A perspective on the local skateboarding scene through the eyes of someone who isn’t a (professional) skateboarder.
My curiosity towards the skateboarding lifestyle came naturally as I carry numerous skate brands in my store(s). I wouldn’t say I know how to skate per se but I do know how to get on top of the board and push without falling too many times. Everything about skating is fun; the tricks, the speed, and the falling, especially.
2011 was a thriving time for the local skateboarding scene, at least that’s when it started for me. I remember that year to be the time when a lot of Malaysians started making names for themselves as professional skateboarders, designers, and entrepreneurs as skateboarding brands and stores were popping up as fast as hipster cafes are these days.
Fast forward four years later and we’re doing much better. Like most living organisms, if nurtured with the right amount of nutrition and care, it’ll grow – which is essentially what happened here. The skateboarding movement is only becoming greater because people are still showing interest in the sport; we’ve even hosted world-class competitions in our home ground and I think that speaks for itself. The best part of it all to me is seeing parents being more supportive of their children getting involved in skateboarding. It’s great that it’s no longer heavily associated with negative traits and is looked at as a potential career.
We still have a long way to go before it can be fully developed but that’s only possible if we’re given continuous support — especially from the government. They have built a few public skate parks for everyone to enjoy but oftentimes the contracts for these developments are given to unprofessional contractors, which then result in the facilities being subpar. We need a proper place with quality equipment and obstacles for our fellow Malaysians to practice and sharpen their skills and talent.
I’m proud of all that we’ve achieved; Malaysians travelling abroad to participate in international competitions and the fact that our local skateboarding brands are able to survive show that there’s a market to sustain them. I take my hat off to the individuals that constantly push the scene to reach its fullest potential because without them, we wouldn’t be here.
Darren Chiu is a streetwear OG whose list of shops include SHOWROOM and Stussy KL – so you know homie knows what’s up.