Jean-Marc Johannes (South Africa) has skated his way to two new Guinness World Records titles:
- Most skateboard 360 frontside spins in 30 seconds: 7
- Most consecutive skateboard ollies: 323 (tied with the UK’s David Tavernor)
Jean-Marc Johannes is an Adidas-sponsored skateboarder from Cape Town, whose career began as a child when his friends entered him into a competition as a joke. Surpassing everyone’s expectations, Jean-Marc wowed the crowd and won the event, attracting a swarm of sponsors.
"I remember Jean-Marc saying, 'Just sign! Just sign the papers!' That was his big, big moment," Lorelle, Jean-Marc’s mother, recalled.
Since then, Jean-Marc has gone from success to success in the pro skating scene.
Jean-Marc attempted both of his records on the same day, one after the other.
He originally planned to attempt them in one of his favourite skate parks in the world, Battery Park in Cape Town. However, on the day of Jean-Marc’s official attempts, the weather was less than ideal.
In fact, the rainfall was so heavy that the attempt could not go ahead as planned.
Skating on wet or damp ground can affect the bearings of a skateboard and reduce their efficiency, making it extra hard to break a record. Additionally, such conditions can be extremely unsafe.
"I’m crossing my fingers we can make it work, but at this stage I’m not entirely certain," said official adjudicator Sofia Greenacre.
Fortunately, a solution was found – the attempts were moved indoors, to an underground car park.
The first record, for the most skateboard 360 frontside spins in 30 seconds, involved jumping in the air while on the skateboard and spinning it 360 degrees. The previous record (6) was set at the 2009 X Games by Lunati Hamilton (USA) and hadn’t been beaten since.
Jean-Marc got off to a quick start and maintained a strong pace, balancing speed with precision. If any of the spins were even a single degree below 360, they wouldn’t be counted.
After half a minute had passed, adjudicator Sofia signalled the end of the record attempt. However, she didn’t reveal the result straight away, instead, Jean-Marc would first have to complete his next record attempt for the most consecutive skateboard ollies.
An ollie is the first trick most skaters learn. Quite simply, it is a jump into the air executed by stamping on the skateboard’s tail end.
On the surface of it, performing lots of ollies may seem like a simple task for a pro skater. However, this was a gruelling test of both endurance and concentration. The record to beat was 323, and if any of the ollies were poorly performed – meaning not all four wheels leave the ground – the entire attempt would be failed.
Jean-Marc began at a fast pace, skating up and down the car park while performing ollie after ollie. However, after the 47th ollie, disaster struck as Jean-Marc mistimed the landing and fell over, bringing his first attempt to an end. He was allowed two more tries to break the record.
For this record, Jean-Marc didn’t actually have to be in motion. The rules permit performing the ollies in a stationary position, so that’s exactly what Jean-Marc did for his second attempt.
This time, Jean-Marc’s ollies were more steady and assured. Even though he was doing the ollies from a stationary position, he still required an immense amount of energy to perform so many in a row.
Sweating profusely, his pace noticeably slowed as he passed the 200 mark. Regardless, Jean-Marc kept going.
He was visibly relieved at the end of the attempt and immediately began to massage his lower back, which had been hunched over for the duration of the attempt.
"He got about 150 ollies in and I didn’t think he was going to be able to carry on through, but he really did and it was amazing to watch," adjudicator Sofia said.
"I’m feeling pretty good, I’m feeling proud of myself," Jean-Marc said before the results were revealed. "Tired? Definitely, but I think it comes with the game."
Jean-Marc improved upon the previous record for the most skateboard 360 frontside spins in 30 seconds by one, performing seven in total.
Amazingly, for the most consecutive skateboard ollies attempt, he performed the exact same number as the previous record (323), becoming joint holder of the title.
"I’m so stoked to have broken two records in one day," Jean-Marc said after he was handed his Guinness World Records certificates.
These aren’t the first world records Jean-Marc has broken though. In 2018, he achieved the most skateboard nollie heelflips in one minute (18), however this was recently broken by Miklos Peller (Hungary).
In 2019, Jean-Marc broke the record for the most skateboard fakie heelflips in one minute (12), which he still holds.
His latest record attempts were featured on episode three of Stumbo Record Breakers, which airs every Sunday on e.tv.