Fingers can skate

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

TO SAY that skateboarding is a crime is too much of an accusation.

Back in the days, or on some days today, skaters were (are) only viewed as nuisance, a bunch of unkempt, careless punks doomed to have a mediocre future. But Ervi Jann Pescador thought the limited attention was a good thing.

The 24-year-old skater has been exposed to the “marginalized culture” of skateboarders since high school until the hobby was translated into something he would always thank society for its chronic discrimination.


Ervi is taking up information technology from the University of San Jose Recoletos. He loved, loves and will always love skateboarding. And why not extend it to its mini version?

fingerboard skating
Rebel Fingerboards official rider Christopher Retuya taking care of fingerboard maneuvers, which are more or less similar with that of its mainstream counterpart, skateboarding. (Photo by Ruel Rosello of Sun.Star Cebu)

Out of interest and guts, Ervi founded Rebel Fingerboards three years ago when the miniature peripheral of skateboarding was slowly hitting a niche in the local industry.

From being simply homemade toys in the1970s to becoming commercial novelties in the ‘80s and later on a fraction of skateboarding in the ‘90s, fingerboarding has evolved globally into a community, still by skaters, for skaters.

To name a few, international fingerboarding icons are Elias Assmuth, Timo Kranz, Martin Winkler and Boris Dietchi.

It’s really just skateboarding, only that the maneuvers are done with the fingers, still, either on a regular or goofy stance. A fingerboard still includes the main parts of a regular skateboard. In reduced forms are the deck (normally 96 and about 29 to 32 millimeters long and wide, respectively), grip tape, trucks, wheels and bearings. The tricks (ollie, shoves, flips, etc.) are not much different either and the categories too—game of skate, freestyle, best trick and kickflip challenge.

Rebel Fingerboards creator
Ervi Jann V. Pescador, 24, created Rebel Fingerboards in June 2011 not just as a business but as voice for the young skateboarding flock. (Photo by Ruel Rosello of Sun.Star Cebu)

Rebel Fingerboards began in Facebook, with investment from Ervi’s mom. Through word of mouth, the business found a cranny in society despite minimal production. Thanks to the growing local skateboarding segment, Ervi’s brainchild progressed with an actual physical shop.

With barely four months in the scene, the Rebel Store is at least a vindication to the phantom guilt that skating kids in the city are hit with.

The haywire space houses fingerboards on discounts, accessories, obstacles, tees and the latest additions, skateboard and longboard paraphernalia. The shop also accepts item customization and skate tutorials.

“There’s more to the prints, displays and disorder around. Kids hang out in here and play until camaraderie is achieved. Others might see us differently but at least we’re just doing our thing—skating, selling and making friends with strangers. It’s all cool,” to Ervi, the rented store is not just a store.

In collaboration with local clothing lines and music players, the Rebel Store also initiates activities every month for branding purposes, yes, but most importantly to expose unsigned young talents to the field. The official riders of Rebel Fingerboards, for example—Christopher Retuya, Marlo Taboada, Neil Nanta, Chuckie Ronulo, Jan Yamuti, Tommy Gallarde, Basil Vergara, Roca Edu and Pru Campus—all are between 17 and 23 years old.

For skateboard are Margielyn Didal, 14 and Jemath Libre, 13.

Credit goes to the fingers and feet of this mob, Rebel Fingerboards competitions and products are already making the rounds outside Cebu—Manila, Bacolod, Ormoc and Leyte.

Meanwhile, outlet expansions are underway in Manila and Davao.

So when Ervi isn’t out on the streets, he is retailing fingerboards, which for him is not just an attractive counterattack to haters but a diversion and a voice condensed in a plaything.

If you can’t beat them, tease them. You could almost pull out the sentence in his head while it lolled for a reply to “why fingerboard?”

“A game for kids of all ages. Among others, a deviation from the destruction of the youth,” was Ervi’s reply.

The Rebel Store is located in Sambag I, Cebu City, fronting the University of San Carlos South Campus. Grab a fingerboard and go home rebellious. After all, radical isn’t always a bad thing.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 19, 2014.


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