Skateboarding is still at a very nascent stage in India. Not until a few years back was it serious business for anybody. But due to the meteoric rise of a handful of skateboarders and with apt support from brands like Vans, DC Shoes, Brgtn, HolyStoked, Active8 Sports and such, skateboarding is legit stuff today!
One of the most famous names of this rising scene is Sagar Waghela. This 22 year old skateboarder out of Mumbai has created ripples in the scene on his arrival in 2012. Comes from the streets, has won quite a few major competitions, loves his tattoos, and shreds it in style. Sagar is one of the shining lights of alternative cultures in India, and recently our man, Ajay Padval caught up with him to know more about the man on the board.
Ajay (A): Yow, how’s it going?
Sagar (S): Pretty chilled out, been in Mumbai for a while now. Skating at BKC park almost 4-5 hours a day, getting some new tricks dialled in, and working on creating some sick content!
A: Where did it all begin for you, bro?
S: Well i started off with BMX, soon to realize that the bike I was riding couldn’t keep up with my level of riding and then my pockets weren’t deep enough to afford a quality BMX. In 2012, when Manz Jaiswal said he had a skateboard lying around with him which I borrowed and before I knew it, skateboarding had my blood pumping.
A: Why Skateboarding?
S: To be frank, I never started off with an agenda of getting into this full-time, but something pulled me towards the sport. Starting off with BMX gave me an insight of what it feels like to achieve something different than what kids my age usually do, and once I got on a skateboard, things escalated pretty quickly.
A: How much of an effect have the streets caused on you?
S: The streets have made me who I am. This is where I met everyone, this is where I learnt my sport! I would be nothing if it wasn’t for the spot where we all started off. Till date we jam at the spot where we started off.
A: We’ve heard about the Meteoric Crew… tell us more about it?
S: We started meeting at our local spot and jamming everyday. Soon we started calling ourselves a crew, and a crew needs a name right? Meteoric Crew it was! It all began with BMXers Anul Pale and Manz Jaiswal and Skateboarders Nikhil Shelatkar, Azhar and me.
A: What are the challenges you face as a skateboarder from locals and authorities?
S: Nowadays, people are aware of skateboarding as a sport, but still we do get kicked out of places, they look at us as kids creating nuisance. Recently, I was skating with my buds Azhar and Akash and these cops show up out of nowhere, pick up our boards and take them to the local police station. When we went down to inquire what was wrong, they blatantly said that a complaint was filed against us for going fast on skateboards, creating a problem for the people around us. Not having designated skate parks and with such reactions from the people, it is a big hustle for a skateboarder to actually grow in this country.
A: What has brought the biggest change in the scene according to you?
S: Definitely Skateparks! You add a skatepark to a city which has a growing skate scene and the skills and number of skaters just booms up. Look at Bangalore, ever since HolyStoked built their first skatepark, the scene has just gone up in numbers.
A: I see you’ve been inked. tell us something about your tattoos.
S: My favorite tattoo is the one inspired by one of the best skaters, Ryan Sheckler. It is on my arms and reads “Skate Life Till Death”. Another one that’s close to me is on my leg, it’s an Anchor and signifies stability in Sea : Which is the meaning of my name Sagar.
A: So what’s next for Sagar?
S: Oww, thats a tough one. I haven’t looked into the future yet, but definitely more skateboarding, more sick videos, and more tattoos for sure!
A: In case of a zombie apocalypse, what are the 3 songs on your playlist?
S: It would be Panda by Desiigner, Mi Gustas Tu by Manu Chao and Satisfy my Soul by Bob Marley.
A: Any shoutouts for suppoters?
S: I would like to thank my friends and family for believing in me, my sponsors Active8 Sports and Vans India for showing their trust and my crew, Meteoric for always standing by me!
Ajay Padval is a 21 year old Mountain Biker out of Pune. Being raised around people with interests in different culture Ajay had a an affection towards it while growing up. Be it Skateboarding, Surfing, Rockclimbing, Slacklining or any other off-beat sport, Ajay has tried his hands at all of them. Having done his graduation as a Management student, he believes he’s learnt more on the field than he has during college lectures.
Ajay is also the team rider and a crucial member in the senior management team of Psynyde Bikes. He writes content for Freerider Mountain Bike Magazine and is a team rider for Haul Apparel India.