Young skateboarders descending on Oakura competition


Niwa Shewry, 14, from Oakura gets some practise in.

He was recovering from an injury last year – but this year Oakura’s up-and-coming skateboard star will be in action at his home bowl.

Fourteen-year-old Niwa Shewry is stoked to be able to compete in the Annual Oakura Bowl Jam this weekend.

He first got into skateboarding six years ago.

“I liked the constant challenge and how fun it was,” he said.

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Last year, he took out the under-16 national title, despite having broken five bones in six months.

“I had a bit of a rough one last year.”

He said the “redemption” of completing the trick that had seen him fall was an incentive to keep going after injury.

“It never gets boring so it’s always a constant thrill.”

This year, he’s at the top end of the standings again.


Niwa Shewry has been skateboarding for six years.

In the future, Niwa would love being able to skateboard for a living.

Skateboarding is set to be introduced at the Tokyo Olympic Games this year, if it goes ahead, and Niwa has been selected by Skateboard NZ as a future Olympic prospect.

Skateboarding is growing up from its bad boy image into a fully-fledged recognised sport. On Monday, the International Olympic Committee voted to include skateboarding at the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo.

The Oakura Bowl Jam is into its third year and growing annually, Phil Culf from the Taranaki Skateboarding Association said.

Culf believes the introduction of skateboarding to the Games will put the sport in front of a different audience.

While some kids were already into competitions, for others it has opened up possibilities.

“What it’s done is, it’s given kids in the region a drive.


The 3rd Annual Oakura Bowl Jam skateboard competition is on this weekend. Remus Henare, 14, from Taupō is competing.

“It will bring a whole new group into skateboarding.”

And along with that will hopefully come more money, with many of the bowls in the region in need of maintenance, he said.

“We do have a lot of skateparks around at the moment but a lot of them are really old, 20-plus years old.”

The Annual Oakura Bowl Jam, part of the Bowlzilla circuit, kicks off at 10am on Saturday.

Pre-registration is from 9.30am.

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