What is your name, and how old are you?
My name is Warren Stopforth, I am 33 years of age.
Do you have a skatename! And what do you do in skateboarding?
Big White or Bossman, this name was given to me from my team.
How long have you been skateboarding?
Who inspired you into skateboarding?
I was inspired by the Tony Hawk and Ray Barbee Tour to S.A back in 1991, also Early 90’s South African skateboarders like Errol Bong, Sven Martin, Roger Coyles, Arnie Grey, Eben combrink, Clint van der Skyfe, Greg Finch and many more.
How your work in skateboarding did start?
In the early days I rode for 1610 distribution and then soon after that Psycho Skateboards, inbetween that all I worked for Booglaoos and Skatelab, after leaving the skateboard industry for a few years to work a normal better paying job, I suppose one can drift away easily, after working out of the industry, My life felt empty…I felt like I needed a calling and I was mentally ready and wise enough to give something back to an industry shaped me as a person I am today. That’s when Technique Skateboards came into the picture.
Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
You may be disappointed if you fail but doomed if you never try. “Kris Markovich”
Did skateboarding change your personality?
Hell yeah! Skateboarding taught me a lot of life skills in general. What you learn out there on the streets definitely adds value to ones character, this is a streetwise virtue you cannot find elsewhere.
What do you say about children and youths interaction in your community with skateboarding?
I think skateboarding is a urban culture that has proven to bring people from all walks of life, skateboarding has no age,has no skin colour, has no religion, has no rules, has no regulations. It unites people and creates balance where needed.
“Skateboarding Is not a crime” what can you say about this phrase?
In an ideal world that would be nice in some cases! Freedom of expression doesn’t always fit in under certain circumstances. I suppose it comes down to individual opinion, however we are not criminals or vandals, there are much bigger things to worry about that we can call crime in this day in age.
What are your views on skateboarding in next 5 years?
The Skateboarding industry is at it’s biggest, love it or hate it we cannot avoid the corporate companies getting involved and flooding the market, love it or hate it we cannot avoid Olympic committees getting involved, this is the nature of the beast. Let’s just make sure we don’t forget our roots, it’s up to the little guys the “Steve Roccos “ of the industry to keep it balanced through all the corperate madness. Future is bright!
What do you say about skateboarding at the park and street?
Park is great to learn foundations of tricks, it keep one self well rounded, it keeps your stamina strong for the streets but street is where it’s at! However you look at it, street provides one with an open canvas for creativity.
Skateboarding in Africa grows as a mushroom does this happen also in your place?
Yes, if you mean by this phrase it is fast growing, starting from small to big? I have seen the evolution of skateboarding in S.A and am proud to be part of it.
What advice can you give to young skateboarders?
Be humble, show respect, have fun and don’t get blinded by the whole sponsorship thing, to get sponsored is not just about getting free product and getting paid, there are a lot of pressures and stress that come with it, you have requirements to fulfill you constantly on a pedestal, people are watching, you an ambassador for a brand. It can be physically and mentally tough. To skateboard at a level above average requires commitment, hard work and passion.
What is your favorite skateboarding event and why?
Kimberly Diamond Cup stands out, as it brings all the skaters from all over Africa and the world together for a few days, and it makes me proud to see how far we have come together since back in the day.
Skateboarding is a future, what can you tell Africa skaters?
America had its time, Australia had its time, Europe as a whole had its time. It’s now our time! We have the worlds eyes on us at the moment, time to shine but don’t blink for one second otherwise you get left behind. Seize that moment, be a wolf not a sheep, don’t live in a pros shadow make your own shadow!
Do you have any recommended resources to share (books, seminars, websites, coaches)?
The man who “souled” the world, The Steve Rocco documentary. A true inspiration for Technique Skateboards.
Well, lets close this with any funny experience you have on skateboarding.
Crashing a dinner party at Skatelab premises the night before it opened, then being asked to do a unplanned demo with Christi Weihahn and Dallas Oberholzer to opera music whilst high society and corporate people watched and said as I recall that was “graceful”. To this day they still play the song “Time to Say Good Bye” at 6pm closing time every day in remembrance of this random demo.
Thank you for your time keep spreading about Africa Skateboarding Diary! Share the #skatediary
Only a pleasure, glad to help.