Bloem’s skate scene remains resilient

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Bloemfontein’s skateboarding community has faced several challenges throughout its existence, but skaters within the city are determined to keep the scene alive. Read more on page 2. PHOTO: WARREN HAWKINS

Bloemfontein used to be a hub for skateboarding, with skaters often seen downtown or at one of the local skate parks – which have all since closed. The skating community in the city has had to make a plan, but have remained resilient and found a way.

“Pacofs was our go-to spot for skateboarding in Bloemfontein,” said Dillon Johnson, a skateboarding activist in the city, as well as the facilitator for Christian Skaters Bloemfontein, “but rules changed, and now we can’t skate there.”

Bloemfontein used to have an abundance of skate parks, but now skaters like Johnson and Malan need to make do with what they can. PHOTO: WARREN HAWKINS

Johnson has said that they have had to find new spots, with the closest skate park being in Thaba Nchu. “We’re adapting and still rolling strong,” he said, “showing our love for skating in our city.”

Despite the challenges faced by local skaters, including a decrease in members, Johnson said “each session becomes a cherished opportunity to come together, share our love for the sport, and support one another.”

While the road ahead may seem uncertain, local skaters seem determined to “keep rolling and keep the skate spirit alive in our city, burning brighter than ever”. Johnson explained that there is no real local skate shop anymore, so he has done his part to support his fellow skaters by supplying boards, trucks, and wheels whenever he can.

As a skateboarding activist and committed community member, Johnson has seen what the sport can mean to a community. “From all-day long sessions in town to the exhilarating skate back home to Heidedal, each ride was filled with laughter, awesome tricks, and unforgettable memories,” he said, “I’ve seen firsthand the positive impact skating can have on personal growth, and that’s why I’m committed to keeping the wheels turning.

“Bloemfontein’s skate crews are more than just skaters—they’re spreading the gospel,” explained Johnson, “they’re mentoring kids, and fostering the community.”

He mentioned Christian Skaters sharing the Good News, Create Skate Academy empowering youth in Heidedal, Skateboarding Essentials serving as a hub for local skaters, and Impact Sk8 making waves of positive change, saying: “Each crew leaves a mark beyond the skate park.”

“With dedication and support, we can breathe new life into the Bloem skateboarding community!” he concluded.

The love for skateboarding within the city is alive and well, and committed community members like Dillon Johnson are the reason why.

Anyone looking to get involved can contact him at dillonsb24@gmail.com

Warren Hawkins

warren@mahareng.co.za