Boardshaper and Founder: Alpha Longboards

Kent Lingeveldt in his Alpha Longboard studio / workshop, Woodstock, Cape Town.

If you walk into Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s office today you will see an Alpha longboard hanging on his wall. The board was conceived and created by Alpha Longboards founder 32-year-old Kent Lingeveldt, who works in a small workshop in Woodstock, Cape Town. Lingeveldt, whose two passions are skateboarding and photography, gave the board to Tutu while photographing him for a documentary. A nomadic childhood on the Cape Flats, during which friends were scarce, led Lingeveldt into skateboarding. His first downhill race was the Red Bull Downhill Extreme in 1999. After seeing what international competitors were doing he knew what kind of board he needed to become a better downhill skater, but he had no money to buy equipment, so he decided to make his own board. That was 13 years ago. Today Alpha Longboards is the best-known local longboarding brand and Lingeveldt is shaping customised boards for local and international clients, as well as for some of the world’s fastest luge riders. He collaborates with local artists such as Atang Tshikare from Zabalazaa, graffiti artist NardStar and poet Toni Stuart to develop artwork and graphics for the boards. Alpha Longboards won the 2013 Jupiter Drawing Room’s Constructus Award. His photographic work is also on an upward spiral. Last year he won the Market Photo Workshop’s Social Landscapes competition and in June he will be exhibiting at several festivals in Germany, including the Detmold International Short Film Festival. He recently moved from the City Bowl back to his family home in Mitchells Plain, where he finds more inspiration for his photography. Here, as well as in lower Woodstock, he spends much of his free time with the local children, shaping boards for them and teaching them to skate. With his background in social work, Lingeveldt is a skater for the people.

— Ilham Rawoot

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