not without my santxeski odlok   Who doesn’t remember the mythical orange Sancheski? Lots of people have that childhood gadget of ours tattooed in scars on our wrists, ankles and knees. Just back from school, we’d head out with a sandwich in one hand and our skateboard in the other. It got to the stage that even nowadays, a lot of us still call skateboards “Santxeskis”. We didn’t know it at the time but we were the owners of a little treasure that has a rather curios history behind it. The myth was brought to life when the Sanchez family in Irun got into skiing. Sanchez-ski. Sancheski. They started making skis in the 30s. The father was later joined by his two sons. However, as the years passed, imported skis from Austria and France started to have an effect on the market. The Sanchez brothers took a deeper look at another of their interests: a board placed across four wheels bombing down any old road. So they decided to start making skateboards. That’s how they became an institution at making skateboards at European level. This all happened 35 years ago. They also went one step further than the “Santxeskis” and founded a skate team. Some of the forefathers of skateboarding in The Basque Country – Ricardo Damborenea, Pedro Aranzabal, Ramon Aguirre, Iñaki Beloki etc. – were all members.

For lots of today’s youngsters, the pictures will look like something from prehistoric skateboard times. But for some of us, these pictures bring back memories of the first machines that gave us a taste of freedom and shivers of speed. I made my First Communion with a lads from the neighbourhood. When the big day arrived, Asier turned up at the church with his orange Sancheski. We all had murder at home about the clothes with had to wear for the “day". Asier had a big row with his folks as well. In the end they had him dolled up to the nines like the rest of us. But as they were just about to leave the house for the church, Asier grabbed hold of the bed post and sobbed at his parents:
-Not without my Sancheski!
So Asier’s Sancheski made its First Communion with us that day.