched, but Hue Skateboarding members have never had serious accidents thanks to their own caution and the reminders from the community not to perform dangerous movements by themselves. The group also carefully chose empty spaces so as not to affect other people. However, the group sometimes face difficulties in choosing venue for their activities.
According to Binh Quan, unlike before, the number of people participating in skateboarding in Thua Thien Hue is increasing. “There are a large number of skaters, not only in the city but even in the districts. Just last month, I went to A Luoi to meet, exchange, and have some activities with skaters there. They are very passionate and share the same thinking about the inconvenience of not having spaces for skateboarding.”
Like other sports, Hue Skateboarding also regularly organizes skateboarding tournaments; in which, skaters show off their skills through various rounds. The number of participants is about 30 people in small-scale tournaments, while in the big ones, which are held periodically on Tet holiday, Go Skateboarding Day (on June 21), Halloween, etc., the number increases to about 50 people.
Though the prizes are not very big, and most of them come from sponsors, these tournaments are opportunities for people, who are confident in themselves, to show off their techniques and interact with other enthusiasts. It is also thanks to these spontaneous tournaments that more and more people come to this sport, and the skateboarding community in Hue is increasingly growing.