What is your name, and how old are you?
My name is Sewa Kroetkov and I am 25 years old.
Do you have a skatename! And what do you do in skateboarding?
My name is the same, but it is hard for most people to pronounce my last name, so usually I only go by Sewa to make it a little bit easier.
My discipline is street skateboarding. I mostly skate ledges and manual pads, because I like to try technical tricks. I also like to skate stairs, gaps and rails, but I don’t do that on a daily base.
How long have you been skateboarding?
I have been skateboarding for 14 years now.
How your work in skateboarding did start?
I got my first sponsor, Rollin skateshop, when I was 13 years old. The same year and the following years I got a few more sponsors, which helped a lot because I would get free product or discounted product from the sponsors. Since I found out that there are people who make a living of skateboarding it had always had been a dream of mine to be able to do this someday as well.
When I was 18 I went to Paris for less than a week and I filmed a video with Colin Clark, a filmer from the USA. One week later this video went online and it spread over the internet really quick. This was back in February 2009.
A friend of mine, Tomas Vintr from Czech Republic, saw this video too and I talked to him over the internet, and he told me that if I wanted to make it in skateboarding that I should go to LA that same year and stay for 3 months, which is the maximum time you can stay in the USA when you’re from The Netherlands.
I had been thinking about everything Tomas told me. I started to work and save up money to go to LA.
In summer 2009 I won the European Es game of S.K.A.T.E. and winning the contest got me a ticket to LA to compete in the World Amateur game of S.K.A.T.E. Usually I would go there for the game of S.K.A.T.E. and then fly back after the contest is done, but I asked the people from the organization to extend my ticket so that I could stay in LA for 3 months and that’s where my USA journey started.
I didn’t know anybody in LA at that time, but I stayed in LA from November 2009 till February 2010 and I got to meet a lot of people at a skate plaza in LA and from there on I started moving around LA to skate and film with different people. I would say that my first trip was a cool experience trip.
When I got back to The Netherlands I felt like I needed to go back to LA at some point again, so I started working and saving up money again, and in November 2010 I went to LA again and stayed till February 2011. During this USA trip I started meeting up with the team manager from Blind Skateboards and the team riders. We started filming for the Blind “This Is Not A Test Video”, which was the new Blind Amateur video. During this USA trip I got to meet a lot of other people, because I stayed at a lot of peoples places in LA and around LA. After this USA trip Blind Skateboards turned me AM (= Amateur) for the company and from there on I started earning a little bit of money through skateboarding. I still worked a bit on the side in The Netherlands for a period of time. But to talk about skateboarding in terms of work and actually earning some money, that started after my second USA trip. Later on I got other sponsors as well and that way I started, slowly, to make a living of skateboarding.
Did skateboarding change your personality?
I would say that skateboarding definitely changed my personality. Because of skateboarding I got the opportunity to travel to different places in the world, which means that your outlook on things around you changes. Next to that I feel like I had to find ways to create my own opportunities in skateboarding to get to the point I am at today, because there is not structure and nobody who can tell you exactly what you have to do in skateboarding to make it. This has taught me that you can’t just wait for an opportunity, but you have to create opportunities.
Skateboarding also taught me to be patient and not giving up. In a sense, because of skateboarding I learned how to learn.
I also feel like skateboarders get exposed to a lot of things on a daily base, because we skate in the streets. From being exposed to certain things I feel like it makes you appreciate a lot of things in life that you otherwise might take for granted.
“Skateboarding Is not a crime” what can you say about this phrase?
That I agree, haha.
What are your views on skateboarding in next 5 years?
I think skateboarding and skateboard events/contests will continue growing rapidly and a lot more non-skateboard companies will be more interested in sponsoring skateboarders as well. I think this is a great thing in a way, because skateboarding will get the recognition it deserves. At the same time I hope that skateboarding won’t turn into something that becomes ONLY about competing, because one of the great things about skateboarding is that it’s for EVERYBODY. Even if you’re not skateboarding on a high level, you will still get encouraged to keep skateboarding simply because you enjoy to ride the board, regardless of your level. Don’t get me wrong. I love skating street and I like skating contests too, but with skateboarding growing the way it does, I just hope that skateboarding will always keep the people who skate simply for the love of it and not create people who ONLY skate to skate contests.
Skateboarding in Africa grows as a mushroom does this happen also in your place?
It seems like people have been respecting skateboarding more and more and every time I come back to The Netherlands I definitely feel like more and more people get into skateboarding.
Also make sure to support each other.
What advice can you give to young skateboarders?
To make sure to create your own opportunities and not just wait for things to happen, but at the same time never forget why you started skateboarding in the first place, for the fun of it.
What is your favourite skateboarding event and why?
I don’t necessarily have one favourite skateboard event, but one event that I really enjoyed was the Kimberley Diamond Cup. It was cool to hang out and skate in South Africa with all the skateboarders who I already knew. It was also cool to meet a lot of the skaters from South Africa. What I really liked was the crowd. I felt like everybody in the crowd was very humble and somehow very appreciative of all the pro’s and am’s coming to South Africa for this event. To me it felt like there was nothing but good vibes throughout the whole event.
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