Shane Azar Talks Shop
The Australian Open of Surfing is about to kick off and you may have noticed the giant kidney shaped not to mention monster sized Beach Bowl evolving down at the comp site. The bowl is making its debut in the southern part of the globe, so we caught up with Shane Azar to see what the oohhs and aahhs were all about. Azar was born and raised in North Curl Curl, learned to skate down at Manly skate park and has made quite a name for himself in the international skate family. He also works at locally based Volcom (who have high hopes for one of their riders liked to take the cake for the upcoming bowl comp) so he is pretty much all around cool.
Tats: Is there a growing skating community in The Northern Beaches?
Shane: Yeah it fluctuates. When I was really young, there was a really strong scene and then towards my later teens it started to die out a bit over here and then in the past five years it’s ah - yeah it’s really coming back strong. There’s a lot of good young skaters from the northern beaches.
Tats: This is the first time that the bowl has been in the southern hemisphere. It travels around a little bit. What you know about the bowl and it being here?
Shane: I’ve watched the comp in Huntington beach a few times. The exact same ramp that they have brought over here and it’s always a pretty full on competition. It’s like a jam format, so people will be skating it, like there will be 5 or more people in there at once. You see some big collisions. It’s pretty high energy skate comp so it will be good for the spectators.
Tats: Do you think the Bowl is going to raise the bar a little bit for what’s going on with skating in competitions in Sydney?
Shane: Ah, well, we got similar competitions going around, but there more based towards the Vert skaters. So this one gives the more all-rounder transitional skater a play because it not based around pads and doing 540s it’s more skating a really tight bowl which is a different technique on its own. So it’s pretty cool.
Tats: And compared to Bowl-A-Rama. What do you reckon?
Shane: Ah, well that’s why it’s so good. It’s in-between a little mini ramp and the Bondi Bowl. So there’s part of this ramp in Manly that are going be harder to skate then Bondi bowl but then there are other parts which will let you warm up and get the confidence better to do something on those parts which you wouldn’t have at Bondi. So it’s a bit different but it also just as scary.
And the fact that its wood as well changes that a lot. The Bondi ramp is cement so this one being wood changes the whole esthetic of how your skateboard feels under your feet so it makes it a bit more difficult to get used to and especially because it’s just there you’re skating there for the first time in the competition straight off the gate. But Manly has always been pretty into skateboarding and that kind of scene so it should be a good turn out down there. I know a lot of people that are gonna’ come up and watch it.
Tats: You work for Volcom right now…and you guys have a skater that you think is gonna’ do alright in the comp?
Shane: Yeah we have Pedros Barros coming over. He won Bondi Bowl-A-Rama last year so hopefully he can take that kind of energy into this competition and come out with a win again. That’d be good.
Tats: What do you think about the younger kind of skateboarding crowd that is growing up right now and competing?
Shane: Yeah Australia has some young skaters that are really good at transition, that kind of skateboarding, so it won’t be not too far behind the pros. There’s a lot of good talent out there.
Listen to the Audio from the interview - Shane Azar Interview Audio
Interview by Tatianna K Alpert
Local Focus is lovingly produced in collaboration with Little Hobo Project