The star is currently in Cape Town to shoot a movie and took some time out to shop for a new skateboard.
An excited Kent Lingeveldt, 38, who was raised in Mitchells Plain but now resides in Woodstock where his workshop is located, says he was awestruck when he got the request to make a special board for T.I.
Kent owns Alpha Longboards, which specialises in board-shaping and hand-crafted skateboards to a global market.
“T.I. is out here shooting the movie Monster Hunter and he took some time off to incorporate his being in Cape Town to partly celebrate, and film the experience of the 10-year anniversary of his AKOO (A King Of Oneself) Clothing label and he wanted to meet some local artists, and that’s part of the reason I got contacted,” Kent explains.
“I was very excited because I am a fan of his music and acting and never thought when I started skating 24 years ago that these are the doors that skateboarding would open for me.”
Kent started Alpha Longboards in 2001 after he started doing downhill skateboarding in 1999 and found it difficult to find suitable boards.
“We couldn’t afford the imported longboards we needed to properly compete with the downhill racers from the rest of the world. So it started in a friend’s garage and my mother’s spare rooms,” he says with a smile.
“Racing internationally in 2004 as the first black African on the world downhill racing circuit also helped open my eyes to the quality and type of boards I should be shaping.”
Kent says the board he designed and created for T.I. is very personal.
“I liked this one with the American flag as he is vocal about young Americans voting in their mid-term elections (that took place this week).
“It took me two days to make the actual deck and five hours to cut and paint the artwork.”
T.I. collected his board from Kent’s workshop on Saturday along with his crew.
Kent says: “They filmed the interaction and our conversations about skateboarding, the area and the positive things happening in the urban subculture scenes in the city.”