MALAYSIA has plenty of extreme sports talent – way too much for us to feature here. So, we asked the guys from The Initiative to recommend a few local athletes whom they think you should know about. Here are some of their stories.
Mohd Fikri ‘Usher’ Zulkifly, 29
For a guy who used to skip classes to go skateboarding, Usher is doing pretty well. Winner of the FISE World Series Malaysia 2014 (an international extreme sporting event franchise from France), Fikri started picking up skills from his big brother when he was nine. A Gombak kid, he’d skate all over town with his friends, cos were no skateparks back then. Today, he’s a pro skateboarder with a string of impressive victories under his belt, and he also runs a steakhouse, YZ Bamboo. He’ll be repping Malaysia at the 2015 Asian X Games in Shanghai later this month.
Muhd Nasrul Afiq Mansor, 21
With two brothers in extreme sports, Muhd Nasrul picked up inline skating at a young age – seven, to be exact. Since upgrading from traditional four-wheeled skates, he has rocked the local aggressive inline skate scene, placing fifth in the FISE Malaysia 2014 (Open Category) and first at the IOXC Games, one of Indonesia’s biggest extreme sporting events. For now, he’s still a part-time blader, working with his sponsors – Wheel Love Skate Shop in Subang Jaya – but it seems only a matter of time before he turns pro.
Syafiq Zazlan, 19
After watching his friends pulling stunts on their bikes when he was 15, Syafiq was immediately hooked to the sport of BMX. “I just thought it was cool,” he said. No arguing with that, right? After he finished his PMR exams, he bought his very first BMX bike with his savings, and it quickly became a passion. Four years later, he would be crowned champion in the BMX Open Cateogry at FISE Malaysia 2014. He hopes to turn pro soon, and to take the local BMX scene to the next level – international competition.
Mohd Altamis ‘Daus’ Firdaus, 19
His first taste of extreme sports came from skateboarding, but he switched to inline skating after receiving a pair of skates on his 15th birthday. Today, Daus is now one of the nation’s brightest inline skating talents, making it to the finals of FISE Malaysia last year, his first major competition. “There’s a bigger sense of community among inline skaters these days. Everyone’s more friendly with each other now,” he said. Daus is curently pursuing a diploma in computer science while chasing his dream of a becoming a professional extreme sports athlete. You can catch him in action a the upcoming IOXC Games in Indonesia this October.
Skateboarder Alif will be heading to Shanghai at the end of the month to participate in the ninth edition of the Kia World Extreme Games. Having picked up skateboarding 12 years ago, this Tony Hawk fan has had plenty of experience with international and local tournaments. His most recent success was winning the RTB Playground Skateboard competition at Mont Kiara Skatepark last December, and he was one of the eight Malaysian extreme sports athletes at the 2014 Asian Beach Games in Phuket. He picked up skateboarding as he found it to be more unique and challenging than conventional sports. He considers the local skateboarding community as his second family, and his advice to the younger members of that family is to stick to what they believe in and never, ever give up.