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December 23rd, 2008 by Crossfire

A Skateboard film by Lovenskate.

Skateboard DVD’s all tend to follow a similar tract these days, the emphasis is purely on tricks and convincing us that a team is cool, and we should therefore, buy the product.

Back in the days skateboard videos like Streets on Fire and Animal Chin showed a different side of skating, it was more about having fun with your crew and travelling together, and if you got footage cool, if you didn’t, cool. Super Jumbo Bolivia takes the traditional route, and goes a step further – this isn’t like the AntiHero vids where they went to South America and killed it, this is a documentary purely about skating in Bolivia.

Bolivia is one of the poorer countries in South America, with land mass 5 times larger than the UK, and a small population of around 9million, so its not surprising it took the Lovenskate cameras a week on their initial visit in 2002 to find a skater, but fully inspired, it wasn’t too long until a more in depth look in to the Bolivian skate scene was thoroughly investigated.

In 2007, after the successful birth of the Lovenskate brand, they went back to film an expose on skating in Bolivia as a whole, searching out skaters and spots from the Capital La Paz through to the jungles of the Santa Cruz region. The spots might not be on par with Barca, but the love of skateboarding more than makes up for that. With an estimated 900 skaters in the country, its easy to understand why the skate-industry hasn’t jumped to support the scene. The price of equipment here is really high, and getting a board is a mission in itself, but the hand-me-down culture is evidently thriving but there isn’t much product to go around with skaters resorting to travelling to America to get setup. (Remember that next time you choose to focus a deck)

The spots are fairly basic, and it makes you appreciate how spoilt we are in the UK. La Paz does have a park which is killed daily by the locals and travellers alike. There is some great footage from a travelling Chilean skater on holiday called Patrico, who highlights one of the problems skating in La Paz, being the worlds highest city, the altitudes thin air makes breathing hard and slows down a session. Still, faced with all these problems, the scene rolls on.

Santa Cruz is home to the Mmmta Crew, who cordially invite skaters from everywhere to come session, these guys will ride anything. The province again is a little spot starved, and again, doesn’t stop skaters from pushing themselves. The scene over there is young, and without the influence of a constant barrage of American skate vids they are clearly developing their own relaxed style of skating. It’s only a matter of time before someone comes out of Bolivia and blows people away, much in the way Burnquist did in the early 90s and later Rodrigo TX.

The DVD is fantastically edited with some great black and white stills laced in to the production, the thing that impresses me most is that Stu and Faye (who filmed it) stay pretty much behind the camera, I’ve seen them both skate and it would have been easy to do the “hey look at me I’m rad” routine but, far more humble, let the skaters and their sub-culture take the plaudits. This is truly an inspirational piece of work, and a solid reminder the skateboarding brotherhood is alive and well EVERYWHERE.

Get a copy direct from www.lovenskate.com for £7 inc postage – it’s a bargain.

Phil Procter


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