Ching Ho: International Stoke Spreader

We had a conversation with our Malaysian sister Ching of TFY Skate about her early days skating in Australia, growing the scene in Malaysia and her most recent move – to Vancouver!ChingHey Ching-Ling, how are you?
Feeling kinda weirded out that you called me by my proper name!

Like you’ve done something wrong?
You know you’re screwed when someone calls you by your full name, so maybe I’m in a little bit of trouble.

What do your friends call you?
Ching. Ching Ho! When I’m drunk: Alco-Ho.

When last did you get in trouble?
Haha just a few hours ago when I rocked up to work an hour late.

Do you skate to work?
Skating to work in Malaysia will usually entail falling into a massive pothole, getting run down by a car or having your board stolen. So that’s a big no-no.

What’s Malaysia like for skating?
Malaysia actually has some pretty amazing hills. Gnarly freeride runs or fast downhill track aren’t that hard to find. The problem is the roads aren’t always in the best condition so it usually ruins the spots. Plus, the cops are really cool about us skating. I’ve had police escorts a few times.

Predrift at PCP Malaysia by Syarifuddin
Predrift at PCP Malaysia by Syarifuddin

Do you know any police skaters?
Working on it!

When did you start skating?
Back in 2009 thanks to the “Whirling Dervish”.

Is the music  your ringtone?
Nah it’s too chilled. I need my phone to scream at me or I’ll never answer.

How did life change after watching the video?
I lived on ramen noodles for a month just so I could afford a Loaded deck. It also made me realise that two shirtless guys dancing on a piece of bamboo is pretty damn sexy.

Are shirtless guys a big motivator?
Haha. Not for skateboarding at least.

Was it easy to get a board in Malaysia then?
I actually started longboarding in Melbourne when the scene was just starting to grow. It was pretty easy to get a board from one of the local shops. Back then there probably weren’t any longboards in Malaysia at all!

ching @ the zoo_by daniel hoe
ching @ the zoo_by daniel hoe

Where did you ride in the beginning?
Melbourne! It started out with just commuting to college to car park sessions and eventually downhill.

Who else was skating back then?
The Aussie legends: Jacko, Daddow, Yatesy, McWinnie, BenBro, all those cool cats. As for the Melburn crew it was mainly a handful of us: Callum O’Callaghan, Fendy Gan, Juan Diego, Sean, Wayne Da Bear, Hamish, those guys taught me to skate!

What is the Melburn crew?
They’re my Aussie family! I will probably get a lot of shit for saying this but I’d like to call them the OG longboarding crew of Melbourne.

Is there a big community there?
Yeah I think the whole scene in Melbourne really grew a couple of years back after I left for Malaysia (coincidence?). When I visited last year I met so many new faces it was really amazing to see how much the Melbourne community has grown.

What sort of skating did you do in the beginning?
I started out mainly commuting. I tried dancing and I realised I sucked at it so bad. Then I started doing some carpark sessions and got addicted. Needed something faster so I got hooked on downhill.

HG 2012 by Poste 98
HG 2012 by Poste 98

What did you enjoy about going fast?
It’s the adrenaline. It’s that amazing feeling you get when you push your limits and start to go faster than you’re comfortable with. It’s about that rush you get riding new terrain. And occasionally beating the boys.

Did you change your setup?
I’ll admit I used to be a typical noob and tweak my setups a lot but now I just stick to one setup for everything. Maybe change out my bushings if I’m taking a really fast run.

What do you ride?
A Jati Miho with Bear precisions and Riptide bushings.

Same as Possala! Are you related?
I wish! She’s so rad, we’re both sponsored by Riptide and that’s how I got the hook up with Jati.

Does Melbourne cater to speed demons?
Melbourne is known for being a flat city so it is a bit hard to get to spots. They’re usually at least an hour out of the city. But hey, if you got the demon in you, you’ll make the effort!
HG 2012

Where is the downhill capital of down under?
Hard to say. I’m gonna go with Sydney or Queensland, they have some pretty sick downhill spots there.

How did you grow as a skater in 2009?
I took part in my first race and it made me realise I still had so much more to learn when it comes to downhill skateboarding. It’s not always about having the balls, taking something head on isn’t always the best thing to do.

What was your first race?
Newtons Nation 2009.

That’s a pretty huge first step, did you die?
Haha almost I think. It was intense. Looking back it probably wasn’t a good idea to race Newtons after only downhilling for six months. No regrets though!

What are the most important DH lessons?
Learning how to stop and how to ride out wobbles.

Doing the MJ at Newtons 2009
Doing the MJ at Newtons 2009

When did you attend your next race?
I attended a few more outlaws after Newtons but my next legit race was Mt Keira in 2012. I’m not much of a racer mainly because I can’t afford to travel as often as I’d like.

3 years of training must have turned you into a superfast beast!
Hahah nah, I still think I have so much more to learn. I kinda had to cut down on my skating when I first moved to Malaysia and started working so it was really hard to “train”.

How long did you spend in Oz?
Three years and about half of that I spent skating.

Would you say you’re an Aussie skater?
I would say I’m a Melburn skater.

How can you identify a Melburn skater?
Torn jeans, janky setups, and a big smile on their faces.

What is their biggest influence on your riding?
Well I think they really got me into downhill which is my favourite form of riding. But they also taught me that it isn’t always about the skating. It’s about the friends and skate-family you make along the way.

OG Melburn_2009 by Fendy Gan

How was the Mt Keira experience?
I loved racing Mt Keira. It was the first time I went back to Ozland since I moved back to Malaysia so it was great meeting up with old friends and making new ones. It was also really gratifying for me to see how much I’d improved since Newtons 2009.
It was pouring pretty much the whole race weekend so I learnt how to race in the wet for the first time which was pretty scary. It sorta also made me realise that maybe I could never be as “competitive” as many of the pro riders out there. I had a friend yell at me “This is a race you have to be competitive!!”.

What’s your attitude towards racing?
It has changed pretty drastically over the years. I used to be all about racing, and getting good and wanting to head to as many races as possible. But now I’ve sorta toned down. I still love going to races and events but it’s mainly for the experience of meeting people, travelling and riding new spots. Not everything is about winning.

How would you do in a bacon eating competition?
I would own that!

What makes you a happy skater?
Having a good crew of skaters to skate with (Fuck yea TFY!)

Bowls by Syamly
Bowls by Syamly

Why did you move to Malaysia?
I just graduated and I couldn’t get a job in Australia so they kicked me out!

Sounds like a pleasant experience.
Yeah well, a blessing in disguise I guess.

How has it turned into a blessing?
If I didn’t go back to Malaysia I never would have had TFY. Best thing that has happened to me skate-wise so far.

What is TFY?
TFY: Team FY (The FY is up to your own interpretation – Fuck yea, Fu Yo, FamilY, Forever Young just to name a few I’ve heard). At one point the scene in Malaysia had so much bullshit we decided to just start our own little skate family. As long as you wanna skate join the family!

Team Finish Your-bacon!
Team FYB. I’ll consider a name change.

When was TFY born?
Two years ago back in 2011.

Filming by Mackie Mac
Filming by Mackie Mac

What is your role in the family?
I’m usually the one behind the camera. I take most of our photos and videos (which is why you rarely see any pictures of me). And occasionally keep the guys in check.

Ching ‘’Lurker’’ Ho.
Haha that’s outside of my TFY duties… Shhhh.

How has the scene in Malaysia evolved?
When I first started longboarding in 2009, I think there were only a handful of us “longboarding” and we were all into downhill. It was mainly me, my husband, Loren, Kultur (found of Longboarders Guild of Malaysia), Naqib, Redza, Martin Siegrist (during his brief stay here) and Abdil Mahdzan.
But since I’ve moved back to Malaysia it has really grown. We have so many different communities in not just Kuala Lumpur but also Johor, Terengganu, Kuantan and all the different states of Malaysia. It’s great to see our numbers grow so quickly over the years.

Abdil rides standup?
Hahaha he tried but I guess luge is still his thing.

How has having such an outstanding racer helped the community?
It’s always good to have someone that the community can look up to.

When did you start working behind the camera?
When I started TFY, I mainly wanted to showcase all the rad riders we have in Malaysia and I felt the best way to really expose the world to the Malaysian scene was through shitloads of videos and pictures!

Post skate with TFY in Philippines
Post skate with TFY in Philippines

Do you guys have a blog?
We have Facebook, YouTube and twitter pages.

www.facebook.com/tfyskate

www.youtube.com/tfyskate

www.twitter.com/tfyskate

What makes a good skate photo?
A good skate face!

Do you have a favourite subject?
Definitely taking shots of someone new. They always get so stoked when their first skate photo comes up online.

What do you try to capture in your photography?
I love it when the skater is really into his riding. Rule of thumb: if he looks like he’s about to fart, he’s really into it.

How does your camera work affect your enjoyment of skating?
Haha honestly, I hate it sometimes because I have to end up sacrificing my own skate time to take pictures and videos. But someone has to do it!

Ching @ Johor by daniel hoe
Ching @ Johor by daniel hoe

How did all your ASRA exposure and Melburn experience help to shape Ching in Malaysia?
I guess watching how the guys behind ASRA have helped shape the Aussie community is what really drove me to try and grow the Malaysian community. I learnt a lot of things from the Aussie skaters – respecting spots and the locals, organising events etc.

What did you get up to last year?
Well, I quit my job (as a tax accountant), used up all my money to go race Mt Keira, started a new job as a business journalist, used that money to race Haven’s Gate in the Philippines (awesome event by the way!), started planning my move to Vancouver.
Haha that pretty much sums up my 2012… pretty dull I know. Work takes up a lot of time. I promise, 2013 will be even better. Hopefully once I’m settled in Vancouver I can focus more on skating!

You’re going to work for one of the giants?
I wish! Got any hook ups?

Have you skated all over Asia?
Just Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. There’s a race happening in Indonesia in Sept but it’ll be way too expensive to get there from Canada!

Havens Gate 2012 by Poste 98
Havens Gate 2012 by Poste 98

How tight knit is the continental stoke?
Ever since Haven’s Gate in the Philippines last year people from all over South East Asia started to unite. It was even better at the RADJam 2013 cause we had riders from Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore, Australia and Canada. We’ve got some pretty big things in store for South East Asia so stay tuned!

The South East is the core of the Asian community?
I wouldn’t say that because I’ve never been to China, Korea or Japan (for skating at least) so it’s hard to tell how things are there. But I’d say that the South East Asian countries are starting to unite and work together it’s great.

How did Haven’s Gate change things?
The Philippines have always been the most “advanced” South East Asian country for longboarding in terms of the sheer size of the community. It seems like every other week there’s some sort of longboard event happening there but its mainly locals who take part.
HG stood out because that was probably one of the first times we had a significant number of “foreign riders” take part in a race. Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, China – it was refreshing. And since then it has become a new trend, even at VLT (one of the biggest race circuits in the Philippines) we saw a lot more riders from all over Asia taking part.

Keira 2012 by Cat Sweeny
Keira 2012 by Cat Sweeny

What will the unity bring?
Hopefully it will bring more events to this part of the world. Asia has so much to offer longboard-wise so it’ll be cool to show the world what we’re made of.

How is Asian flavour stoke differ from ours?
It’s not something you can easily explain so you should just come and visit us and find out for yourself!

Will there be an Asian downhill cup someday?
There were some serious discussions about this at the RADJam a few weeks ago so yes, it’s what we’re working towards.

Who is we?
Hahah, that’s a secret for now!

What was the RAD Jam?
RADJam was Kuala Lumpur’s first legit downhill skateboarding race that the TFY crew organised in June. We’re still riding on the stoke from pulling that event off! It was a really big moment for us and the Malaysian community.

ASK photo
ASK photo

How did it turn out?
A huge fucking success! Of course, there were some hiccups and Malaysia was actually hit by really bad haze during that weekend but the riders were still super stoked. We got a lot of good feedback so hopefully we’ll be organising more races in the future.

What was the highlight of the weekend?
Watching the finals. One of our TFY groms was in the heat and it was a pretty intense one to watch!

You sponsor groms?
We can’t even sponsor ourselves! TFY isn’t an official “team” or anything. We’re just a family of longboarders. We take any grom with the right attitude under our wings and watch them grow.

Are there many girls skating over there?
I’m the only Malaysian girl that does downhill as far as I know. I know there are a few girls from LGC Malaysia who are pretty good bowl skaters but I rarely skate with girls here.

Must be lonely?
I have the boys don’t worry.

Are you doing anything about getting more girls into going fast?
I think it really all comes down to the girl. It’s gotta come from their own desire to pick up downhill. LGC Singapore recently visited and we gave them some DH 101 lessons and I think I managed to get one girl hooked on downhill (Yes Juli I’m talking about you!).

HG podium by JP Fuentas
HG podium by JP Fuentas

What’s your relationship with the LGC?
Local crew? I rarely see them unless there’s some media shoot going on (again, probably gonna get a lot of shit for saying this). The LGC Malaysia crew seem pretty dead most of the time. Love the LGC Singapore girls though, they’re cool chicas! I’ve also met Carlotta (one of the founding LGC members) and she’s a monkey.

Our blonde maple syrup loving sister?
Yeah, she was travelling in South East Asia and she came to Malaysia with the LGC Singapore crew so I picked them up from the airport, got stuck in a 2 hour traffic jam. It rained most of the time so we didn’t get to skate but we had some pretty awesome road-side burgers from Burger Buddha.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I’m moving to Vancouver at the end of July and hopefully get a job somewhere. I’d love to do something skate-related so if anyone has any job openings please let me know!

What sort of skate related work?
Maybe something marketing related? I love all things to do with stoke spreading. Event organising, “team management”, skate and social media… I do all of that now anyway so would be pretty rad to actually do it for a living.

What can you bring to the table?
I’m pretty good with numbers. I’m also pretty good at getting stoner skaters off their asses. Plus, I cook some pretty mean bacon! But in all seriousness, give me the right gear and I can put together a skate video for you. Give me access to your social media accounts and I’ll tweet/instagram the shit out of it. Give me a skate topic to write about and I’ll have 1,000 words for you in a day.

What do you do when you’re not skating?.
Editing skate videos/pictures. Rolling in bed. Killing innocents in GTA.

Keira 2012
Keira 2012

Pick 3 numbers between 1-12.
3, 4 and 7.

3 – what crime are you most likely to go to prison for?
Road rage.

4 – do you have any recurring dreams?
Being able to do toe-side checks wearing only sandals. Emphasis on the only.

7 – why did the chicken cross the road?
To get some KFC.

It’s been awesome getting to know you Cookie. Stay rad and see you soon!
You too CoCo, hopefully I’ll find my way to your part of the world in December.

Any thank yous?
Brad & Tracey at Riptide and the Jati Boards crew for all the awesome support they’ve given me. My skate family, TFY, you guys are amazing people I’m gonna miss. Team Melburn for making me the skater I am today. And my husband G for always being my #1 fan!

Links.
www.facebook.com/tfyskate
www.riptidesports.com
www.jatiboards.com

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