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Eric Lai and His New Shenzhen Skatepark -赖科和他的滑板公园

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Intro

前言

One of Shenzhen’s true OGs, Eric Lai is best known as the founder of Vagabond Skateboards, the first team manager of Converse’s China Skateboarding team, the founder and editor-in-chief of Wandering Magazine, and most recently, the owner and developer of a soon-to-be-finished indoor skatepark in Shenzhen.

作为深圳真正的OG之一,赖科最为人所知的身份是Vagabond Skateboards的主理人、匡威中国滑板团队的第一位经理、杂志《Wandering》的创始人和主编,以及最近深圳一个即将完工的室内滑板公园的所有者和开发者。

Shenzhen – The Early Days 

深圳-早期

Eric Lai grew up in Shenzhen, but his family is from Maoming. His dad was a military man and drove tanks during the China – Vietnam war. In the early 80s, after the war, his family relocated to Shenzhen. In 1999, Eric started skateboarding, and not long after, he got sponsored by a local shop called BO3.  

赖科在深圳长大,但他的家人来自茂名。他的父亲是一名军人,在中越战争期间开过坦克。80年代初,战争结束后,他跟随家人搬到了深圳。1999年,赖科开始玩滑板,不久之后,他得到了当地一家叫BO3的商店的赞助。

His life was quickly consumed by his love of skateboarding. Approaching his early 20s, he realized that he wanted to make a livelihood from skateboarding. “The only way to keep skating and deal with regular jobs was to open up skate shops. So that’s what I ended up doing.  I was first sponsored but never got paid by it.  So opening a shop was the only way,” says Eric. In 2002, he opened his own skateshop in the Bao’an district of Shenzhen. The shop only survived for one year, but at the time he also worked as a salesman for Feidian – a company which produces trucks, wheels, and other hardgoods. “My sponsor at the time was Feidian. I was also a dealer for them. Business [at the skateshop] was bad, but I got an opportunity to actually work for them as a salesman.  My only request was to come in the morning, but have the afternoons off.”

他对滑板的热爱快速地占据了他的生活。在他20岁出头的时候,他意识到他想以滑板为生。2002年,他在深圳宝安区开了自己的滑板店,他说:“我最初是被赞助的,所以从来没有收到过工资。如果想要继续玩滑板又同时能够兼顾日常工作,唯一的办法就是开滑板店,所以我这么做了。”这家滑板店只存在了1年时间,同时,他也在沸点滑板做销售的工作——沸点是一家生产滑板支架、滑板轮子和其他滑板产品的公司。“当时我的赞助人是沸点。我也是它的经销商。虽然那时候生意不好,但我还是得到了一个做推销员的机会。我对这份工作唯一的要求就是上午工作,下午可以休息。”

Over time, Eric looked for other opportunities in the skate industry. “As I got older I saw a different way with skateboarding. I got a bit more mature, and I was looking for new opportunities.  I left [Feidian]. I think the news got out.  Jeff Han from Fly contacted me, and asked me to come to Shanghai and work with him.  At the time (2008 ish), he was the distributor for DC in China.  He wanted me to come out to do marketing and help him out.  I said ‘yes, for sure’ since I always loved Shanghai.  It was kinda the center of the scene in China.”

随着时间的流逝,赖科开始在滑板行业寻找其他机会。“随着年龄的增长,我看到了滑板的另一面。我变得更成熟了,我也在寻找新的机会。我离开了沸点。我想消息被传了出去——来自Fly的Jeff Han联系了我,让我来上海和他一起工作。当时(2008年左右),他是DC在中国的经销商。他想让我来做市场营销,帮他解决问题,我说当然可以,因为我一直很喜欢上海,它可以说是中国的中心。”

Vagabond, Running a Skateboard Company & Hobo Daze   

Vagabond和 Hobo Daze

Eric lived in Shanghai from 2008-2013. He worked at Fly, and he also worked for Converse as the manager of their skate team. It was also during this time that he started Vagabond Skateboards. A vagabond is a person who wanders from place to place without a fixed home. That was a lifestyle which resonated with Eric. “As a skateboarder back then, you did a lot of couch surfing and moving around. You go to a city to hit spots, and you stay with friends or skaters you meet.” Eric wanted to channel that lifestyle into a skate brand. He also derived inspiration from manga. “I was really into Japanese manga too, and there was a cartoon named Vagabond that I thought was a cool name, so I named the brand because of that as well.

2008-2013年,赖科住在上海。在这期间,他曾为Fly工作,也在匡威担任过滑板团队经理。也是在这段时间里,他创办了Vagabond Skateboards。”流浪汉是一个四处流浪的人,没有固定的家”,这种生活方式引起了他的共鸣。“作为一名滑板爱好者,也许你会成为一名沙发客,四处游走。你去探索城市里的滑板地点,和朋友或遇到的滑板人待在一起。”赖科想把这种生活方式引入滑板品牌。他还从漫画中获得灵感。“我也非常喜欢日本漫画,有一本叫作《流浪汉》的漫画,我觉得这个名字很酷,因此我也给品牌起了这个名字。”

Another reason Eric started Vagabond was so that he could support fellow skateboarders. “I always wanted to start a company to get all the homies I grew up with together. We could hang out, make videos, and product too.” He sponsored Cyres Wong (who now runs Boardhead), Alex Huang, Afro (who now owns Shaka surf shop in Hainan), Keng Qu, David Chu, Jay Meador, Elliot Zelinskas, Eddie Lai (his brother), Arrow Ng, and Da Shi. Eric made boards, and he and the team marketed the brand via events and videos. They took trips throughout China and Asia, and Charlie Lanceplain (co-founder of Push Media) helped them document the skating. Hello my Friend documented a 2-week trip across Vietnam and Cambodia, and Hobo Daze Tour documented a tour they did of Hainan in 2013.

赖科创办Vagabond的另一个原因是,他可以为其他的滑板爱好者提供支持。“我一直想创办一家公司,让所有和我一起长大的朋友都聚在一起。我们可以一起出去玩,拍视频,也可以做产品。” 他赞助了王汇丰(Boardhead的经营者)、黄剑沣,张威(大鸟,海南Shaka冲浪店经营者),都明根(坑渠), 储卫(小鸡), Jay Meador, Elliot Zelinskas, 赖伟(啊拉),箭猪和大世。赖科开始生产滑板,他和团队通过活动和视频来推广这个品牌。他们走遍了中国和亚洲,Push Media的联合创始人Charlie Lanceplain帮助他们记录下了滑板的过程。《你好,我的朋友》记录了他们在越南和柬埔寨为期两周的旅行,《Hobo Daze Tour》记录了他们2013年在海南的旅行。

Starting in 2011, a few years after he started Vagabond, Eric started organizing a yearly event called Hobo Daze. A hobo is a homeless person (like a vagabond), so the idea behind the events was to live like a homeless person for a few days, albeit with less panhandling and more fun. During Hobo Daze, people gathered in Shenzhen to surf, skate, hike, and camp. “[Hobo Daze] has its good run,” says Eric. “Hopefully it inspired people. The spirit goes on.”

在赖科创办Vagabond几年后,他从2011年开始组织一个名为“Hobo Daze”的年度活动。”Hobo”指的是无家可归的人,就像流浪汉一样。所以这些活动背后的想法是体验像无家可归的人一样生活几天,虽然不用去乞讨,但真的带来了很多乐趣。在Hobo Daze期间,人们聚集在深圳冲浪、滑板、徒步和露营。“Hobo Daze”的活动运营得很好,希望它能激励人们,精神永存。”他说。

Eric doesn’t produce as much Vagabond product as he once did. Eventually he shifted his focus towards Wandering Magazine. But he’s in a unique position to comment on today’s China skateboard market, which is a different place than it was in the 2010s. In the past, there was a common marketing model: skate team, videos, demos. But with the advent of social-media and online-shopping platforms, the go-to model changed. “If you want to start a board company, you have two choices: you can run a company to make money, or you can run a company with a good image,” says Eric. “If you want to make money, just follow trends – no skate team. People might think you’re wack, but it works here. It’s kinda sad though, but it works out here.”

赖科生产的Vagabond产品不像以前那么多了。最终,他将工作重心转向了《Wandering》。但在评论今天的中国滑板市场时,他处于一个独特的位置。如今的中国滑板市场与2010年代相比已大不相同。在过去,有一种常见的营销模式:滑板团队、滑板视频和滑板技巧展示。但随着社交媒体和网购平台的出现,这种模式发生了变化。“如果你想创办一家滑板公司,你有两个选择:你可以经营一家公司来赚钱,或者你可以经营一家有好的品牌形象的公司,”赖科说。“如果你想赚钱,那就跟着潮流走——不要滑板团队。人们可能会觉得你很古怪,但在这里很管用。虽然有点可悲,但在这里行得通。”

The trend that Eric is talking about are short videos and no skate team. The reason that Eric thinks that model is sad is because it doesn’t give back to the greater skate community. “You don’t see videos getting put out as often as in the past, despite so many board companies now. You don’t see the longer, better edited videos. For [Vagabond], we care about skateboarding, and we would never do that.”

赖科所说的趋势是短视频和没有滑板团队。他认为这个模式很可悲的原因是更多的滑板社区无法收到回馈。“你不再像过去那样,能够经常看到视频被发布出来。尽管现在有这么多滑板公司。但你仍然看不到更长的、剪辑得更好的视频。对于”Vagabond”来说,我们永远不会那样做,因为我们在乎滑板。”

A larger market might cause dilution of skateboard culture – the skateboard culture of the 90s and early 2000s – but Eric sees reason for hope. “Lots of people think [teams, videos, and events] are what the old guys do, but newer ones are doing it too.  SAGA is killing it with the videos.”

更大的市场可能会稀释滑板文化——90年代和21世纪初的滑板文化——但赖科到了希望——“很多人认为团队、视频和活动是老滑板人才会做的事情,但其实新人们也在这么做。SAGA获得了巨大的成功。”

Wandering Magazine

Wandering杂志

In 2017, Eric and a team of translators and photographers started Wandering Magazine. The magazine printed issues quarterly, and translating was done by Mitch Childs and (English), William Will (Chinese), Daisuke Katayama (Japanese), and Wonseok Lee (Korean).

2017年,Eric和他的朋友们创办了《Wandering》杂志,这些人里有的是翻译家有的是摄影师。这个杂志每季出版一期,它的翻译团队由来自不同国家的人组成。(英文:Mitch Childs;中文:Willam Will;日语:Daisuke Katayama;韩语:Wonseok Lee)

Before starting the magazine, Eric was inspired by South Korea’s The Quiet Leaf magazine. “[Jin Yob Kim from Quiet Leaf] did a China issue. It was in Chinese, Korean and English.  It inspired me to do something similar – to put out a regular magazine [in multiple languages].  Nobody had done a magazine that focused on skateboarding in greater Asia.  I had the background,I had worked for Converse, and I had the connections. I thought – why don’t I just do this. But it was 2018, and magazines were dying. People thought I was crazy to start a magazine,” recalled Eric.

赖科创办这本杂志的灵感是来自韩国的《The Quiet Leaf》杂志。”《The Quiet Leaf》的主编Jin Yob Kim做了一期中国专题。它是用中文、韩语和英语写的。这启发了我想做类似的事情——出版一本多种语言的杂志。在那时,还没有人做过一本关于亚洲滑板运动的杂志。我有经验,我在匡威工作过,我有人脉。我就想,不如我来吧。但那是2018年,杂志正在走下坡路,人们认为我在这个时候创办杂志是疯了。”他回忆道。

Wandering published their first print issue in February 2018. They quickly scaled the distribution. Their 3rd issue was in shops all over Asia and had ads from big-name brands like Casio and Vans. The cover photo of the September 2019 issue was a photo of Tiago Lemos in Chengdu. Still, running a print magazine in a digital era was no easy feat, and Covid-19 brought additional challenges. “Because of Covid, most of the trips got postponed, and skaters and photographers couldn’t meet up and travel. It was really hard to get good photos. And because of lockdowns, sponsors had no budgets, so it was really hard [to get ad money],” says Eric. Because of these challenges, Wandering took a break from publishing. Their last issue (issue #7) was published in late 2020.

《Wandering》在2018年2月出版了他们的第一期杂志。并且迅速扩大了发行范围。他们的第三期杂志在亚洲各地的商店里出售,上面有大牌卡西欧(Casio)和Vans的广告。2019年9月号的封面照片是Tiago Lemos 在成都拍的照片。在数字时代运营纸质杂志也不是一件容易的事,新冠疫情带来了更多的挑战。“由于疫情,大多数旅行都被推迟了,滑板选手和摄影师无法旅行和见面。所以很难拍到好的照片。由于封城,赞助商没有预算,所以获得广告资金真的很难,”赖科说。由于这些挑战,Wandering暂停了新一期杂志的出版。在2020年年底,他们出版了最后一期《Wandering》的印刷版。

Supporting Skateboarding’s Growth

支持滑板的成长

Today Eric lives in Shenzhen with his wife and son. On weekends, he and his son often surf. “My son also likes the things that I like. It’s a blessing,” he says.

现在,赖科和他的妻子、儿子住在深圳。在周末,他和他的儿子经常冲浪。“我儿子也喜欢我喜欢的东西。这是一种幸运。”他说。

Eric’s also now the team manager of the China Santa Cruz kids team. The team has 7 riders (including Eric’s son) and all are under the age of 13. In choosing kids for this team, Eric focused more on style and personality, and not so much on raw skill.

赖科现在也是SantaCruz儿童团队在中国的经理。团队里共有7名小滑板人(包括Eric的儿子)。他们的年龄都在13岁以下。在为这个团队挑选孩子时,Eric更注重孩子的风格和个性,而不是能够完成的滑板技能有多少。

Wandering hasn’t printed an issue since 2020, but Eric plans to release a new issue (issue #8) in September 2022. He also wants to turn Wandering into more of a media house – more videos and events. In order to do this, he’s building an indoor skatepark in Shenzhen, which he hopes to use to create videos for Wandering. “We would like to grow into our own park – kind of like The Berrics,” he says. “We will create content inside the park, and we will do events.”

虽然《Wandering》在2020就停止出版了,但赖科将会在2022年9月再次出版新的一期。他还想把《Wandering》变成一家媒体公司——有更多的视频和活动。为了做到这一点,他正在深圳建造一个室内滑板场。他希望用它来为《Wandering》提供更多视频素材。他说:“我们想将它发展成我们自己的公园——有点像Berrics。我们也将在公园内注入更丰富的内容以及举办活动。”

In building a skatepark, Eric hopes to not only serve the needs of Wandering but also that of the Shenzhen skate community. “Most importantly, we would like to provide a park for people [in Shenzhen] to skate.”

在建设滑板场的过程中,赖科希望不仅能够满足杂志读者们的需求,也希望能够满足深圳滑板团体的需求。“最重要的是,我们希望可以在深圳为人们提供一个滑板的公园。”


For more information on Eric’s skatepark, check out the Wandering Instagram account (@wandering_mag), Wandering Weibo (Wandering_Magazine), or Wandering WeChat Account (Wander1ng).

如果你想要了解更多关于赖科的滑板公园信息,可以你可以在Instagram搜索“wandering_mag”、微博搜索“Wandering_Magazine”或者添加微信“Wander1ng”。

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