Miniramp could spark new craze

Miniramp could spark new craze

090413_13.jpg
090413_13.jpg

SIEM REAP

Photo

Supply

Siem Reap's rooftop miniramp.

THE rooftop of Siem Reap's  X-bar is now home to the province's first miniramp - a U-shaped ramp, or halfpipe, used by skateboarders and BMX bikers to perform tricks.

X-bar co-owner Carlo Tarabini, who built the miniramp almost entirely by himself and has stocked his bar with BMX bikes and skateboards for willing patrons, told The Post that he hopes the structure will spark a skateboarding craze among local Cambodians.

The madcap behaviour of motorbike drivers shows a natural Cambodian flair for extreme sports, but skateboarding has not yet caught on in Khmer culture.

Tarabini believes the problem lies in a lack of infrastructure.

"Cambodians are already picking up on the Rollerblades because it's easy to set up Rollerblade rinks. But the kids just sort of roll around on a track. It's completely different to skateboarding," he said.

However, Tarabini thinks that if halfpipes are built, the skaters will follow.

"Kids are fairly resilient [to injury] around here," he said. "There's a large population of them, so I can see it happening. Look at Thailand and Indonesia. It's what kids in the world are doing these days, if they've got access to it."

Tarabini came up with the idea to build the miniramp two years ago.

"We talked about it as something that can help kids," he said. "We had it growing up and it was a good release for us. Kids over here don't really seem to have a lot to occupy their time. They've got some kick-a-thong-around-type sports, but not a lot. I saw the potential."

Labour of love

The ramp took six months to build, with work being done by Tarabini in his spare time and others when needed.

"A couple of local expats helped me put the wood down," he said.

The result is a "smooth and fast" 2-metre-tall ramp that overlooks Siem Reap's popular Pub Street.

The halfpipe is open to customers during the day, and plans are under way to install lighting so it can be used at night. Tarabini also hopes to start skateboarding classes for Khmer kids and is approaching organisations that could help him get this off the ground.

"We're talking it out with a couple of local NGOs. We're also looking into organisations like the Tony Hawk Foundation. When Tony Hawk came to town ... it was something he wanted to do."

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • Protests planned in New York as Hun Sen to attend the UN

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. But US-based supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) plan to throw eggs at his car as part of a series of protests to coincide

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune