JEAN-MARC JOHANNES: The Art of Street Skateboarding.

Jean-Marc Johannes is the best street skateboarder in Africa, and, if we do say so ourselves, Jean-Marc has also become one of the first skateboarders in Africa to have mastered the art of being a street skateboarder. However, even though Jean-Marc is literally riding in style as a grand winner of international Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in the World Series, a five-time Guinness World record holder, breaking two new Skateboarding world records last year – most skateboard 360 frontside spins in 30 seconds: 7; and 323 ollies, he is till not well celebrated and embraced in the streets of Capetown and Johannesburg, like they do with Tony Hawk, as he should be celebrated.

We all know that skateboarding is made up of certain sub-collectives and cliques who choose to accept and show recognition to only their own as the best, but it is hard to not see the work of a genius in the art of skateboarding, one like Jean-Marc Johannes who, In addition to the above, has won a Gold and Bronze podium position in the FISE Freestyle Open in Switzerland on September 24th 2022 as the only South African competitor. And on May 20th last year, he became the first African Skateboarder to receive a podium place at the Festival International des Sports Extremes World series in France, Montpellier.

In this exclusive interview with Skating is Risky!™️, we take a dive into Jean-Marc Johannes mind as a skateboarder, hoping that some of his secrets could be helpful to the upcoming generation of African skateboarders and would-be skateboarders.

Please briefly introduce yourself, your name and age, and also tell us briefly what made you decide to become a Skateboarder.

Hey what’s up everyone my name is Jean-Marc Johannes I’m originally from Athlone, Ireland, and one thing that made me get into skateboarding was that I realized it is a limitless platform for my creativity and my imagination, I can just get on the board, feel free and let my imaginations flow! 

At what age did you start skateboarding and how long have you been skateboarding?

I started skateboarding when I was 9 years old and it was also the first time I saw skateboarding and I got my first board, which was my parent board and I have never left the board alone since. In total I will say that I have been skateboarding for nearly 15 years. There was a time in between school where I kind of left skateboarding alone and tried out other things, but I always came back to skateboarding. 

What is your favourite trick to do on a skateboard?

My favorite trick to do right now I think there’s two, it’s kind of the same trick but just in relation, one is the Hardflip and also the Hardflip get away are definitely my favorite trick

You are great and I bet a lot of kids look up to you when it comes to skateboarding as a professional sport, do you think you would one day become a skateboarding coach? 

have thought about the idea of being a skateboarding coach but at this point in my career I don’t think I have the time to become a coach. I do teach a skateboarder right now and his name is Elliot, he’s six and he’s from Mauritius and I’ve told everyone at the park but in terms of being a full skateboarding coach it is something I would think of in a couple of years. 

Can you share with us some of the benefits of being a sponsored skater and also tell us how you got sponsored to do your wheels and shoes with Adidas?

I think the benefits of being sponsored is to help support your dreams on a professional level or if its video parts or contests you want to do, I think that support structure from the sponsors and I think it is really important for a  skateboarder to be able to express who you are and for that to be supported and to come up with ideas on how to be a better skateboarder even getting to the point where I have my own wheels now and it has been a long journey to making the wheels I was skating them in Amsterdam together and we contested together in some tournaments, it was then I went to Tampa and met the team manager and then he said we could collaborate and we took it from there. 

As a pro athlete can you share briefly some of your gym routines that help you stay fit on the board?

I do a lot of training I have been training hard for a couple of years now and only recently working with a personal trainer, Mark Whalan. A lot of things can help skateboarding and help a skateboarder push longer in a session I think esessentially that is what I wanted to do as a skateboarder and hopefully I can start putting out videos with my trainer as well and help everybody get into the right routines that helps me land my trick.

To be honest, we were excited to do this interview with you because we just wanted to ask, how did you win a Guinness Book of World record?

For the Guiness book of world records that to me was a childhood dream definitely and I actually broke the Guiness book of world record for most done Heel flips and then further down the line it was great to actually work with a team. I got a message from a friend one day and they said “hey, you won the Guiness book of record” I didn’t know and I was blown away and that is something I am really grateful for! 


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