So this year the AWHOU!! crew members Marshall, Tobi, Paul, Sebastian and me (Guleed) went on an adventure to South Korea.Hands down for one of the most welcoming places we have been to. The love and hospitality that the longboarding community and people of South Korea showed us was heart warming. The stoke overwhelmed us, we where going from skate session to skate session seeing the different and exciting skate spots and longboard crews, who showed us so much love. Their excitement was real and all they wanted is to share some time with us. The time management war pretty hard but we made sure to hit every event so we could give back a little.
One of those meetings was a longboard picnic close to the river in Seoul. Here I saw the strategic planning of the Koreans for the first time. They where so prepared and had everything you need started from tents and seats to games, drinks, food and like a thousand portable chargers. We where being dragged from one selfie to another. It was overwhelming but all paired with excitement and positive energy.
The whole time we had the best guides we could wish for: Jongbin Jo & Wany Shin (aka boardshop), Seyoung and Lee (1love skateshop), the B-side crew from Jeju, Sharkman for letting us crash and manny more! And not to forget Mengji our tourguide and newest AWHOU! member.
Together with our new friends from the Travellol crew from Hong Kong they lead us from one adventure to the other. Big shout out to the travelol crew cause they really made our trip even nicer.
One famous adventures was going to karaoke. I have never been a big karaoke fan but that was because I didn’t know how to do it the right way. But the Koreans definitely know how to do karaoke the right way! I went from being the shy guy in the corner to screaming the lyrics of “happy” with Marshall on my side. Tobi and Paul had exceptional karaoke skills and really got some good scores. But then the Koreans stepped up and showed us how it is done. They really knew how to use the mic and get their voices across and that definitely requires some skills.
We also skated some old monuments just waiting to be sent away like we are used to in the West but people are so much more tolerant towards our skating. This one time in the old city a whole group of people surrounded us and started watching while we where skating. It felt good to be appreciated in this way.
I also had the chance to go to Jeju island and it was for me one of the most memorizing experience for me. I went their with Jongbin-jo and Yoonji Seo to visit the amazing hosts and members of the B-side crew. We stayed in this pittoresk cabin, surrounded with green hills and splendid nature. They showed us around the whole Island, there wasn’t a view or skate spot to forget about. You could really notice the difference in culture between people from the mainland and people on the island. On the island people where chilled, tanned and worked in island time. My kind of people! We went for amazing dinners, had our own backyard bbq (Koreans now how to bbq, their bbq game is on fleeeeeek) and they even made me try raw horse meat. I really can’t put in words how welcoming they where, even though their is a language barrier. I have never understood people so well without being able to speak a common language. We had one common language and that was body language and it worked great!
Of course as our main event we enjoyed the AKA Boardshop “next level contest” and it’s afterparty in this amazing little hostel with a big bbq. The contest itself was truly amazing and filled with positive vibes but also a strong dose of competition. It’s beautiful to see the difference between the styles of skaters in Korea compared to the west. The AWHOU! crew made the podium with our own Papa Tobi. After that we went to the hostel for an amazing afterparty filled with bbq, soju and of course banana rice wine! The party went till the early hours witch made the check out time look like the zombie revival. But nothing a strong and healthy breakfast wouldn’t help and luckily that’s another thing that this Korea was amazing at. Their food culture… ow how I miss Korean food!
“We skated, sweat, bled, laughed and cried together and I can truly say we left South Korea with many new amazing friendships.”
Big shout out to Aka boardshop team, 1love skateshop team, Souwon longboard crew, Busan longboard crew, Island B Crew, Travellol crew and all of the other welcoming people we had the pleasure to skate, meet and party with.고맙습니다 South Korea!
Written by: Guleed Yussuf