While many American skateboarders probably feel that are unnecessary restrictions in the United States – such as a ban in the West Hills of Portland, Oregon and a new Laguna Beach ordinance that requires youths riding a skateboard to wear a helmet – skateboarding was an activity that was essentially banned nation-wide in Afghanistan under the Taliban.
It wasn’t that the Taliban actually singled out skateboarding but that all forms of sport were restricted or banned. However the new book Skateistan: The Tale of Skateboarding in Afghanistan chronicles how the group – known as Skateistan – was founded by Australian Oliver Percovich, who first traveled to Afghanistan in early 2007. He had traveled to the country with three skateboards and what began as informal skateboarding lessons with local children turned into a project that saw the construction of the Skateistan park in 2009.
The efforts have apparently been so successful that Skateistan is looking to expand its efforts into Pakistan and Cambodia. The book chronicles how it all began with just three decks and a skater.