A New Curve - Prince Naah, tourism and how hill bombing was discovered.
1 year ago before the first skate tour, I met Prince Naah at the small car lot designated to skateboarders at Trade fair, Labadi, where I was to document for Surf Ghana. He was different, Roundneck T-shirt tucked into sweat pants and sweatpants tucked into a red and blue Nike shoes that glistened in the sunlight. Right off the bat, while watching him, I could tell his skating style had a special curve to it that skateboarders in Accra originally didn’t have. Prince Naah or “Sremm Life” as he is popularly known in the skateboarding community is a skater born in Kwahu, Obo, in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
From Accra, it took a 2 hours journey to Kwahu to visit Prince at his family home tucked away deep in the mountains. I spent a week in Kwahu and that was how, for the very first time, I got introduced to hill bombing. Hill bombing means what it sounds like, you hike to the top of a hill and descend with your skateboard while trying to balance on the board and prevent yourself from falling.
The curve in Prince Naah’s skateboarding is his strength, origin and identity, he was born in the mountains, and unlike those who grew up and skate on flat ground, all he had and all he used were the hills. Bombing, back and forth, with no extra look out for cars or formal training in skateboarding.
Surf Ghana’s core beliefs about making a skate tour is to foster responsible tourism that preserves, respects and benefits destinations and the natives. Kwahu being the first stop, demonstrates exactly that. As usual, there was a skate event for the kids and they loved it! Also, it’s nice when Parents are involved in the development of their kids. We appreciated everyone’s presence.
It gives life to the power of a story like Prince Naah being told, his style documented and his origin visited by the collective to experience a whole new way to enjoy skateboarding. If the grind culture grows and stays in Ghana it will be because of small seeds sowed by tourism, like Prince’s hill bombing in Kwahu, just like the story of the single skateboarder who lives in Busua.