Tell me something about Indonesia that no one knows
Indonesia has 700 different languages
When and why did you start skating?
My full name is Sulistiyono. People call me Sulis. I don’t have family name because my name is from Java culture. We don’t have last/family name. When I was 11 years old, I had a new friend who just got moved next to my house. One day, I asked him to play basketball with me, and he told me he would bring his skateboard. I also asked him that I wanted to try his skateboard and he allowed me. On my first stepped to the board, I felt something that I never had before. It felt like I was meant to be a skateboarder. Ever since that day, I wanted to know more about skateboard.
Which pro skater did you look up to at that time?
Chad Muska because my friend introduced me to the Tony Hawk game and I was interested in Chad Muska.
What was your first skateboard?
When I was 12, my parents got me my first skateboard. The brand was Maui and Sons. Sadly 3 months later, the board broke so I could only borrow my friend’s board until I started university and I decided to look for jobs in order to buy myself a new skateboard.
Your board sponsor is Puppets. How did this come about?
I grew up in a small city called Salatiga, which is pretty isolated from modern world. One day, me and my friend started to questioning about ourselves. “Why are we doing this?. By doing this, do we have any purpose?” As the time goes by, we realized that the answer was so simple; because we love to skateboard. We can make new connection, even make an exhibitions. We can make a lot of contents for digital world by recording and editing videos/photo of ourselves skateboarding. And I never expected that I could get any sponsorships, until Puppet contacted us in 2014. I was really grateful back.
Do you have any other sponsors?
Yap @vast.attitude and @vans.indo
Are there any Indonesian skaters that can live off skateboarding yet?
Yes, they can, but not too much. Maybe about 20% who can get it.
What are you doing when you are not skating (job, hobbies, other sports)?
I work as a creative director for a local brand in Jogjakarta. I also have a small agency in Salatiga which consists of skateboarding friends that I founded so that we can skateboard anytime. We didn’t graduate from college and we’re not really fit to work in the office. On weekends me and my friends always go to enjoy the beauty of nature. Swimming in the river, walking to the hills, take pictures and much more.
Do you have any goals you still want to achieve with your skateboarding? If yes, what would they be?
Yessss of course. I’ve always been interested in filming, people, new places, and obstacles. So, I will keep making skateboarding videos. I hope one day I have a skatepark so that my friends in my city can study well, especially the new kids. I want to have a skateboard school where there are street children, orphans, and the underprivileged. Besides learning to skateboard, I will also teach them about creative things that will be useful for them later. And I believe skateboarding will have a positive impact on their lives. May this prayer be answered.
‘In the past, it was very difficult for us to learn to skateboard where magazines and videos were very difficult to find. We also had to take turns reading/watching them.’
What is your proudest moment so far?
Many under-estimate skateboarding, waste time, damage the body, etc. They say, you are better off working in an office and making money. My proudest moment was when I was able to go to several countries because of skateboarding and I remember my parents smile when I was leaving, I was also able to earn money through skateboarding. Skateboarding taught me to think creatively, that’s where I can use my creative ideas to earn money.
The most embarrassing thing is that I’m not very good at skateparks, transitions, bowls, whatever it is at the skatepark. Since childhood, I only studied box, rail, ramp on the streets because I didn’t have a skatepark.
Are there any brands from South East Asia that are popular in Indonesia?
Yes, I think @preduce skateboard, they have a great team, and they also have riders from Indonesia (@absarlebeh)
Last question. If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
What would you ask? @shinpei_ueno, how did you make skateboarding so great? Communities, concepts, families, products, movements and more. How?
For people that do not know shinpei, who is he?
Shinpei was born in 1983 in Osaka. He runs TIGHTBOOTH PRODUCTION and is a professional rider for Evisen Skateboards. He’s released many skateboarding videos, and his most well-known work, “LENZ II,” was highly- acclaimed both in Japan and abroad. He works in a wide variety of fields, including direction for a skate shop and apparel brand, and production for QUCON, Moncler Genius, Gucci, and Pizzanista Tokyo. He is a very creative person and has always been an inspiration to me since I first saw him on YouTube in 2011.
‘I want to have a skateboard school where there are street children, orphans, and the underprivileged. Besides learning to skateboard, I will also teach them about creative things that will be useful for them later.’