Skateboarders are riding high in South Africa – professional skateboarder Jean-Marc Johannes – made history in Bali when he competed at the ProJam Festival International Open on Sunday. Johannes, who hails from Newfields, Athlone was one of only three international riders invited to take part in the ProJam.

He made skateboarding history when he successfully landed a 3 metre gap between two containers suspended 10 metres in the air. He also became the first South African skater to cross the Liesbeek River, which hadn’t been skated before, with three back-to-back tricks.

“ProJam was a huge event on my calendar last year and one of my biggest goals. I was devastated when the volcanic eruptions in Bali forced the event to be cancelled, but I’m very grateful that I had a second chance to prove myself,” said Johannes.

In November last year, he placed second at the Fise World Series, and lost to first place by one point.

Johannes started skating at the young age of only nine years old. He fell in love with the sport after he inherited old skateboards from his mother and continued to pursue skateboarding throughout his school career. At 11 he entered his first Pro/Am National skateboarding contest and to his surprise, he was placed 1st. He was then given an opportunity and sponsorship from a local skate shop, ‘Skate of Mind’ that was established in Cape Town. Four years later he was ranked as one of the top ten in South Africa. In 2012, he placed 6th in the Dam Am best trick in Amsterdam and Top 40 out of 150 overall. He also placed 5th at the Maloof Money Cup. At his first appearance at Tampa in 2013 he ranked 80 out of 200. For two consecutive years Johannes and his three team members have won the world championship team skateboarding event hosted by the Kimberely Daimond Cup.

He has never looked back since, as he continues to put South Africa on the Skating map.

Skaters from across the city were just as excited for Jean-Marc’s achievement.

Pictures: Facebook

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