After the devastating fire that took place at our warehouse two years ago the Bustin crew found out just how caring and helpful the skate community is. While being helped tremendously by our fellow skaters we knew that something needed to be done to ensure the acts of kindness from our community were not forgotten. So when William Royce asked us if we could help with his project of getting quality gear to skate communities with little to no access, the obvious answer was yes.
"One day I was searching on the internet for places worth visiting to skate and after looking into some international communities I realized that I had never seen any skaters from India before. This intrigued me and I wondered if skateboarding and longboarding existed in India and to what extent."
William was able to find and befriend a skater in Mumbai, Pranal Chavan. This led to discovering just how much the community needed solid skate gear to expand their skills and push the level of skating in India. William reached out to the skate community for donations and Bustin threw in anything they could spare as well as covered shipping cost for a couple large care packages destined for skaters that had no way to access this kind of equipment before.
Once the skate goods arrived Pranal made sure it was passed out to as many communities as possible all around India.
"As mainly teenagers were in this sport belonging from middle class family many didn't have that local boards too, so getting a setup from foreign country isn't happening, it would have cost us 2-3 months of earning, and later on dealing with customs too."
Pranal Chavan carrying India's Flag
Here's some history and updates by India's friendliest skater Pranal Chavan.
Downhill longboarding in India started back in 2014, which was introduced by our friend Nikhil Bhosale. Back then we were struggling to get equipments, but managed to get some boards from China first before making our own workshop here. At that time those who came into this sport were too hyped with it, but longboarding wasn't something which will make them earn so the first members of LCI (Longboarding Crew India) got busy in their personal lives earning for their livings.
In 2017 downhill longboarding started picking up again, but even this time we were still facing the lack of equipment, as there were no market for longboard in India. There were no large manufacturers here, but there were some custom longboard makers and just one sports shop who used to sell quality longboards, but it simply wasn't enough for the growing demand. We desperately wanted to improve our skills and really needed some rad setups. However, as teenagers from middle class families, many of us didn't have the resources to shop abroad; it would have cost us 2-3 months of earnings, plus dealing with customs too.
In 2021 a ray of hope came in the form of William Royce. I was talking to him about the challenges longboarders in India were facing, and to my shock William said he would like to help. I was so happy. William said we will collect some longboarding equipments from the USA and donate it to us in India. That was the most joyful moment for me since I started longboarding.
Soon with the help of Bustin Board Company and collecting some funds through Gofundme, William sent me the small trial box of wheels and trucks just to check if they would work or not, and within a month a huge box equipped with professional Bustin decks, Caliber trucks and a numbers of wheels and other equipments arrived at my home. I distributed those goodies within communities in India. Everyone busted with joy, as such donations no one imagined. No one had a hope that any of us would soon get a chance to ride such pro setups. It was a dream came true moment. Everyone gave justice to these longboards, as well all improved a lot with our skills.
Again in 2022 by March, William sent us another box which had more professional boards which we always dreamed of, and a second box with helmets and tons of wheels so that we can improve our slides. This time we distributed these boards to the dedicated skaters who most deserved to have those rad setups.
At this time, 7-8 communities have benefited from these packages so far, and we still have some equipments left to distribute.
The packages from William Royce were a major turning point for the longboarding communities here in India. It seemed like out of nowhere we got this donation (which we were in need of). These packages have made us recognized around the world, thanks to William, Caliber Truck Co. and Bustin Boards’ supporting our growing community so much.
Special thanks to all those people who donated to the Gofundme William created on our behalf. We don't have words to adequately thank William Royce, Bustin Boards and Caliber Truck Co
"This is just the First step in what I hope is many, many more exciting adventures we get to watch as we continue to help spread the love and passion of skating across the globe."