Cape Town - Pro skateboarder Gavin “Moses” Adams from the small town of Mamre, near Atlantis, is living the dream. A skateboard has been named after him.
“Gnarly!” as they would say when something awesome happens in the skateboarding fraternity.
From humble beginnings, Adams has come far for a boy from a small dorp who couldn’t afford a pair of skateboard footwear to being Cape Towns only pro skateboarder with his own pro-modelled board.
Adams has also rubbed shoulders with some of the world’s best in the sport.
Speaking from The Shred skate park in Paarden Eiland, Adams said his journey to the top was not an easy ride.
“When I started skating at the age of nine, I didn't even have a pair of skate shoes, there wasn't money for it,” he said.
“So instead I would get up at six in the morning and put on my Toughees school shoes and skate in (them).
“At 11 or 12 years old I entered my first competition at Boogaloos in Canal Walk. I remember my father couldn't come watch me because he was always working to provide for us, so my mother came to watch me and that's when I won my first comp.
“I then later got sponsored by Boogaloos. At another contest held by Circa, famous skateboarders like Mark Appleyard and Ali Boulala came down. I remember how I watched them and couldn't believe it, because these are the people I saw on TV.”
Then the unimaginable happened – Adams was approached by Circa for a sponsorship deal.
He said the very same people he admired and watched on TV ended up being the ones he ripped parks and the streets with.
“It was like a dream that I never even imagined came true. It was also the first time I wore a real pair of skate shoes,” he said.
By the age of 17, Adams’s love for the sport took him around the world for competitions, where he was recognised as a pro skateboarder.
“I travelled all around the world – Australia and the USA stand out. In America, I was privileged to skate with one of the world's pioneers of skateboarding, Paul Rodriguez.
“We played a game of S.K.A.T.E (video game) and when we were done he told me that Wayne would be coming through. I thought okay, Wayne is probably one of his friends. Turns out I would be sharing the park with rapper Lil’ Wayne. A Cape Town boy with these people!”
In 2020, Adams was contacted by an Australian manufacturer, KFD Skateboards, who wanted to sponsor him. Little did he know that the company had planned on designing a pro-model skateboard with his name on it.
Adams’s board was then manufactured in Australia and shipped to South Africa and other countries, where it is being sold. Locally, the board can be purchased for R1 000.
“So here I am now, a boy who didn't have shoes to skate in, with a board named after me and I truly hope that this is an inspiration to the many young people who share the same sentiments as me,” he said.
“Whatever you want, remember it’s possible, as long as you keep your head up and push forward.”
The Mamre resident said he wants to build a skate park for his community as a means of giving back.
“Right now skateboarding is a diverse sport, it’s a stress reliever, you know the moment the wind touches your face on the board you feel free, and I want people to experience this,” he said.