Skateboarding South Africa
So this year we were 6 guys from Nelspruit off on the Christian Skaters National Tour 2018, for some Skateboarding South Africa action. We were once again blessed by Ford Barberton with a Ford Tourneo bus.
After a night in Johannesburg to break up the trip, our first stop was in Springfontein, a small town about an hour outside of Bloemfontein where our friend Louis runs a guest farm. As the guest farm had no visitors for the next couple of days we were able to stay in the lodgings as guests. The heated blankets were a win with temperatures dropping down to the negatives. The CS Cape Town and Somerset West teams arrived about an hour after us and even though we were tired, we couldn’t contain the stoke after not seeing each other in a long time. We had an overview of plans and an introduction session for the new guys, and then some good old fellowship. In the conversation we received prophetic word from Louis where he told us that this tour’s main objective would be towards the growth of leadership and the team, rather than the people we were going to skate with and minister to. We now had an idea of what to expect for this tour. It was now to wait on the Lord and see what He had planned.
We left early the next morning, as early as we could. It was tough leaving behind a warm bed to go outside to temperatures of -2 degrees. The drive to Thaba Nchu was around a two hour trip from Springfontein and we had no complaints as the cars had heaters. The rural community of Thaba Nchu is home to an incredible world class skate plaza which keeps a number of kids occupied and away from potential negative influences. This visit was a blessing as the skating was crazy between the locals and our boys and the ministry opportunities were in abundance. We hosted a best trick competition which got a lot of the locals stoked and we got to see a great spectacle of their skill and we believe great things will come from these skaters one day. During the prize giving for the comp Chris was able to share the vision of CS where we got responses from a couple of their guys who could potentially step up to become CS leaders in Thaba Nchu. Overall, it was a great day but as the sun set, the icy air set in too and so we headed home to the warmth of Louis’ fireplace where the fellowship continued.
Next morning we hit the road to Pretoria.The PTA event took place at Thrashers skatepark on the Tuesday 3rd of July at 13:30.This was a great time to network with some of the main locals in PTA, whilst sharing love and encouragement. It was cool to just hang out with the dudes! Again we hosted a prize giving where the locals were on fire, they gave us a show on how to skate their park using the huge quarter pipes to their advantage and landing some huge tricks. The winner was Etienne who released a massive FS Flip off a quarter. After prize giving, Stuart Rothon got to share his testimony of Heroin addiction and heart stopping death experiences. Despite the few locals that remained to listen, we were blessed and encouraged by his story.It was so awesome to sow seeds of love into the Thrashers skatepark.
On the same day we were off to Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. We arrived at the Gsk8t Academy, The home ground for CS Mpumalanga, just after midnight. After a well earned rest from the previous day of hectic travels. We felt real happy at the Gsk8t Academy as no traveling was required, only a few steps from our beds was the Skate park which I’m sure is a fantasy for some of the die hard skaters that we had with us. The morning kicked off with a morning devotion where we discussed the spirit of fear vs. The Spirit of God. It turned out to be an incredibly encouraging time where most of us shared testimonies of overcoming fears and some spoke on the power of being a child of God. Definitely the best way to start any day. The day was filled with chilled vibes and late in the afternoon we hosted a comp which was taken by Alex Williams, after landing so many tricks and the outlier was a massive Noseblunt slide down the hubba. Our local boy, Jonathan Liebenburg, also took home the prize of a skaters bible for his 5050 shuv out on the high ledge, always cool seeing our locals take prizes. We had a braai that night and the dudes ended up shredding the park until past midnight where we rolled into our beds and prepped for the 10 hour drive we had that next day to Amanzintoti, KZN.
Alex Williams with a massive Nosebluntslide at the Gsk8t Skate Academy in Nelspruit
We arrived quite late into KZN after a quick pitstop for some of the dudes to hit up a skim boarding session. Our spot in Amanzintoti was epic, Pastor Ivan from the Amanzintoti Baptist Church gave us permission to stay in the church, on the stage! It’s not everyday you get to set up camp next to a pulpit.
The next day, Friday the 8th of July, we had our first event in Scottsburgh,KZN. The park we visited is built next to C-Breeze Restaurant where the owner, Julian, built the park for his son, Luc. Both welcomed us and were so amped to have us host an event at their skatepark.
Before we got started the stoke was on when Julian and Luc joined in on the opening devotion. It’s such a unifying experience when we get to connect with park owners and leaders who are interested in the development of skateboarding. If all we did was reach the park owner with the vision of CS, then that is a great start for a CS presence in Scottburgh. The whole event in Scottburgh was mainly around Luc and his dad. Julian blessed us so much with great food and coffee. We really look forward to seeing Julian and Luc again. We pray for great growth in the skate community in Scottburgh. Julian prepared a massive French Tomato pasta dish for dinner. Satisfied and weary we headed back to the Church for a well earned rest.
Saturday, 7th of July we gathered at Durban beachfront park. We were blown away when we discovered that Skate Vision & Minority skate co. were hosting an event on the same day. Stoked and excited for a co-lab with Bradley from Skate Vision and Chantal Graaff and Sheldon Els from Minority Skate co. They hosted their competition of Ro-Sham-Bo ahead of our best trick comp. We are so excited to have made those connections. More possible leaders popping up. Devine appointment stuff… I tell you. Every event went down so well, with a sweet amount of attendance. Great skating and loads of crowd participation made it a rad public display of enjoyment and love at the beachfront skatepark. It was crazy how tangible Christ’s light came shining through.This was leadership encouragement for all the potential new leaders that we met that day.Humilty and a blessing brought us alongside Skate Vision & Minority skate co and guys like Simon Stipcich, who holds a great testimony for the skate scene in Durban.
The best trick was rad with all the different divisions of skaters – amateur, advanced and even a bmx comp too. Its fantastic when opportunity presents itself to include all the action sports going down on one day. The evening ended with prize giving and ministry time.Where we were honored to pray with all the new guys we had met. The Lord really pulled off an incredible day!
Church vibes and healing miracles
Sunday the 8th of July began filled with church vibes at our host Baptist Church. During the morning we had the opportunity to share about CS. It was a real honor to share in this congregation about the vision of Christian Skaters. After church, we hit the road to a skimboarding comp in Umhlanga, This is part of CSA (Christian skimboarders Africa) that Chris also heads up in our country. For some of us, today was all about beach and relaxation whilst the dudes skimmed, some of the dudes headed off to the Gateway bowl for some more skating whilst the rest of us hung out around the beach.
The skim guys were all getting ready for the comp and Chris linked up with an old friend Josh, who he introduced to the team. During conversation, Josh mentioned his really badly swollen big toe, an injury that he got from skateboarding. Josh had a hole in his skate shoe that cut his big toe. He continued skateboarding with the cut which caused infection. Some guys were convinced he needed to go to the doctor, but we reckoned that we were first gonna “hit” that toe with some prayer, completely trusting that Jesus could do it. We prayed 3 times for Josh’s toe and on the third time the Lord told one of them to pull the toe, which was bizzare because we knew how that was going to hurt him. Obediently, the toe was pulled, followed by a few nerve racking moments. Josh with a huge smile, then told us that the pain was gone. He was even able to participate in the skim competition with no problem at all and even took a prize home. After the tour ended we found out that his toe was completely healed after 3 days! Such a great testimony to the Lord’s faithfulness & might!
We made our way back to Scottburgh that afternoon to meet with Kelvin Louw, a fellow Christian who skates and was introduced to us by friends in Cape Town. Kelvin was from the New Covenant Church where we met up with him and we were given the opportunity to share the CS Vision with his congregation. The Lord opened up such crazy opportunities for us. Kelvin and his wife Janine, invited us to join them and some of their friends for dinner and to shred his mini ramp in his backyard.
The tour was coming to an end. The morning of Monday the 9th July, the Cape Town and Somerset West teams left towards Cape Town and our group towards Nelspruit.
Some of the major things that happened during the tour that can’t go without mentioning:
- We were able to encourage Christian skater leadership around the country, starting in Bloemfontein with Louis. He was so pumped up after we had left, he couldn’t stop talking about how blessed he was.
- Durban was another city that blew our mind with all the potential leaders. Bradley from Skate Vision showed great potential, along with Simon Stipcich a great skater with an amazing testimony.
- In Scottburgh, there was Kelvin who is sold on the CS Vision. It was so rad how we could further connect these guys with the Christian Surfers in Durban. Christian Surfers are already an established group who can encourage the skaters to start up and begin the growth of CS.
- Even with our own guys on tour the Lord was moving amongst us and was so cool to see. Some of the guys recommitted their lives to the Lord. There were countless times throughout the tour that we prayed for and encouraged each other when difficult moments arose in devotion times. The guys started opening up about their personal lives and their hurts and pains. So rad to see the skaters open up and surrender to Christ.
- The unity and new friendship with guys who hadn’t been on tour before was cool to see.
- Some of the guys on tour had never had the opportunity to travel or even seen the coast.
- So much love went around people on tour,we couldn’t have missed the touch of Christ. One way or another every heart was touched. Skaters around the country were loved. New leaders and relationships were established at all the different skate parks and we gained new wisdom and strength from all of the Lord’s blessings.
The Tour has completed this year’s mission. We believe everything that the Lord has planned is happening and the process has started. We have truly been blessed with all the people interceding for us while we were on tour.
We couldn’t have done it without their support.
Contact us if you want to be apart of next years National tour.