HUF x Thrasher Stoops Asia Tour - Taiwan
A friend and former co-worker of mine who has already been back in Canada for years posted on Facebook that the HUF x Thrasher Stoops Asia Tour (#STOOPSASIATOUR) world team was going to be putting on a demo here in Zhongli. I had a bit of free time that day, so I packed up my camera and went to check it out.
When I arrived at the park I was a bit surprised to see so many skateboard-enthusiasts out to enjoy the show. The skate community in Taiwan is a young one, but it is growing very quickly - the crowd was full of foreigners, but there were also a lot of young kids, teenagers and even some adults taking part in the days festivities, all with skateboards in hands which to me shows that the community is pretty diverse.
The show started around 4:00pm and featured a bunch of local skaters attempting to pull of some cool tricks to make some cash. This part seemed a bit unorganized and somewhat indicative of Taiwanese culture as kids were flying back in forth in all directions and running into each other non-stop. Lessons can always be learned though because when the pro’s finally arrived they skated in to a lot of fanfare and took their turns pulling off some pretty awesome tricks and not getting in each others way.
The demo lasted about an hour and each of the pro-boarders performed various tricks using all of the facilities this new skatepark had to offer - Some of the tricks I’m sure most of the Taiwanese skaters didn’t even know could be achieved at their park and I'm sure will be emulated in the future.
Of all the pro’s I paid most attention to Kevin Terpening as he seemed to me to be the most skilled and getting the most air. He had made several attempts to pull of a pretty difficult vertical wall slide and even though he was mildly successful each time he tried, he wasn’t really happy with his result.
The rest of the pro’s who took part in the event finished their demos around 6:00 after performing various tricks such as rail slides, kick flips and skating through the bowl and on the half pipes yet they all more or less stopped and waited for a frustrated Kevin to finish his wall slide.
I was lucky enough to be in a good position with my camera to get a good angle to catch the slide when he finally pulled it off, but in retrospect I should have been on the opposite side to catch his face rather than his back. As this was my first time shooting pro-skateboarders I could probably be excused though.
After the demo was over, all the kids lined up for autographs and for a meet and greet with the pros. I had another engagement, so it was time for me to make my way back home for a quick shower and then out the door again.
I have to say that I really appreciate what the city government has done over the past few years. This kind of event never would have been possible in years past and I always would have travelled to Taipei to see something like this. Now, the people in Taipei have get off their butts and come here - which is never a bad thing.