Dubbed one of Asia's most stylish skateboarders, Geng Jakkarin Petchvoraphon is also Thailand's pioneering pro skateboarder. Starting out at the age of 9, he was competing by 13 and on a path that would take him into the Thai National Team to compete internationally.
Geng Jakkarin is Thailand’s most successful pro skateboarder to date. He entered his first contest at the age of 13 and whilst attending high school, qualified for the Thailand National Team. In 2004 he entered a qualifier in Malaysia and as first runner-up qualified to compete in the Asian X Games. In 2005 he turned pro, riding for Preduce.
Geng re-qualified for the Thailand National Skateboard Team In 2010 and competed throughout Asia and at the Maloof Money Cup in South Africa. A long time rider for Preduce, he also produced skateboard videos and these have attracted more sponsors such as Billabong, Converse, Razer and VANS.
At 6ft tall, this Thai skateboard legend previously attended school on a sports scholarship playing basketball. But Geng had a dream to skateboard and go to contests. His mother, at the time, wanted him to continue with his basketball scholarship so that his school fees could be paid but eventually she conceded and let him pursue his dream. To this day Geng’s mother is still surprised about the number of places Geng has been to during his career as a pro skater.
Jakkarin started to skate at the age of 9 and his first board was a standard kids model. With practice and passion, he began to develop a style and knew that what he wanted to do was tricks and acrobatics; freestyle skateboarding (with some vert too).
As one of Asia’s most stylish skateboarders, he has travelled and competed in China, Singapore and even as far afield as South Africa and New York City. He has also made countless videos which have helped to promote and fuel the rise of skateboarding in Thailand whilst also spotlighting the country as a hot destination for global skaters.
None of this would have been possible without the support of sponsors, particularly Preduce in Geng’s case, who have stoically been behind him since the beginning. Being surrounded by people who share the same passion was a big motivation for Geng, encouraging him to train hard whilst also having fun.
Today, as an ambassador to the sport in Thailand, Geng is intent on helping the young generation to get started as skateboarders whilst also working on increasing opportunities for them as well. Bangkok still offers limited space for skaters to practice (although things have improved significantly since 2005) and the focus is still on producing events and selling products whilst largely ignoring the needs of the athletes. Consequently most quit before they can reach the top because they lack the financial resources to continue.
Geng has a vision that one day skateboarding in Thailand will be the same as he experienced during a trip to California. He wants to see more young Thai’s on the international circuit who are dedicated to developing their skills to hold their own internationally. Above all though, Geng wants to instill in young skateboarders that they should never stop having fun because when you stop enjoying the thrill and freedom of skateboarding, any goals that you may have become meaningless.
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