Skate with Jack and 3 others at Samsung’s FlipPark

Samsung’s FlipPark

Last week I was stoked to be invited by Cath Shanks (Shanko’s Skateschool CIC) to speak on a panel about wellness and skateboarding at Samsung’s pop-up venue in Shoreditch, London. It’s amazing what they’ve done there. 

There’s a large heated room which is a temporary inflatable structure, like a giant warm bouncy castle tent. That’s where the talk was and where loads of other events like fashion shows and DJ sets have been taking place.  

Then there’s the skatepark. It’s got a halfpipe (midi-sized), a mini ramp and a street section. I think they’ve laid it out well, even when it’s busy it flows nicely and all the space is well utilised. It’s free to skate and there are free lessons taking place every day if you can’t already skate. And all of this is there for a grand total of only two weeks! The final day is today. 

So what’s the reason? The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 phone. It’s their latest model of phone and it features heavily throughout with flip-phone photo booths and even giant flip-phone skate obstacles.

So what should we make of a company like Samsung using skateboarding as a means to advertise its phone? I think it’s hard to ignore the direct benefit to skateboarders and the community. First up, they’ve built an indoor skatepark in the middle of winter that’s free to use. Nice. 

More importantly though, they’ve paid a whole bunch of skaters in various capacities. Skateboarding influencers have been a part of their marketing campaign, coaches have been paid to do lessons, park builders set the whole place up and pros were paid to come and do a demo.

The free lessons will lead to new skaters who may go on to buy skateboards for the rest of their lives, helping skate shops, distributors and all the rest! They’ve even partially funded a job at SkateboardGB named “Skateable Spaces Development Officer”, which can only be a good thing.

I recently saw this t-shirt by Emerica and I think it sums up the way that a lot of people feel about the involvement of companies outside of skating capitalising on its appeal. But as far as I’m concerned, if they put money in the right places and make sure that it has a long-lasting positive impact on the community and industry, you can’t complain. Can you?

I probably won’t buy the phone though.

Samsung's Flip Park

Samsung’s Flip Park & Shanko’s Skateschool – Learn to skate with Jack

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