As far out as it gets, our man Josh Zickert is back with another world report. This time, JZ ventured to the undiscovered skate frontier of India. Peep his story and photos:
Nasvay Skateboards is one of Russia's gnarliest skateboard companies. I rolled tough with their crew on my last visit to Moscow in August of 2012. Six months later we met up and toured the three largest cities in India: Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai.
Delhi is the capital of India and this is where we started the three-week adventure. Thanks to our good friend Patrik Wallner, who has visited Delhi on previous tours, we had the inside line on endless amazing skate spots. Luckily he was in Delhi again at the same time as us with Mark Sucio, Nestor Judkins, Sebo Walker, Sean Malto, and Jonathan Mehring. Our crews linked up several times to skate and get food during our stay in Delhi. It was awesome.
The temperature was sizzling but it didn't faze our posse. We were out of the hotel each day by 10 a.m., took tuk tuks from spot to spot and had a blast skating/filming ’til the sun went down. The locals were extremely intrigued by skateboarding and large crowds would develop within minutes at each spot. Tourist highlights from this region of India included the Taj Mahal, The Gate of India, and Gandhi Smriti, a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. It was also in this building where this epic individual and great soul was assassinated.
After ten days skating Delhi and being sick to our stomach from local Indian food, we took a 36-hour train ride to Bangalore. The Russians love to drink vodka, talk smack, and play cards so a day and a half on the train went by pretty fast. This was the first city we saw cows walking freely in the streets. It was awesome to walk right up to them and look into their large holy eyes. We also came across a large hissing cobra as we cut through a slum to get to a skate spot. It scared the shit out of us!
We seshed with the skaters from Holy Stoked Distribution at a beautiful cement skatepark that had two awesome bowls and a well designed street course. Som, G, and the rest of the Holy Stoked crew styled us out one night with a massive dinner and endless beers at their headquarters. We also held the Natural Koncept Creepin' For Life India premiere that night and dudes were trippin' on NK, especially Katch and Boner's parts!
Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, was our third and final city of this tour. It's considered the most populous urban region in the world with 20.5 million people living in the city limits. I would have never guessed by the insane amount of poverty visible on the streets but Mumbai is the sixth wealthiest city in all of India, ranking among the top 10 global cities on billionaire count.
The Mithi river runs through Mumbai and is so disgusting it looks more like a garbage dump full of sewage, industrial waste and sludge. We literally couldn't believe our eyes. Each metro station in Mumbai had embankments along the backside of the structure, all slightly different and awesome to skate! It was surreal. Within five minutes at the metro banks, the police were there in full effect. However, after speaking Russian and English to them they seemed frustrated and just motioned for us to leave.
India was by far one of the sickest places I've ever been to in my life. The people are so kind and spiritually centered. So many families are living in extreme poverty it was difficult at times to absorb. This experience made a huge impact on our entire posse and we all left India with a lot more appreciation for the opportunities and living conditions we have at home.
A big shout out to the entire Nasvay Crew: Dima, Sasha, Dimitry, Pasha, Yuriy, Stas, Nikita, and Mark for shredding every spot with style and grace. Check out the film titled The Gate of India Nasvay made from the trip! Thanks to Milk Studios and Arizona Iced Tea for making this trip possible!