ON the surface, Finn Nuriman Amri resembles any regular Malaysian seven-year-old child, but unlike many of them, the boy’s skateboarding prowess rival other skaters twice his age.
When not in school, Finn spends most of his play time in a skatepark in Bukit Kiara, situated on the outskirts of the capital where he lands advanced manoeuvres almost flawlessly. It’s a remarkable feat for someone his age, especially when the skateboard’s size matches his diminutive stature.
For Fin, skateboarding is a serious matter, as evident in his facial expressions and focus when attempting the maneuvres, which skaters call ‘tricks’. At times, the boy is seen throwing his skateboard on the ground when he gets frustrated by failing to land tricks, typical of other skaters.
His father, Nuriman Amri Abdul Manap, 40, says as a toddler, Finn learned to skate just as he was taking his first steps. “In the early stages, Finn familiarised himself with the skateboard and the movement of the body,” he said.
“At two-and-a-half years old he has started to skate on his own and at three years old, he was already able to land tricks like the drop down, manual pad, tic tac up and down,” the art teacher said, as quoted by Harian Metro.
Nuriman said by the age of six, Finn could land the frontside and backside ‘pop-shuvit’, and other tricks from eight-foot high obstacles.
Both the boy and his 11-year-old brother Ian are training to become professional extreme sports athletes. The father said the elder brother, who is just as talented as Finn, would be heading to the US sometime later this year to train there.
But in case the dream of becoming a highly-paid world-class skater does not work out, Finn says he would be happy to serve his country.
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“I could be a soldier, but for now I’ll stick to skating,” he told the Harian Metro interviewer.
While skating does come across as something focussed on tricks and other aerial-defying stunts, the lifestyle brings with it a humble attitude as Finn says his friends and teachers in school were not aware of his abnormal abilities.
To hone their skills even further, Finn and the brother would be trained for skateboarding like a gymnast.
“Just like gymnastics, the boys need to be trained since childhood to build their confidence and overcome their fears,” the father said, adding they trained for at least four hours daily.
“But (they train) not before they finish their school work,” he added.