'Jas Boude' Is South Africa's Gift to Skateboarding and Film

Jas Boude is South African slang for "good legs," and it's also the title of a short film that you should go ahead and watch right now, no matter who you are. 

Admittedly, it’s a pretty tough call to recommend a 13-minute video about skateboarding to people who aren’t totally into skateboarding, but that’s what the Kind is doing again today.

Directed by Georgina Warner and Imraan Christian, and set on the textured streets of Cape Town, South Africa, Jas Boude is a moody documentary video-poem to youth, tiny wheels, and seeing the world as a place to be traversed in a spirit of camaraderie, adventure, and joy.

Cape Town’s skate kids have names like Shuaib Philander, Tooth daBRuin Less, Keerin Noah, and Wade de Monk. They meet up, share a joint, hop in the bed of a pickup truck and cruise. They kick flip through a disused city cemetery to arrive at a skatepark placed in a part of town where, the narrator reveals, “it is too dangerous to skate most of the time.”

For all its South African particulars, Jas Boude is awash in universals, exemplified in this one sentence: “As street skateboarders, we see the world and its cities as a blank canvas, and we are the artists and painters behind it.”

Naturally, just like at any mall or corporate courtyard in America, a security guard pulls up to disrupt the artists.

“But what people don’t understand,” explains the narrator, “is this isn’t a movement. It’s a stampede.”

Jas Boude is a flowing evocation of living moment by moment, in the glory of each successive now, as a way to transcend encroaching realities of corruption, prejudice, and a proliferation of bleak life outcomes.

Take a look! The soundtrack is great too.

Thanks to Afropunk for turning us on.