Bloem was scheduled as the last stop on our 2000km drive across the country. As one could imagine, the crew was pretty dusted after a week of traveling and skating every spot they came across. We arrived late Tuesday night following our 650 km drive from Durban and checked into our guest houses before headed to Stuart’s place for a “heated” (fire pun) session on his backyard hunk ‘o ‘crete. Stu, always a killer host and eager to have company, heated up the braai and lit up the ramp, allowing good times to proceed until his bedtime at midnight.
After a breakfast at Spur and an excessive amount of time spent at the mall, we hit 29’ N Skatepark to warm up before hitting a few spots. If you ever find yourself there, be sure to say what’s up to Louis and Jeanray at At Vance Skateshop on the skatepark premises, they are doing lots to keep the scene alive in Bloem.
After we dipped from the park, we enjoyed the remainder of the sunlight skating a ledge spot atop Naval Hill, which bears a great view of the city. We were also fortunate enough to get a great view of a real-life ostrich bowel movement. After the crew (and the ostrich) took care of business, we tried another spot before heading home. However, to no avail, we were shown the way out and hit the road to Kimberley after a quick bite. A mellow, yet productive last day on the tour, indeed.
When all was said and done, the Kimberlaaities had the opportunity to live the lives of traveling professional skaters for a week with no obligations other than stacking clips and enjoying each other’s company in a van while exploring the country. Shout out to Damian, Samkelo, Jaydan, Siphiwe, and Charles for nailing it every moment of the trip. These guys can definitely hang and proved it over the last week. Although Charles got a pass as he was recovering from a serious injury, the guys got out of the van and skated everything presented to them with no complaints. Thanks to Martin Kotze for joining the trip and documenting everything, not to mention putting up with the kids for a week.
Thanks to Kimberley Diamond Cup and the Northern Cape Provincial Government for your efforts to keep kids in the Northern Cape (and abroad) stoked and allowing us the opportunity to take these young skateboarders around the country and let them experience different places in the world, all through skateboarding. Without the government’s skateboarding development plan that was initiated in 2011, none of this would have been possible.
The Kimberlaaities enjoy one of their last moments together in the van on the way to Bloem.
Although he had to stay up a little past his bedtime, our good friend Stuart Walker greeted us with open arms as we arrived to his backyard ‘crete pike at 10:30pm. Here Stu feeds the flames with some petrol to ensure the pyrotechnics are up to par for the video.
Siphiwe rides the fire. No matter how sore he was or how difficult he perceived the spot to be, Siphiwe at least attempted to skate everything in front of him.
Stuart with a backside disaster on the extension.
Skate or braai. SamK cooks the wors past the point of botulism and saves the night.
Damian rides around the whoop-de-doo and transmits signals of shred to the extra terrestrials.
Siphiwe steps up yet again and puts down a feeble.
No stranger to the street grabs, Damian hucks a melon grab over the rail to cap off the sesh.
Up to Naval Hill where you’ve got some decent ledges to skate with the best view of Bloemfontein to match. We didn’t get any skate photos at this spot but managed to grab one last group photo before the sun set.
Lengthy exposures in the streets of Bloem.
After some hesitation, Siphiwe decided to feel out the rails at San du Plessis Thatre, better known as the JP rails. Unfortunately, we got the boot after a few minutes and got a move on.
Photos by Martin Kotze
Words by Chinner