“As the days passed, many skaters from Tripura and Assam started joining the trip. Thanks to social media! On the day of our journey, surprisingly, there were around seven more skaters. It was crazy!”
Yuvraj and I randomly started planning to visit Arunachal Pradesh as he was visiting my hometown, Dibrugarh, for a few days. It was actually his plan to make a skate trip to the neighboring state. And when it comes to me, I am always up for trips, especially skate trips. Arunachal trip was always on my mind for more than a year but due to many reasons, I just couldn’t say no to this trip.
I definitely need to invite my skater friends, especially Rotha from Tripura, Eric from Shillong and, of course, Dibrugarh skaters. Rotha instantly agreed but his exams were nearing so we had to plan it that way. Unfortunately, Eric couldn’t join us because of his other commitments.
Finally, we boarded the train. It would take 3-4 hours to reach Arunachal from Dibrugarh but these 3-4 hours just passed, and we owe this completely to Yuvraj, who entertained us with his jokes the entire time. We had called our friends in Itanagar and Naharlagun for some help before the journey. With the help from local skaters (Nani, Tage, Ajay and Achum) we managed to get awesome stay and got to visit some beautiful sites around the city.
We reached on the night of 27th February. Ajay and Achum had come to pick us up and later dropped us to our hotel. They made our travel smooth, and we are really grateful to them. After the long journey, we all were super hungry and went to a nearby restaurant. We found an amazing spot nearby and started shredding.
The locals stopped by and appreciated us and even offered us soft drinks. Since skateboarding is in its initial stage, their appreciation meant a lot to us, and it does make a difference for us. The next day, one of our skater friends picked us up to go to the local skate spot in Itanagar, which was a public park. This place is definitely one of the most beautiful spots I have ever visited. Surrounded by trees and tall mountains with smooth roads and crazy downhills.
We were accompanied by other local skaters, including Abu, Amma, Kaya, and Lucky. It was a nice manny pad (The manual pad, often referred to as a wheelie pad, can be used much like a curb. However, manual pads are often too shallow to be able to slide or grind properly. That's why they're more suitable for practicing your wheelie combinations) and we skated the whole day in the park and ended the day with crazy downhill sessions.
On 1st March, we went to a Benjiloma skatepark in Naharlagun. It was built by Gimit, a local skater from Arunachal Pradesh, on his land with his own money. The skatepark really helped the Arunachal skate scene to grow. It’s also one of the oldest skateparks in the North East (The Benjiloma Skate Park is closed now permanently). A few of our skaters, who got to see the skatepark for the first time, were really hyped. Trying the ramps was an amazing experience for them. Especially for Dibrugarh skaters, Pulak and Bhaskar. They managed to learn a few tricks. The evening was cozy, and the BBQ and fire made the evening even better.
After skating the whole day, we finally managed to sit and chat, mainly about skateboarding. It was engaging and learnt a lot about each other. We were talking to each other, shared our experiences and inspirations and planned for the next meet.