Skateboarding has always been associated with young people mostly those from well off backgrounds. The hobby has been around since the 1940s.
However, it was in the early 2000s that it gained popularity among the youth around the world.
Even in Botswana we also see this trend where most of the skateboarders are relatively young people. Freddy Motsumi of Deck’d Out outlet at Game City mall, which sells skating boards and accessories, said that Batswana are hungry for the cool trend,
The skateboard deck, has always offered the young people with the chance of expressing their individuality since they are always made in a funky way to suit different characters.
Motsumi said that they began taking part and growing the subculture because they saw their young brother doing it. He introduced them to it and they fell in love with the skating. He said that from there they realised the gap in the market for the skating boards, and then as such decided to open up a shop. His mother, Lorraine Motsumi who has been selling bracelets, decided to sell the skateboards.
"Most of the people struggled to get skating boards and accessories. However since we opened this shop the market has been overwhelming,” she said.
The son who runs the shop with his two other brothers said that the market has totally grown in the country, and that skaters meet every day to have fun together, mostly on Fridays. Saturday is deemed skating day since that is when a lot of numbers come around Main Mall area to have fun and take on each other, testing their skills. He said that the skating community around Botswana is now big, and that it is even more appealing to younger people. On which kind of dress style is normally associated with skating, Freddy said that they usually wear shorts, t-shirts, the new fashion trend bucket hats.
He said that the shoes for skating are always supposed to be hard, in order to be able to grip well because of the pressure that is needed to try and move the skate with your legs. He revealed that currently the shoes that they have in store which are good for skating are the Fallen brand because of their hard soles and their durability.
Freddy said that those who love to be part of the skating community shouldn't be afraid, but rather buy their skateboard and learn how to ride. He emphasised that it takes practice and serious training for someone to be able to muster skating.
The mother Lorraine Motsumi said they are looking into expanding the business to places like Molapo crossing where they want to revamp the skate park for all skate lovers to come and have fun. 23 year old Ben Meshack said that skating for him is something that is very refreshing as it helps him take off his mind from a lot of things like drinking alcohol and chasing girls, because whatever free time he has, he always takes his skateboard.
"My skateboard is my friend; whenever I get bored I just take it and run around. It helps me take off my mind off things. It is very fulfilling," he said.