Skateboard ace clinches Guinness world record

SKATER: South Africa’s acclaimed skateboarder Jean-Marc Johannes. Picture: Ference Isaacs

SKATER: South Africa’s acclaimed skateboarder Jean-Marc Johannes. Picture: Ference Isaacs

Published Aug 29, 2017


A Capetonian who broke a skateboarding world record said he did so to inspire children to follow their dreams.

Jean-Marc Johannes, 27, broke the Guinness world record in Cape Town recently for the most nollie heelflips in one minute.

A nollie heelflip is when a rider pops the skateboard at the nose end, kicking out the right foot spinning the board and, after full rotation, lands back on the board.

Johannes, who is also an international gold medallist and the current FISE Am World Series number one skateboarder, managed to perform 14 nollie heelflips in one minute at the Shred Skate Park in Cape Town.

He easily managed to surpass the previous record of eight nollie heelflips in 60 seconds.

The professional skateboarder said he was proud of his roots and that he wanted to break the world record to motivate others to also excel in their chosen fields.

“I attempted to break this record for South African skateboarding,” he said.

“When kids see this I hope it invokes a sense of confidence in them, so that they believe they can do anything That was my ultimate goal.”

Although Johannes did the nation proud with his new world record, he admitted it was a tough challenge.

“Attempting to break the nollie heelflip record was one of the most fun and challenging things I’ve ever tried to do,” he said.

IN ACTION: South Africa’s acclaimed skateboarder Jean-Marc Johannes during his Guinness world record attempt in Cape Town. Picture: Ference Isaacs.

“It brought me back to where it all started When I learnt it years ago and tried to lock it down every day.

“What makes it difficult (with a nollie heelflip) could be compared to being right-handed and having to swop to being left-handed.”

The skateboarder’s love for the sport began when he was 11 years old.

He has since received several accolades, such as debuting as the first South African to appear on the channel of Tony Hawk, arguably the world’s most successful skateboarder.

He also made skateboarding history when he successfully covered a 3m gap between two containers suspended 10m in the air.

More recently, Johannes successfully completed the biggest stunt of his career as part of the Red Heart Crew, when he crossed the Liesbeek River in Cape Town with three back-to-back tricks.

He also ranks as one of only three South African skateboarders qualified to compete on the international circuit, where he rides among the top 50 skaters in Europe.

As an action sports athlete, Johannes is considered one of the top 100 athletes globally.

When he’s not skating, he spends his time as a humanitarian and founder of a charity initiative he called Fill the Gap, which provides motivational speeches and demos at various schools, internationally and locally.

He also runs a donation project called Fill the Box, which has collected more than 50 pairs of footwear in two months.

He has been awarded R10 000 by Engen to continue with the project for the remainder of this year.

Johannes said he was looking forward to even more success in the future.

“I’m already thinking about what’s next,” he said.

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