Indonesia’s Skate Mecca
Interview with Julien
Co-Founder Eat Sleep Skate Bali
Tell us something people do not know about Bali?
In certain areas, the houses that have a number with the letter X are brothels.
Are there any skate shops in Bali?
Yes, there are few shops, nearly as many as there are skate parks.
What are the most popular skate spots in Bali?
Pretty Poison, Motion, and Amplitude are probably the most popular ones.
Is there any street skating?
Yes, even though bowl riding is getting more popular, most skaters in Bali are into street skating, but there aren’t that many good spots besides the few street parks like Donkey, Motion, Amplitude and Lumintang. The real street spots are either pretty rough or in private hotels guarded by security. One popular spot is at Taman Festival, an old abandoned amusement park with a few sets of stairs.
‘The difference might be that there are more good skaters from abroad who come to Bali and inspire its skate scene. The surf industry being so big here also plays a big part, there might be more parks and skaters on this little island than there is in the whole of Indonesia.’
How is the skate scene different in Bali compared to rest of Indonesia?
The difference might be that there are more good skaters from abroad who come to Bali and inspire its skate scene. The surf industry being so big here also plays a big part, there might be more parks and skaters on this little island than there is in the whole of Indonesia.
Are there any local skateboard brands in Indonesia and Bali in particular?
Yes, a few good local brands have already been established for many years. Feel, Motion and Televisi Star just to name a few.
On theculturetrip.com they say that ‘Bali has established itself as the epicenter of Indonesia’s skateboarding scene’ with over 15 skate parks? Do you know the reason for its success?
Yes, around 15 parks and the number is growing fast. The scene in Bali tends to develop faster here perhaps due to the surf industry being based here and it is already adapted for tourism, which makes it a perfect place for skaters to come on vacation.
With so many parks, I am sure there will be some locals that are making a name for themselves in skateboarding. Any particular ones we should keep an eye out?
Yes, the new generation of skaters are absolutely shredding!! Many shredders indeed, Jason Linnjzaat and Sanggoe are the main ones I can think of.
One of those skate parks is located at your Bed & Breakfast. Looking at the pictures it looks more like a proper resort to me. What made you realize this project to start with?
At first, I built a little bowl in our front yard just outside of our house in 2005, there wasn’t much to skate back then. It was actually the first concrete park in Bali. We built the homestay 10 years later on my in-law’s land. We always had many friends from abroad come over, so I figured that making a bed & breakfast that revolves around our skate park would be ideal.
Do you know of any other skate park-style resort outside Bali?
I think there are now a few of those… there is definitely one in Lombok. Not sure if it was bound to happen or if we simply started a trend.
‘Yes, the new generation of skaters are absolutely shredding!! Many shredders indeed, Jason Linnjzaat and Sanggoe are the main ones I can think of.’
Were there many skate parks around when you first started?
There were just a couple shitty parks with quarter pipes and fun boxes, the ground was rough and the modules were always rundown, there was one fun mini ramp which my friend Jaya built in Canggu but it was torn down after one year because neighbors complained about noise. My other friend Yopi also had a steel ramp with ply on top, which he rented out for events, it was very narrow and steep, he needed a place to store it, so I suggested to cut it down to make it more skateable, and to put it in our yard. The plywood and tropical weather didn’t go well, needed to be changed all the time and that’s when I decided that I would need to build a bowl.
What are some of the challenges skateboarding in Indonesia faces today?
Nowadays, people only skate hard when they are being filmed. Hopefully face masks at the skate parks will not become mandatory. Not enough Indonesian- made skate gear, should stop importing and make more of their own quality products. But overall the future of skateboarding in Indonesia is looking bright as long as we don’t fall into global dictatorship.
‘Not enough Indonesian-made skate gear, should stop importing and make more of their own quality products. But overall the future of skateboarding in Indonesia is looking bright as long as we don’t fall into global dictatorship.’
What do you mean by global dictatorship?
I’m sorry, I didn’t want to get political in this interview, but it’s just my reaction to the current events happening worldwide with all the lockdown and restrictions.
What are some of the challenges people in Indonesia face today?
Average people’s small wages compared to the cost of living. Corruption cannot be stopped and has its way at every level. Indonesians losing touch with their culture, seeking the American dream, brainwashed by television and cellphones which is a worldwide problem.
Last question: If you could interview a person, who would it be and why?
Not sure, so many interesting people out there but I’ve never been the type to ask too many questions.