In 2017, a late-night conversation between two friends sparked an idea. To not only make their dreams come true but also help this growing community of skaters, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
Fast forward to 2020, Oman Skate welcomed around 70 people and 100 guests for their 2nd anniversary on Friday.
Along with the skaters were also artists @fishbowlart, @marbelousb, @50dose and @yoona_artist99 working their magic to bring colour into the park and DJs Taher & FlyCa turning tunes, keeping morals high.
Supported by McDonald and Just Jam, the event saw skaters young and old, artists and families gather to support this space that was built to build a community.
Where did it all begin?
“We constantly heard the word no. People always tried to call the authorities on us and even shooed us away from places where we weren’t disturbing pedestrians and shoppers. Eventually, we started going to the clock tower. It was the only place we never got kicked out, anywhere else on the streets you would get asked to leave, but clock tower was the only place,” Haitham narrated. Haitham al Wahaibi was one of those kids who far too many times, other than hurting himself. At the same time, he practised different skateboard tricks, get a good lambasting from different people just because he loves skateboarding so much.
James co-manages the skate park with Haitham and has himself been a skater since he was 13 years old. He added, “An event like this was fantastic. People from all age groups came to where it was safe and legal to skate. A skate park like this really changed the dynamics. It gave us old-school skaters and the kids today have a place to come together, meet people with similar interests and tastes.”
After several rejections and failed plans, they found a place in Wadi Kabir willing to let them build a skate park.
With excitement, Haitham shared, “Every detail in every inch of the place took precision and proper execution to ensure that the place was of high standards and with good safety measures. Before class, I would come to visit the site, tell them how exactly it needed to be done and then go to class. The place was covered in dirt, trees and rubbish and it was only after over a year’s worth of work that in 2018, Muscat was presented with Oman Skate, the country’s first skate park and skate shop.”
From a Facebook group to a full-fledged skate park, Oman Skate and its keepers continue to look after their community, as they watch it grow every year.
“We hope our sponsors know that there is a community here that aims to provide a safe space for the youth of Oman. With their help, they can also help the community grow,” he said.
Haitham and Omanskate entertain people interested in their activities on their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @Omanskate.