As the latest member to join the adidas skateboarding team, Allan Adams has been submerged in a life of skate culture from a very young age – and was highly influenced by one of South Africa’s legendary skateboarders and older brother, Moses Adams.
“I grew up watching my brother skate. He gave me my first skateboard and told me it wouldn’t be easy. I’d ask him questions all the time and eventually he taught me mostly everything I know today. My brother will always be my inspiration,” says the 19 year old Adams, who has proven his ability to showcase his unique skill set on the street which many riders are yet to master. His style and mindset was the perfect addition to the adidas Skateboarding team.
In 2012, the adidas Originals’ Action Sports team launched their Skateboarding sub-category in South Africa. As part of celebrating the milestone, they started organising epic trips for members of the team to explore unique skating spaces and document their work on the streets.
The first trip was to Mozambique and over the years the adidas skateboarding team have been actively supporting the journey of talented local skaters by building a professional team of riders. The team currently consists of Dlamini Dlamini, Yann Horowitz, Pieter Retief, Khulu Dlamini and Allan Adams. Each team member has paved their respective path in the skateboarding scene, and been very active in making their mark on both local and international soil.
Pieter Retief, Head of adidas skateboarding, speaks about Allan as the latest member to join the professional team: “Allan’s been around for a while, but he’s only been on the team for just over a year and a half now. He is so consistent and can also skate big sets of stairs, he has the legs for it. I’m super stoked for his skating.”
adidas skateboarding caught up with Allan and the team after their most recent trip to Johannesburg to hear their thoughts about the industry.
“The skate scene in South Africa is a lot bigger now,” says Adams. “Skaters are being seen, heard and respected for what they do. There’s something about hearing that raw sound of the board hitting the streets after finally nailing a technical trick. The rewarding feeling and hype we share as a team is out of this world and I feel lucky to be a part of this journey.” Allan adds, “My time on the trip was rad, the guys were killing it there. Johannesburg has that sense of complete realism, it’s dirty and it’s grimy. We ended up seeing and experiencing some crazy stuff on the streets, the best spot for me were the ledges and stairs at Wits University.”
The city offers unique settings and experiences especially for the guys who are actively exploring these areas on foot or by board: “There are so many spots in Johannesburg; you just need to find your way. There’s a spot for everyone for sure,” says Dlamini Dlamini.
When asked about what the highlights of the trip were, the team expressed excitement towards Allan’s skating in particular: “The biggest highlight would definitely be skating Wits University and seeing Allan kill those stairs!”
Adds Horowitz: “What he can land in a day will take me about 4 to 5 months.”
Retief shares his thoughts about taking the team to Johannesburg: “The future is looking bright for skating in South Africa. Other than far out trips such as Mozambique and Namibia, local trips always bring up inspiration for the guys who go on these trips. The Cape Town scene is well established and tends to lead the way in skating trends. It’s been refreshing to see how quickly Johannesburg’s skate scene has been growing, so the timing of the trip was perfect to explore the streets of Jozi. I would say it’s become one of our favourite places to skate in South Africa. It’s also amazing to see the talent that’s emerging across South Africa, and as the skating scene becomes even more professionalised, we believe more talent will emerge from all kinds of unexpected places.”
Photos – Sam Clark