When a 'skate' board does more than pirouettes | Society
If the story of Sergio and Javi has made you think and you also want to help this cause to change the world
As a child, I was fascinated by the ice skaters, who seemed to do their acrobatics effortlessly. When I got some boot skates (the ones that most resembled yours) I tried to imitate them, although the most I got were bruises and scrapes on knees and hands. I did not know what was wrong and I gave up early, frustrated, bored and in pain.
It took me a while to understand that I was missing something fundamental: a group with which to experiment accompanied and learn while playing. What I did see in those kids who used skateboards (skateboards) and that irritated the elders so much for "not respecting the rules". They used the city as their field of evidence, they did not circumscribe themselves to a single place and represented a rebellion that I envied.
I was surprised to learn that the origin of skateboarding It is linked to surfing and to California. It was on seeing The masters of Dogtown when I understood something better this sport and the community that has been building around the world since the 70s. That essence of search for freedom and companionship is lived and transmitted by Sergio Mejuto and Javier Boes, skaters and young founders of Cream Prime, a company that aims to revolutionize the world of skating with the development of a non-abrasive non-abrasive sandpaper that has been named CreamGrip.
Freedom on four wheels
So that those of us who have not practiced skateboarding let us get an idea of what is experienced when riding on one of those rolling tables, I am left with these words of Sergio: "When I am on top of one of them, what I feel is freedom, do what you like and you evade everything else". His partner, Javi, is not far behind: "When you skate, you flow in. You stop worrying about the things that flood your head, it's a healthy sport." I do not think anyone can criticize these starting points.
I would love to try it once and feel what they have, although I recognize that the idea of skater Hooligan (embodied in lots of fictional characters like, for example, Bart Simpson) is very internalized. They are aware of these prejudices and I think that we wish we had a more open mind so as not to discard what we do not know. "We did not go out to the street to destroy the street furniture, we went out to the street to skate because we were not in a corner drinking or smoking ... skate it helps us to develop as people, to know people, "explains Javi.
Pursue a dream
If I start thinking about my 20s, studies were the center of my life because there was no way to question that family mandate. And listening to these two 22-year-old entrepreneurs talk about the pursuit of their dream gives me deep respect. In fact, I can not agree more with this analysis of Sergio about the system that I could not escape myself: "Culturally they teach us that we have to go to school, finish school ... Then the university, a PhD, then a girlfriend, I marry, retirement, span and ... I have not lived, I want to live my life ".
Not only are they clear about what they want to do and have set in motion, but they live it with a freshness and passion that are inspiring. And, above all, they think that fear of the unknown can not stop them from achieving their goal: to live their work instead of staying in the shadow of anyone.
The origin of their initiative is extremely simple: they did not want to break more sneakers as a consequence of the use of skates And, for laymen like me, it is important to know that the sandpaper that covers the surface of the skateboards that, on the one hand, helps them to control the skate, also destroys the shoes. They may have to buy a new pair every two or three weeks, depending on the time they spend skating. Something unsustainable for many pockets.
His first approach was to create shoes that could not deteriorate. But, after discarding this idea as unaffordable in terms of production (too complicated to compete with the big brands), they decided to go another way: they would create an anti-slip material that would not be abrasive. Although they started from that idea, as Sergio says, "selfishly, because it is good for me to have a sandpaper that does not break my shoes", they did not stay there and their initiative has a social aspect.
Undertake with conscience
Before launching the company, they saw that in the skateboarding the big companies were involved and they, who are "normal guys", wanted to give their proposal a plus. They discovered that there were NGOs like Megabi Skate in Ethiopia or SkatePal in Palestine helping children in places of conflict or development through the skateboarding And they had an idea: "We are going to develop a concept of skating in which, for each piece of paper we sell, we will give one to an NGO, "explains Javi.
When our protagonists traveled to other countries, in which they did not even think that they skated, they found themselves in an unprecedented situation. "We saw that they had a board but not slippers, they were skating without slippers or in beach slippers, and we thought that, since they do not have anything, at least they do not break their feet when doing it," says Sergio.
Now their initiative is underway but they are still seeking support. They have already sold a thousand sandpapers and they have delivered 200 to NGOs, but they want to launch a crowdfunding that allows them to develop more products for their company and that more people join in the donations. The objective is to be able to live from your company and also to get your CreamGrip to many more girls and boys from places where skating is not as accessible as it can be in our country.
His philosophy is well summarized in this sentence of Javi: "I believe that the skate Yes, it is a sport of trial and error. Life is a game of trial and error. The sandpaper we have is trial and error. We launch them to the market and, if people accept them, we will continue and, if they do not accept them, we will continue testing until they enter the market. The one to follows her, get her".
Sometimes we think that what we are passionate about should frame it in the field of hobby. We do not usually arm ourselves with the tools that allow us to put our passions at the center of our lives. Although it is easier to follow the path we have been marked since childhood, there is nothing more rewarding than breaking that inertia and showing us that the motor that moves us can make us fly if we get together with the right people and lose the fear of jumping.
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Content adapted from Sergio and Javi's video
There are countries where the skate it becomes a tool of social transformation. Countries in which many children skid barefoot and burn their feet with the sandpaper on the boards. Javi and Sergio converted their hobby in a business project. They have invented a sandpaper that protects your shoes and your feet. For every sandpaper you buy, another ends up on the feet of a child in Ethiopia, Palestine or Afghanistan.
(Sergio) I'm Sergio, I'm 22 years old and I'm a skater since I was 10, 11 years old.
(Javi) I'm Javi, I'm 23 years old and, well, I started skating at the age of 14 and, since then, I have not stopped skating.
(Javi) It was a bit like coming out of the hole, right? And starting to meet people and start to develop my own personality, right?
(Sergio) When I'm on top of a board, what I feel is that you evade everything else.
(Javi) Like you flow.
(Sergio) Basically, in the end it's freedom.
(Javi) In the end, the skate It also helps us to develop as people, to know people, it is a healthy sport.
(Javi) It is a community, that together makes us support each other.
(Sergio) They offered us the subject of doing a market study to discover if the indestructible shoes were a viable project.
(Javi) The problem is not in the shoes, the problem is in the sandpaper. It has always been patinated with a carpenter's sandpaper that women use to file their nails, that is, a sandpaper that does not make any sense to skate with that. So that's when we said: "Okay, let's give it a shot and we'll investigate".
(Javi) We started the project because we were tired of breaking shoes.
(Sergio) Then we said: "Why do not we do something that makes sense? We saw that in places like Ethiopia they do not even have shoes and skate barefoot.
(Javi) So that's when we saw that there were NGOs that helped children in places of conflict or development through the skateboard The skate is for children, they have to enjoy and have to play them.
(Sergio) That they can have a hobby. Really, if we have the opportunity to help these kids, we want to do it 100%.
(Javi) So that's when we saw that our product, more than useful, was necessary in this society. Cream, the sandpaper we have, is trial and error. We started to investigate with cork and granulated rubber and that's when we said: "Okay, they're not going to be rubber granules, we're going to make a sheet. We got to the rubber that is used to make artificial lakes and we saw that it was the best. "
(Javi) In the world of skate nowadays they are companies of skaters created by skaters for skaters, and that's what we said, that is, we skated, we are two normal kids, we are going to try to give a plus.
(Sergio) Not only be a product for skateboarding, It has a social background.
(Javi) It is no longer a sandpaper, now it is a sandpaper that does not break your shoes, which can also be reused when you split the skate and also for each one that we are buying, we are going to Africa or wherever to hand them in and we put the sandpaper on your table.
(Sergio) In the first year we have sold more than a thousand, we have been able to donate and support countries such as Palestine, Mexico, Ethiopia.
(Javi) We have been able to donate more products, flip flops, backpacks, clothes.
(Sergio) Above all, how important it is to instill in these kids the values of skateboarding, It is this social factor that greatly influences the character in the end and carry a philosophy in your life of stumbling and moving on, in the end, to see life in another way.
This content has been developed by Yoigo.