These pages have been maintained to celebrate the OG Hopkin Skate Team 2006 - 2013. We currently don't have a fulltime skate team, but sponsor ideas, projects, events and skaters on a case to case basis.
The OG skate team is the one thing I am most proud of from the Hopshop days (when we had our St Leonard's skateshop). Skaters talk about the mini ramp, or the carpark sessions, or the events, or my skateboard collection on the walls, the parties or the huge variety of gear we had for sale. For me, it was all about the skate team. The whole business grew out of seeing what would happen if a team was given a proper budget.
It started with Jacko traveling Australia, slalom racing. He went from junior to Australia's best in a very short time. Newton's arrived, Jacko travelled to Canada and then later toured Europe with Leeso. Over the years our team represented Australia on all the major continents: Europe, Africa, South America, North America, Asia. They toured, travelled, raced and partied.
It was all about Sydney's best conquering the world. In Australia, for 8 years, there were not many podiums where a Hopkin team rider was not standing on it. Unlike other US shops who sponsor whoever is best or the current champion, we nurtured and grew our local skaters, and the end result was one of the world's best skate teams.
We always portrayed the team as this all winning, skateboard racing crew, in fact, everyone was chosen for a specific reason, not just because they won races.
To make our team, you didn't have to be the best, I found that skater first and 10 years later he is still the best (Jacko beat you all at Mt Keira 2016). To make the team you had to do something special. That is not win competitions. Sure, the short list had skaters who won comps but that was not enough. If they organised a community event or if they filmed other skaters and made amazing movies or if they ran a coaching clinic or if they did something selfless or charitable. That showed character, and the real person underneath the skater. That made them worthy. To this day, I never told anyone that, not even the skaters themselves. And I never said to a skater, that is the quality I'm looking for, it had to appear, it had to be real.
How did we pick the team? First and foremost they had to be a skater for life. That was important. Most of them are still skating. All have gone on to do amazing things. As a group, they are a foundational part of the Australia scene.
[We have not finished, more skater pages to come]
Hopkin Skate Team, in no particular order:
Jackson Shapiera (Jacko)
Corey Leeson (Lesso)
Gabriel Gwynne (Gabe)
Rob McWhinnie (Robdog)
Adam Yates (Yatesy)
Dejan Djukic (Mustard)