Meet The Community: DockSession Singapore

DockSession SingaporeSource: DockSession SG Facebook Page

Welcome to our first episode of Meet the Community (MTC)! MTC is a series of blogs and interviews to help new longboarders get to know the Singapore longboard community better. In each episode, we’ll interview longboarders from different groups, giving you the inside scoop of what longboarding is really like in our sunny island state.

Whether you’re new to longboarding or planning to get into this sport, the start is always the most daunting step. Online tutorials can only give you a brief idea of what to do. But, sometimes you just need the extra push from others to land that trick you’ve been wrecking your head over. Don’t get me wrong, longboarding alone can be therapeutic. Imagine cruising down long winding roads, just you and your thoughts (check out some amazing places to longboard in Singapore). However, coming together as a community to push each other can be game-changing!

So, what’s the longboarding community like in Singapore?

There are several longboarding groups in Singapore, each with very distinct and unique characters. Think of them as a longboarding class - friends gather, practice and have some of the best moments of their lives together. Longboarders of varying experience levels guide each other, through encouragement or advice from their experience, or both! So, if you’re a beginner, there’s really no need to be intimidated by these friendly groups. They’re all here to help you become a better skater.

This week, we interviewed several members from DockSession Singapore, a group with its roots worldwide. DockSession is a weekly longboard meetup which was founded in Paris in 2014 by Lotfi Lamaali. Since then, it has become a global movement, spreading across countries like Morocco, Japan, Russia, Korea and our sunny Singapore. DockSession Singapore has meetups every Sunday at the National Stadium between 4pm to 10pm, but unfortunately we couldn’t join them because of the current pandemic (boooo covid-19). 

We’ve gotten excellent advice from these talented and humble longboarders - so without further ado, let’s see what they have to say.

Cavan Chia

 

The man, the myth, the legend. You’ve seen Cavan many times on our social media, or on our online tutorials. We’ve known Cavan for a while now, and he still continues to impress us with his amazing grit and insane tricks. 

When did you pick up longboarding?

I started in 2014. I picked up a penny board, started cruising around and I liked it alot. Then in 2015, I picked up my first longboard and started longboarding from there!

How did you find out about DockSession SG?

I actually first saw DockSession SG through a Carousell page. They were advertising about their community and it was relatively central for everyone. So I was like, why not!

 

What do you love most about longboarding?

When I started I felt like it was easy to learn tricks and then it got more and more challenging for me and that's when it lit a fire in me for whatever or in whatever I do, give it your best effort and not half-ass it. This made who I am today. Also, the freedom of expressing yourself in doing whatever you want and just have fun!

What is one trick you’re trying to land now?

For 2020 my trick to land is a Tre-Flip (360 Flip) earlier this year, this trick took me out of the game for awhile. I had to take like 1 month off and relearn every trick again from scratch, so I would say this is the trick I wanna land real badly.

What’s one piece of advice you wish you received when you just started longboarding?

Don’t be afraid to ask people how to learn tricks, and not to be shy. When I joined a community it pushed me to be a more outgoing person. Over time after asking people and friends for help I got better! So don't be afraid of joining a community even though it can be a little overwhelming for some of y'all! Don't be shy, come down and find us, I'll be there too! Hope to see you guys!

Esther Peh 

esther peh longboardesther peh longboarding
Source: @h_wai_ on instagram

Esther is a bubbly longboarder we’ve had the pleasure of speaking to just recently. Her graceful style on the longboard is an eye-catcher. Did you know her first longboard was from us? What are the odds! 

What inspired you to pick up longboarding? 

I first skated on a penny board when my friend left it with me. I was bored at home and I thought it would be fun to make a video out of it -  and I loved it, both skating and making videos. I started searching for skate videos on YouTube and I saw videos of Korean girls dancing on longboards - I thought it’s really beautiful and inspiring. They look so carefree on a longboard and that’s when I decided to pick up longboarding. And I picked up my first longboard at Odyssey!

How did you find out about DockSession SG? What kept you there for so long? 

I saw Robert’s and Cavan’s youtube video while I was searching for Singaporean longboarders. I was really inspired, especially when I saw the video Robert made about the longboard community in Singapore. They were really passionate about it and it really sparked something in me. I was scared at first because I was alone and no one else around me was interested. But, I told myself to just go for it and that’s how I joined DockSession Singapore. 

What made me stay was the community spirit and friends that I had made throughout these 2 years and their passion for the sport. Kudos to all of them; they were the ones that encouraged me, taught me and challenged me. I have progressed along the way and am where I am now because of them. Much respect for all of them really! They help keep my passion alive. Apart from the community, I also stayed because longboarding is a freedom of expression to me.

What do you love most about longboarding? 

It’s a way I express myself, a way I tell myself that life is not just about being locked up in a mundane routine of sleep, eat, work/study until I die. There’s so much more out there to explore! And longboarding reminds me of that - that’s why I love it so much.

What is one trick you’re trying to land now?

KICKFLIP! Emmmm it’s hard for me! 

*UPDATE: SHE LANDED IT!*

 

What’s one piece of advice you wish you received when you just started longboarding? 

Don’t be afraid to fall, practise more because it’s a lot of muscle memory. Also understanding the technical side of it such as knowing where your foot should be at. Lastly, challenge yourself but also have fun!

Wei Ming 

longboard freestyle singaporelongboard freestyle singapore

We got to know WeiMing through Instagram as well - we were amazed by his beastly tricks and had to follow him! He’s planning to start a series on Singapore’s longboard scene as well, so do check him out on IG.

When did you pick up longboarding and what inspired you to do so?

I picked up longboarding in 2017. I was introduced by my friend to long distancing* as a casual thing - I never expected throughout these years that I’ll still be doing longboarding as a hobby. What inspired me was the fact that it’s such an unknown style of skating (mostly as we all know skateboarding was the trend back then and longboarding was never seen as the norm). That got me interested to know more about longboarding as a whole.

How did you find out about Dock Session SG? What kept you there for so long?

I got to know about Dock Sessions SG from my friend that got me into long distancing. I was captivated by the countless different variants that you could do for longboarding and hence here I am today.

 

What do you love most about longboarding?

I would say that getting to try out different styles like freeriding, and the innovation in freestyle dancing is what I really love about longboarding.

What is one trick you’re trying to land now?

I’m still trying to get my Treflip down (360 Flip) - doing it on a longboard compared to a skateboard is so different.

longboard flip freestyleSource: @h_wai_ on instagram

What’s one piece of advice you wish you received when you just started longboarding?

Never give up and always ask the community if you need some tips or advice on things you aren’t sure about. Many times people would avoid asking us mainly because of the crazy tricks we do but we are always friendly. We will always provide a helping hand when needed!

* Long distancing refers to covering long distances on your longboard. Read up more here.

Joining the community

These talented individuals all started somewhere - but they all had one thing in common. They took a leap of faith and decided to join DockSession, and that changed shaped their longboarding journey. 

If you're still on the fence about joining the longboard community, you can always send us, Cavan, Esther or WeiMing a DM on Instagram. They'll be more than happy to answer your burning questions!