• VIDEO: Supersized skateboard rolls into Napier

VIDEO: Supersized skateboard rolls into Napier


A supersized 12m-long, 800kg skateboard rolled into Napier this morning, flanked by two of the country's top skaters Matt Markland and Bowman Hansen.

The board, called Eke Tahi, meaning ‘Ride as One' and commissioned by the New Zealand Olympic Committee, is travelling the length of the country as part of a 41-day Great Olympic Skate Roadshow. 

Already 12 days into the tour, Matt and Bowman, who hope to represent New Zealand in the event at the 2024 Paris Olympics, along with the skateboard, drew crowds of people of all ages at Bay Skate. 

Matt says he has lost count of how many places they have been to so far. "Everybody just loves it. If we pull over for five seconds, it draws a crowd straight away." 

"Photos and videos don't do it justice. It's pretty magnificent in person," he said. 

Set to break records by entering the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest fully operational skateboard in the world, the board is a symbol of the changing face of the Olympics, with skateboarding now an Olympic Sport.

Matt says skateboarding is a way for people to express themselves. "There's not one particular way that you can do skateboarding, it is all up to the individual." 

"I've been doing it for 15-years now and it's just forever changing so it's pretty important to give kids that might not feel comfortable with traditional sports an alternative. 


Bay Skate Manager Justin Dwyer says it is a "huge opportunity" for them to have Eke Tahi. 

"It's really good to promote skateboarding and we are just very happy to have a bit of buzz and excitement around the sport." 

Recently they have noticed a "big influx" of skateboarders through their doors. Dwyer says that while there is no specific age, about 70 to 80 per cent are 15 and under. 

"It is a perfect age to grab them and get them to progress within the sport." 

The roadshow finishes in Auckland next month, with the skateboard taking up residence at The Cloud at the City of Sails waterfront for the final countdown to the Tokyo games in July.

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