Singapore, otherwise known as the Lion City, is a warm tropical paradise with an ever-growing skateboarding scene. With more and more kids becoming interested in the sport, and with local professional skateboarders like Farris Rahman making his mark in several global competitions, Singapore’s skate scene is rapidly gaining momentum. From illegal to legal, subculture to mainstream, the scene has come a long way. Recently, Neocha sat down with Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman, the founder of Singapore-based skater collective Brain Juice, to hear his thoughts on Singapore’s skate scene and how local skate culture has evolved.
新加坡，也被称为狮城，是温暖的热带天堂，本地的滑板圈也不停的发展，从越来越多的人加入到这项运动中来，到本地的职业滑板选手Farris Rahman在国际比赛上取得更好的成绩，给本地滑板氛围带来更多活力。滑板在新加坡从非法到合法，地下文化变成主流文化，本地滑板圈走了一段艰辛的路。最近，我们和本地滑手Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman聊了聊他对于本地滑板圈的看法和新加坡的滑板文化。
Neocha: There are many skateparks in Singapore. Do you feel like locals prefer to skate in the parks or out in the streets?
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman: I personally prefer the streets, although nowadays, more skateboarders prefer skate parks as their go-to hangout spot. Many locals like to meet up there and enjoy a nice skate session. To me, a skate park is a place to learn and further develop your skills. It’s a place where you can boost your confidence on certain tricks before heading out into the streets and going down a huge set of stairs, gaps, or handrails.
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman: 我个人更喜欢街头滑板，但是现在更多玩滑板的人更喜欢去滑板公园，因为他们是从那里开始接触滑板的。本地人喜欢在那里见面，玩会滑板，聊会天。对我来说，滑板公园是一个学习和练习滑板，增加自己对技巧的信心，然后你可以去尝试冲向街头，或者是尝试下楼梯和栏杆。
Neocha: Considering how Singapore has fairly restrictive laws, do you guys ever get into trouble for skateboarding?
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman: Well, there’s been some minor encounters with the police, with them wanting to check identification or getting kicked out from spots. I’m lucky to have never been arrested or have my board taken away.
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman: 好吧，就是些普通的小麻烦，像是警察查查你的身份证，或者被从滑板公园赶出来。但是我是幸运的，至少没有被抓起来，或者没收把我的滑板。
Neocha: With a background as a filmmaker, do you have any plans of making any films about Singaporean skateboarders?
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman: There has always been this idea, but right now I’m just finally finishing my national service. I’m slowly working towards it, but for the moment, I just want to take the time to enjoy skateboarding.
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman: 我一直有这个想法但是我刚刚当完兵，总算完了，我正慢慢的开始计划中。但是现在啊，我只想单纯地享受滑板给我带来的乐趣。
Neocha: How does the general public feel about skateboarding in Singapore?
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman: Skateboarding is not something that the public generally approves of. To some people, they might see it as a nuisance, as vandalism, or as if we’re doing something illegal. The public does not see what skateboarders see. Take a set of stairs for example. Most people see them as simply something to help you get up or down, but we see them as a challenge. With the increase of popularity in skateboarding, I hope things will change and more adults will encourage their children to skate.
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman: 公众对滑板还是不太认可的。可能对于某些人，他们讨厌玩滑板的，认为我们破坏公物，做很多非法的事情。公众和玩滑板的看到的是不一样的，就拿楼梯来说，老百姓觉得这就是爬上爬下的，我看看到的就是挑战。现在滑板越来越流行了，我希望能够有所改变，更多的父母能够让他们的孩子去玩滑板。
Neocha: For most of the skateboarders in Singapore, do you feel like they’re looking to go pro or is it simply a hobby?
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman: I can’t really speak for others, but there was never a point in my life where I felt like I had to make it as a pro skater. I just feel like skateboarding is a passion of mine. I’m not focused on trying to be an all-out competitive skateboarder. But there are kids shredding and killing it to make their mark, like Singapore’s number one pro skateboarder, who made his name skating in global competitions. Singaporeans competing on an international level at big events such as the Street League and the Tampa Pro will certainly change people’s views of skating in Singapore. Hopefully, it’ll become motivation for the younger generation. Overall, if you love skateboarding and you work hard, I’m certain good things will come and a path will be carved out for you.
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman: 我就光说说我自己吧，我从来没有想过最后一定要成为专业的。对我来说，滑板更像是一种情趣，而非拼了命要和别人比个高低。但是有些人还是拼尽全力，创造了成绩。就像新加坡第一的职业滑板选手，他在世界级的比赛中也滑出了成绩。能够参加像Street League和Tampa Pro这样世界级的比赛。这些都改变了对新加坡滑板圈的看法和激励年轻的一代，他们可以在滑板的路上走的那很远。总的来说如果心事真心爱滑板，努力练习，做个好人，好事自然会来，也定能在开辟一条成为专业滑板选手的路。
Neocha: How would you summarize skateboarding culture in Singapore? How does it compare to other countries in the region?
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman: It’s growing a lot. From what skaters wear to their skating styles, the skateboarders are even more diverse now. The only letdown is that Singapore recently had a few skate shops shutdown, and people have realized that skate shops in Singapore does not do well compared to skate shops in other places in the world. But no matter which part of the world we live in, skateboarding is a common language. We can just go out and skate, chill out, and have a good time.
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman: 已经进步了不少。玩滑板的人在衣着打扮和技巧上都有了更多不同的风格。唯一让人失望的事情是最近有些滑板店关门了，让人觉察到本地滑板店和其它国家的相比处于窘境。但是我觉得滑板就是滑板，这是一个通用的语言，就是出去滑吧，放轻松的去享受。
Neocha: What’s your take on skateboarding being in the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, and being recognized as a sport internationally?
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman: Wow, I don’t know where to start. For me, it’s mixed feelings. Skateboarding to me has always been a lifestyle, a subculture for the misfits. But seeing it become commercialized and more accepted in the media now contradicts the public’s perception here of skating as being an illegal activity. Skateboarding is now a real sport. There was never a time before where I would consider it as a sport. Now, with the Olympics, it will probably attract a lot of business and marketing. You will probably see more people crowding the skate parks. With all this attention recently from the media about skateboarding, it is definitely quickly bringing everything from the underground to the mainstream. Whatever the hype is, skateboarding will always still be skateboarding. Just go out and skate.
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdul Rahman: 我都不知道从哪说起了。是一种很复杂的情绪，滑板一直都是一种生活方式，一个对于少数人的地下文化。看到它变得商业化和媒体化让我开始怀疑这个“非法的运动”（公众对滑板的印象）。但是你猜怎么着，它现在是项运动了，还参加了奥运会，估计会吸引很多商业活动和市场运作，也会有更多的人来滑板公园玩。但是媒体招来这么多注意力，让这个本来是地下的东西变得主流了。但无论怎么炒作，玩滑板就是玩滑板，快出去滑吧。