Social media by and for skaters — SkateYou founder Jerry Tsagamilis explains how the app helps skaters share spots, tricks, win prizes and build community.

Greek skater Jerry Tsagamilis crashed onto our radar with a gruesome bail featured in Thrasher’s Hall of Meat earlier this year. In the video, Jerry grinds a monster ledge before his board catches and he plunges head first down the stair set, hitting the concrete face first. As his body jackknifes gruesomely at the bottom of the stairs, it’s a slam so gnarly, Jerry’s lucky he didn’t break his neck.

When we discovered Jerry was the man behind skateboard social media app, SkateYou, we sat up and took note. To put it bluntly, Jerry is the real deal and his app, SkateYou is a legit skater-made product.

SkateYou takes everything skaters have been posting on social media for years – spots, tricks, travel bants, etc. – and gives them a home all under one roof. Integrating GPS technology, it has amassed a database of 15,000 spots, parks and shops – mostly contributed by skaters themselves.

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Skaters create their own profile and they can share high quality videos or photos; share and discover skate spots all over the world; and win cash and product from top skate brands by entering their tricks in the regular competitions held through the app.

Jerry underlines that SkateYou is a non-profit entity and will always be free of charge for skaters across the globe.

As SkateYou have just released a new pro skater-friendly version and before Jerry heads to Barcelona to cover this weekend’s Street League Pro contest, we reached out to find out more about the app.

What were your initial aspirations behind setting up SkateYou?
I wanted to create a second home for skaters, adapted to their needs, where they can share the same values wherever they are.

The demand was clearly high as you could see skaters from all different levels posting on existing social media platforms with selfies, food dishes and travels, etc. Oh, and I wanted to get my grandparents registered too.

Jerry Tsagamilis

Jerry Tsagamilis

What have been the biggest challenges in the early years?
Setting up the whole thing, finding committed programmers, development, getting sponsors and then trying to market and advertise the whole thing as a skater with no experience of the app industry.

What are your big ambitions for the future of the app?
Getting every skater registered. Together we have it all.

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What’s your perspective on how skaters have embraced new technology?
As far as it is something true, they will embrace it. I would say there is a need for more online contests that would give skaters with no local skate scene the opportunity to live the dream too. Also free and better access to spots worldwide. An app including all the above was missing, but not anymore.

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How have you seen the app bring skaters together?
A daily SkateYou experience, where skaters from different cities or countries socialise by following, liking and even rewarding by voting each other while getting an overall feed of global skateboarding news.

Many are the times where skaters of a city, group up to vote and reward their hometown skater. The highest the competition, the strongest the bond.

Which features of the app have people engaged with the most? Was this how you thought people would use the app when you set it up?
I would say the contest part as predicted, due to the fact you can earn money and free gear at your door from the top skateboarding brands. More than 80% of uploaded posts are part of the contests.

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Isn’t part of the fun of travelling as a skater having to work to discover spots in a new city? Or getting to know local skaters and getting them to show you their hidden spots? Does the app kill a bit of that magic?
Skateboarding has no rules or boundaries, so anything could be considered a skate spot. No app or service will ever have them all. Simply because one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and vice-versa. Having access to the main spots or parks of the city is in a way obligatory and will definitely improve your skate trip.

As for the skate shops, the last thing you want when breaking your deck abroad is not knowing where to get the next one. Been there, done that, it sucked. So, with certainty I’m saying not only SkateYou doesn’t kill a bit of that ‘magic’ but add to it. You will need to find the main spots, parks, shops and locals in order to get access to the ‘dirtiest’ or well hidden ones.

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Could you give us the lowdown on a couple of your favourite spots in Athens?
Opera House Athens. Marble square with gnarly gaps, a triple set, smalls curbs and the BIG one. Perfect spot to throw a ‘hammer’.

Hero Square Athens. OG square and a classic Athenian meeting point. Skater friendly since the ’90s. The spot to chill out and have an overall joyful session with the homies.

Find out more about SkateYou. You can now download the app on Apple and Android devices.