FISE UP JANUARY
In October 2021 the SURF GHANA project was invited to share its remarkable initiative at the Africa / France summit in Montpellier. While in the region the riders of the crew took the opportunity to have a skate trip in the south of France and captured their adventure on film. We're happy to show you what the crew got up to and discuss more about the project with its founder Sandy Alibo.
What have been the collective's main actions so far?
Collecting sports equipment, providing free surfing and skateboarding lessons in Accra, participation in festivals, competitions, educational trips, creation of the skate house in Accra (guest house), creation of the skate club dedicated to young girls (skate gal club), and launching the first ever skatepark in Ghana called Freedom which has just opened.
Personally, what has this project given to you since you got involved in it?
Better self-confidence I think. As a black woman, you don't always have the network, nor the means to develop your ideas, the collective allowed me to flourish on a continent that was almost unknown to me and in which I recognize myself every day.
What motivated this trip to France and what lessons have you learned from it since?
Thanks to this invitation to the summit, we took the opportunity to organize a 3-week skate trip in France from Montpellier to Marseille and Biarritz. The idea was to introduce the collective to a maximum number of skateparks, amateur and pro skateboarders, of diverse and varied profiles who work in the skate industry, coaches, photographers, association managers, skatepark managers, Skateshop sellers, etc. ... Thanks to all these meetings, we were able to better prepare the construction and management of the skatepark in Ghana, as well as the functioning of the Skateshop.
Do you feel that Surf Ghana is participating in a wider dynamic in and around Africa?
I think Surf Ghana is part of a dynamic Africa because above all we value teamwork through the collective and the creative youth of the continent. The project draws on local and international resources and tries to reinvent sustainable tourism in Ghana (skate house). The initiative creates a natural and virtuous circle in the sports world, in particular by creating new opportunities (sports coach, skatepark manager, director, journalist, etc.)
Is there a chance that we will see an African style of skateboarding, like we see a japanese style of skateboarding, or the french flair in rugby ?
Ahah I don't know but what is certain is that it gives us pleasure to share a “Waakye” with skaters on vacation and to introduce them to our culture in general. With the creation of the skatepark, we're pretty sure we'll soon be releasing edits on Afro-Beats and seeing them one day featured on skate mags hehehe.
What would you say to convince the riders to come and see what is happening in Ghana?
80% of visitors return in the same year or they extend their stay, which is a good sign.
Busua is a paradise for beginners / intermediate surfers who want to have fun without pressure. There is hardly anyone in the water in this fishing village and the people are super generous. Life is really simple and reasonable.
Otherwise Ghana in December has the best nightlife, parties, good vibes and good fun! All the artists meet there to party and make new collaborations. Beautiful meetings in anticipation for those who want to come.
Finally, there are nearly a hundred skateboarders in the country and Freedom is to date the only skatepark in West Africa. We also have two cool bowls in villages outside of Accra. There is plenty to do. Ghana is the new black!
Thank you Sandy and bravo for what you are doing there