'Wheels to Grow' - Quiksilver's visit to Skateistan Cambodia

In early December, professional skater Javier Mendizabal and the Quiksilver by Vuerich B project team travelled to Phnom Penh to meet the Skateistan team and their students. 

This trip marked the beginning of an exciting new collaboration to release a range of sunglasses made out of recycled skateboard decks to help support Skateistan.

Each handcrafted pair of sunglasses is outfitted with top of the line Carl Zeiss lenses, and some of the skate decks were previously used at Skateistan Cambodia. 

As an ambassador of the Quiksilver Foundation, Javier participated in all of Skateistan Cambodia’s day-to-day activities with the students, hosting workshops on the mechanics of a skateboard, giving trick tips to the staff and students, and doing skate demos. 

Through their shared passion for skateboarding, Javier was able to inspire and motivate the students of Skateistan to push their own skating to new levels.

At the end of his week-long visit, Quiksilver and Skateistan celebrated the collaboration with a skate jam, which included art workshops and contests for all ability levels, with prizes donated by the Quiksilver Foundation.

The whole experience is exposed in the short film ‘Wheels to Grow’ following Javier and Quiksilver Foundation during their visit to Skateistan Cambodia.

The film demonstrates that skateboarding can not only bridge cultural barriers, it can also be a tool for self expression, creativity and access to education.

You can see more of the visit in our press kit.

You can also watch the video on vimeo.

About the Glasses

Quiksilver, Vuerich, and Zeiss are releasing a limited edition of 50 pairs of sunglasses, 100% handmade in Barcelona, from old broken skateboards collected from Quiksilver riders and skateshops.

For every pair of sunglasses bought, a portion of profits is given to Skateistan to support their educational and sports programs in Cambodia.

Through the success of the first edition, the adventure will continue with the reissue of 150 sunglasses - “The Griffin”, to be distributed worldwide.

About the Quiksilver Foundation

The Quiksilver Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to benefitting and enhancing the quality of life for communities of boardriders across the world, by supporting environmental, educational, health and youth-related projects.

The Quiksilver Foundation has a commitment to improve the quality of all people’s lives and the desire to benefit:

• Local Communities, including schools and local charities through support and outreach programs;

• Major special projects and organizations sharing our focus on children, education, science, oceans and the environment.

About Skateistan Cambodia

Skateistan Cambodia began after Benjamin Pecqueur brought his skateboard to the youth center where he worked in Phnom Penh.

The children swarmed him and were eager to learn this new sport. Skateboarding was entirely new to Cambodia, but it didn’t take long to rally support. The youth centre helped build a small skatepark, the first one in Cambodia, to add to their sports and recreation programs. It was clear that skateboarding was a great way to engage young Cambodians as well as Afghans, and so Benjamin reached out to Skateistan founder Oliver Percovich. Within a few months Skateistan Cambodia would be Skateistan’s second project, after its initial success engaging young Afghans in Kabul, Afghanistan.

With Javier’s involvement, all the players in the Vuerich B project are supporting the development of this new initiative. As in Afghanistan, the aim is to develop skating infrastructure in order to offer young people the chance to discover a new passion, one that will let them grow as people, and gain life skills to become leaders within their communities.

Developing skating in countries without access to the sport gives young people the opportunity to express themselves as individuals within a thriving social community. Skateboarding is a valuable educational tool for passing on the values of respect, creativity and a regard for humanity. It has enabled these young people to gain self-assurance and independence.

Volunteer skate teachers check out Javier's Kingpin magazine cover.

Students learn how to set up a skateboard in Javier's board mechanics workshop.

Javier speaks to Skateistan youth leaders about his career as a pro skater.

Students and staff check out the footage they shot with a GoPro camera, donated by The Quiksilver Foundation.

Operations Officer Chada Leng poses with Javier at the skate jam.

Javier hands out prizes to participants in the skate jam contest.

A student demonstrates his limbo skills at the contest, to the delight of Javier and the other judges.