Trucks and Fins is a huge present to the whole skate community - not just for the skating people, but also for shops, builders and schools. Super easy to use and can't believe how complete it is.
Pascal Lieleg aka Official Bowlshit
Interview with Glen Jones, Photographer. | by Sebastião Belfort Cerqueira
I’m a school teacher. I’m in Lisbon right now starting a new school. I’m an elementary Montessori school teacher. I’ve been doing that for about twenty-five years now.
It is a teaching method. It’s a very empowering teaching method for kids, it looks at the individual versus, you know, trying to teach the masses. It’s an educational approach that jibes really well with how I think teachers should teach. When I look back to all the great teachers I had growing up they all had these mannerisms and these ways of really looking at me as a person and not just another pupil. With Montessori that kind of mindset is ingrained in the approaches. I could talk on and on, do a whole interview about why I chose this as my field of work but it is a really good fit. I’m also trained as an archeologist, I was going down the route of being a professor and I found out I enjoyed working with children more than publishing and all that. I love digging in the dirt, I do it every time I can, I enjoy the fieldwork but I wasn’t cut out for the harsh reality of academia. I prefer my academia working with and inspiring young people. So, yeah, that’s that... now, skateboarding!
This all goes hand in hand with the photography. I had a skateboard as a young kid, around seven or eight, in the seventies when they were in the same shelf with the yo-yos and other toys. I had a drugstore board and I cruised around my driveway and the whole block. The eighties rolled by and I had a BMX bike and one day, probably about 81-82, a friend of mine said “You have to see this ramp where these guys are riding.” I went there and I was blown away. In this little town I grew up in, in Mississippi, Ocean Springs, not too far from New Orleans, there was this brilliant vert half-pipe and a couple of guys who were kingpins in the scene and who were really good. They were also the coolest guys ever, Dana Buck and Lindsey Kuhn. They are still in the skateboard world [Kuhn owns Conspiracy Skateboards]. So of course the next day I was showing up with my skinny seventies board and kind of getting laughed at, because they had the big pig boards, but I jumped right in, me and a few buddies. We were just inspired, so we got the bigger boards, put up with the razzing and became a part of that crew. We had a kind of Deep South Gulf Coast skater network in the eighties, going from New Orleans to St. Petersburg, Florida. Skateboarding was kind of dead and it was all backyard vert ramps. We had a really strong community and part of that was doing zines and shooting photos, so that’s where the camera came in.
I liked to play around with a camera when I was little. I had this cheap little 35mm and after my dad saw that I had real interest he gave me his Nikon F, which was a really well-made camera, and I still have it, I still use it. Then, my oldest sister was a photo journalist and for my thirteenth birthday she brought me her old darkroom. My birthday gift was her setting it up and teaching me how to use it. All that came together at the right time, when we were all skating and I wanted to document it. I love photography. I can’t draw very well but I can shoot photos and it’s always been an output, so I have documentation of everything, from seeing my friends’ crusty little punk rock bands to going to skate contests, writing for zines and shooting for zines, plus the road trips that we all took. I got to be known as the guy with the camera. I still have all these negative files and covid has allowed me some time to start scanning more of them.
When I grew up all the cool kids’ films were set in the fifties but now I realize the eighties have become this sort of mythical era for punk rock and skateboarding and people want to see these things. My girlfriend says I ought to write a book and get a real website going instead of just facebook or instagram. That’s something I look forward to doing but I don’t want to keep looking back, that’s for sure. Right now, I love supporting Trucks and Fins because they help get me around to these spots, to meet other skaters, and I’m pleased to take photos and try to help out in documenting skateparks, it’s a cool thing. I always bring my camera when we ride, I skate for half the time and take photos for half the time, probably more photography if I’m having an off session.
Right now I have my changing bag and my development tanks and I scan the negatives. It’s a hybrid work form. I would like to get to a point where I could have a darkroom again because I do miss watching the images appear on the paper. But, you know, photography is such a thing... I do have my artsy side and I love capturing a good visual. But I guess if I had a style it would be not having one, I just like documenting everything. I haven’t had much instruction, mostly self-taught and my sister. When I was in high school I took a night class at a community college and was taught by an old, crusty photo journalist from Mobile, Alabama. He was chain-smoking I think even in the darkroom and was a crotchety old bastard but he was really good about his technique, he was all about the mechanics of it, really practical.
I’ve done a few shows with my work. The most fun I’ve had with that was just before moving to Portugal a year and a half ago, in an upstairs gallery above my friend’s skate shop back in Minneapolis. I’d been shooting all these images for years so I did a show with about one hundred and sixty prints but it was all meant to be left there. I gave instructions to the owner of the shop to keep the show up for a month and then give the photos to all the guys that were in those shots. That was my “thank you, Minnesota and skateboarding”. I had all these images and I just wanted to give back to a scene that was so good to me.
I’m getting really curious to see your older stuff. Because the photos you have on Trucks and Fins and on your instagram account struck me as being different from the usual skate photos. I don’t know if you’ve read the little essay I wrote on one of your photos, but I feel like there’s many where the skatepark is empty or maybe there’s someone riding but they’re not the focus of the picture at all, you get this overview where you can see the whole setting. I was wondering if that had anything to do with that joy of searching for and finding a new spot?
Well, of course. I’d also say that stepping back and putting a skatepark or a scene into a larger perspective might be a more recent thing I’m doing. And I wasn’t really aware of that until you pointed it out but it has to do with that visual thrill of exploration and trying to put it into a context. It’s cool to be able to look at a park and be able to go “so that’s where it sits”. Instead of that one skater, that one rad trick, maybe as we get older we get a little bit more introspective and we see the bigger connection. But also being in Portugal, with the ocean right here, I’m sure that’s affecting the light. When I’m out I’m always noticing the colours and the light. So whenever I see that and I’m skating I always try to step back and be like “whoa, look at these trees in the background and the way it all ties together and everything.” Also, I’ve never had a super wide lens, so I’d have to lurk back a bit for fear of cropping limbs off or something and that might have had an effect on it. I think also for Trucks and Fins I tend to do that a bit more, but skateparks are amazing architectural features with all the lines and the curves and just trying to play around with that is fun.
Goodness, I had a little 110 Kodak camera in the seventies. I loved to just sneak around and take shots of my friends when they weren’t looking, you know, like playing spy. Later it was probably skateboarding and wanting to document that. And also wanting to fit in with the skateboarding crew. I was a bit younger and so I wanted a good reason to be around. Of course even after I got over these insecurities and I was skating with them I’d still always have a camera with me. I had a friend that used to laugh at me at shows and he’d say “yeah, next to the band, the guy with the camera is the next interesting person.” I was never able to play that up to my advantage.
Of course, who doesn’t want to feel cool like “oh, I’m documenting this”. But now being older I’m just happy I did it. I just scanned some old band shots this past weekend and I had some of Babes in Toyland. And I know Lori [Barbero] and all of them and they love it when I post old shots. It’s good that we have those memories and it’s different, because that’s what everyone has now with their phones and everything. Doing it back then it was a little more select, maybe a little more special. I don’t know what’s going to happen to this generation when they’re my age and they have so much from their past to look at. It’s good to look back but also to keep going forward. There are some things I love about digital, it doesn’t seem as enduring. It gets done and stored into a digital file that could very well disappear, where film to me has this real physical permanence. So when I do go out and take skate shots today, I take my film camera with me but I wait ‘til the session is really happening, then I go back to my old film skills, where I just want to get two or three really good shots. I’m not a film-only elitist at all, I know what I like and I enjoy shooting both. Right now I’m really anxious to be able to go out and get lost in all of Portugal’s nooks and crannies, and to the eastern part of the country where it’s drier and rolling, and of course if there’s a bowl or a half-pipe or some place to skate I’ll shoot that as well.
Yeah, it’s a little harder now, when you get older, but it was really the calling card back then, when skateboarding wasn’t as massive. You would roadtrip and connect, you’d get a hold of people and crash on couches and skate their ramps or bowls. I’d say every third weekend we’d go somewhere else just to meet up with friends and do that. Today it’s a little harder, not just because I’m older, but because back then you had such a small scene that you were really excited to meet another skater. I went to visit my sister in Minneapolis in 1983. I was at a mall and had my “Skate and Destroy” Thrasher t-shirt and this kid came up to me and asked me if I was skater then looked down and checked my shoes to kind of make sure. He was like “we got a half-pipe down the road” and gave me his number because he knew from my accent I was from out of town. He did exactly the same things we were doing down south. He had a skatezine and a backyard vert ramp, you know, the whole eighties skate kit you had back then, but it opened a door and I met people at that session the next day that I’m still friends with now. Today I don’t know if it’s as easy to make these connections, but it’s still exciting and vibrant. I go to the park down here in Estoril [Parque das Gerações] and despite some of the park design issues and the maintenance or whatever, it’s a really vibrant scene. You see whole families there watching and skating and it’s very different from when I grew up, where if you were a skater you might as well be an alien. Of course we also liked that because it made us rebels but I like that it’s now being seen as a viable thing to do. There’s the downside that it gets marketed more but I’ll take the good with the bad. I also really like to see so many girls riding because for so long, skateboarding was such a boys’ club. When you get a bunch of teenage boys together talking smack, it’s sometimes not the most respectful atmosphere, so it’s good that there’s this balancing factor coming forward.
The funny thing is I came from a really small town that was not tied into the scene but we had some guys that lived there that had been around. And we were about five, six hours from Texas, that really influenced southern skateboarding. I don’t know if you remember Zorlac Skateboards, Craig Johnson, John Gibson, but these guys would drop by our town whenever they went off towards the East coast. There was a small scene but when you showed up to other people’s ramps sometimes you’d see these pros you saw in the magazines, like Monty Nolder or John Gibson, and you learned really quickly they were skateboarders just like you, they were accessible. So some of my favourite memories have to do with befriending some of these pros and getting to go on roadtrips with them. We did feel cool but, still, I wouldn’t sell Portugal or Europe short. Even when the magazines were coming out back in the day, we’d read Transworld and they’d always seem to have some freestylist from Iceland, there was always some ditchy-looking skatepark in England. And we knew of the Swedish [Eurocana] skate camp where the Mctwist was figured out on one of the first big transition ramps. Then Spain too. I had a friend from the States who moved to Barcelona and that’s all he could talk about – street skating in Barcelona in the early 2000’s, how everyone was showing up there to ride. So, you know, I’d say Europe is a player, it might not get in the limelight but the stories are there, and I’m sure Portugal stories are there too. I bet there are some guys around that can really tell what it was like. Because I come from Mississippi in what we called a backwater scene there was safety in numbers, we all hung out together in a tight community and I can only imagine Portugal has a similar story. As it wasn’t that mainstream I’m sure the people who did it were probably more dedicated, so, yeah, find those people, I want to hear those stories.
Oh that one! It is unskateable. I don’t know if [T&F co-founder] Haroun told you my idea: in doing this tour we found some skateparks that are completely unskateable and that is the top one. What we need to do is have a Triple Crown Event over a couple of weekends, invite all the skaters over to ride these bad skateparks, and that one would be the crown jewel. Whoever designed that skatepark had no idea, no clue, and if you can do anything on it, you’re a great skater.
I thought it was meant to be ironic. We just sat there for fifteen minutes looking at all the lines that could never happen. It was funny, but it’s also a sad commentary. Obviously that town had good intentions, I don’t want to be insulting nor mock people, but maybe next time they could talk with some skateboarders first. That park is so humorously wrong that you kind of have to go there just to get a good laugh. Yeah, I think it would be hilarious to throw a contest there to see what anyone could do. It would be fun, and it would also bring attention to better skatepark design. Any more questions?
Oh man, I used to be in a lot of bands. Once again, back in the eighties that was part of the whole skatepunk kit. You either got a bass or a guitar, I happened to be handed a bass. That was part of the image, I guess. In 1985 I was in a little punk rock band called Spastic Fury. I played with other things off and on, throughout the nineties, and I think my last gig with any sort of semblance of a group was about five years ago. I still play, I have a studio right here, with my amps and my instruments. Music for me is like a model train, I do it for my enjoyment and if I can pull it together and play something out live and people like it, great. One thing that excites me is that there are some really great musicians in Portugal. I’ve been following Tó Trips and I got to see the Dead Combo on what was going to be one of their last tours and then I saw his new band [Club Makumba]. His solo stuff – I love the dusty guitar, I love what he’s doing with all the variations... it’s Iberian, there’s some spaghetti western in there but there’s also a Portuguese sound. And then his new project, that drummer, wow, there’s something like these old Portuguese colonies sounds creeping in, these polyrhythms... it’s an interesting melting pot. So, yeah, I do look forward to meeting some musicians and throw some ideas around.
I was lucky to have some great musicians back home that I played with over the years. Those music scenes in the eighties and nineties were much like the skate scene, there was a community there. Again, with the camera I could have a foot in the door and then they’d find out I played bass as well and the next thing you know I got set up in a band or two. I probably have as much music stuff and band shots from that era as I do skateboarding.
Oh yeah... I mean, who didn’t love Fugazi? I caught their first tour camera in hand. But the funny thing is, when I first moved to Minnesota, after high school, I was living in this punk rock house and bands were always crashing on our couch. Once there was a band coming from California and they were having a hard time getting a gig in town. They ended up playing in my friends Chad and Josh’s basement for about twenty of us, and that was Green Day. And that’s actually where the singer met his future wife Adrienne. She was this cool, punk rock... well, goddess, if you will. Small world, her brother is Steve Nesser, the old Birdhouse pro, and that’s how close these scenes are. Lots of overlap.
But yeah, I do have some band shots like that. I’m trying to think of bands I like... I’ve got a couple of good, crusty shots of Mark E. Smith in one of his many reincarnations of The Fall. Phenomenal... There’s a club in Minneapolis called the 7th Street entry, it’s an institution, and there’s a corner next to the stage where there’s a little bit of brick sticking out and you can stand on that with your heels and lean up against one of the bass monitors in the ceiling and kind of wedge yourself in there. For about three or four years when I was first living there and going to shows religiously, that was my corner and so I have many shots from that tight corner, looking out at bands.
So yeah, I guess I love music too. And maybe if I did one thing, I could catch up and actually finish one thing. Of course my main work has been my profession, which is teaching. The skateboarding I love, I still do, not as much as I’d like to. The bass playing I enjoy, I plug in about every other day, occasionally I write my own melodies and songs. And yes there’s the photography. Maybe if I quit three of those and just focus on one I could finish something. I’m sure when the time comes and I kick the bucket I’m gonna have fifty unfinished projects and that’ll be my epitaph “almost got it done but...”
I covered a lot of ground, thank you for the opportunity, because I haven’t talked about this stuff in a long time. But I’m happy to share and if after seeing my photos you have any more questions, just let me know.
November 3, 2022 In a couple of days the best skaters will compete in the Olympic Park. With the highlights on the duel between the Portuguese Gustavo Ribeiro and the Japanese Yuto Horigome, as well as the phenomenon Rayssa Leal, from Brazil The Arena Carioca 1, at Parque Olimpico da Barra, will host, between the 5th and 6th of November, the Super Crown World Championship, the final stage of the Skate Street World League (SLS) 2022. This is considered the main skate street competition to be held in the country in 2022. For this year's edition, the SLS Super Crown World Championship expects to receive around five thousand fans a day. The important names of the modality are awaited in the search for the title. In the men's, the Portuguese Gustavo Ribeiro, who won the recent stage in Las Vegas, will have as his main opponent the Olympic champion, the Japanese Yuto Horigome, who leads the ranking. Photos credit: Julio Detefon / CBSk In the women's, Brazilian Rayssa Leal, who won all stages of the 2022 Street League Skateboarding (SLS), held in Jacksonville, Seattle and Las Vegas, arrives as the favorite. She also won the STU Open Rio, held at Praça Duó, in Barra da Tijuca. Second place in the STU Open Rio and in the world ranking, Pâmela Rosa also has a chance to win the third consecutive world championship. In addition to the top four in the SLS men's and women's rankings, the top four will compete in the final after the qualifying stage, which will take place on Saturday, the 5th, at Arena 1 at the Olympic Park. In the 2021 edition, TV coverage of the event was followed by more than six million people worldwide, while another five million were impacted by social media. In Brazil, the economy around the modality moves almost 200 million dollars, which places the country as the second largest skate business center in the world, after the United States of America. Visit StreetLeague website Watch Live
November 2, 2022 The million dollar question? How many skateparks are there in the world? Three years ago, this whole crazy journey started, because I wanted to make the first map of all the skateparks in Portugal. After completing my first country I decided to map out the rest of the world and basically never stopped uploading parks since then. The following data is not 100% accurate, because I am still uploading hundreds of new parks a week. But one thing if for sure. There are 16449 skateparks in the world on our map and I estimate there are around 23000 public skateparks around the globe. What country has the most skateparks? The United States of America has way more skateparks than any other country in the world and there are 7 countries with over 1000 skateparks. The United States of America, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Spain and Brazil are all members of the +1000 club. Below you can find a list of the current top 20 countries with the most parks. What country has the most skateparks per capita? Having the most skateparks is one thing. But who has the most parks per capita? Well, yesterday I put all the numbers in excel to find out. The results are surprising. Liechentstein comes on first place. This small country has 5 parks and a population of 38383, meaning you have a park for every 7676 people. The USA currently is far from reaching the top 20 list with one park for every 98782 people. Brazil is another country that disappears off the list with one park for every 214781 people. Below you can find the current status of population/skatepark for the top 20 countries. These lists and rankings will change over time whilst I continue to upload and find parks, but it does give us an idea of the current situation around the world. Know a skatepark that is missing on the map? You can add the skatepark here and help keep our map up to date! See all the skateparks in the world Add a skatepark to the map
October 31, 2022, interview with Marcos Hiroshi Subjectiveness, originality and fearless tricks are the secrets to success in Olympic skateboarding. In this third part of the interview with Marcos Hiroshi we get a comprehensive view about how judges value a good trick. Stay foolish is still a good mantra. How have the Olympics changed skateboarding in Brazil? We got the power to advocate. Skateboarding now has the same importance and relevance as many other sports. Now we can talk to politicians and demand a skatepark like other sports demand new facilities. Skateboarding is becoming more popular in Brazil… Yes, even folks who didn't know anything about skateboarding are now more curious. People want to know more about skateboarding and hear stories about their heroes. The bad image of skateboarding belongs to the past. A rider is not an outcast anymore. Skateboarding is now a kid’s sport. It's something that brings all people together. It's more than just winning or taking over the other one to rule. The image of that girl being raised was a landmark in the Olympics. The Japanese skater, Misugu Okamoto, missed the podium after bailing a flip attempt and falling into the concrete bowl. While she was crying, other competitors showed up to hug her and lifted her on their shoulders, becoming one of the most powerful images of that competition. This was the perfect calling card of skateboarding. Now you have that uncle who during a family dinner is talking about the young girls who are rocking in skateboarding, like Rayssa Leal. That's a good thing, because people are interested in skateboarding and it unites people. It is about empowerment. Thanks to this, riders are receiving scholarships. They do not ride just to get a sponsor; they get money from the state or local government. That money will sustain the skater and that is a huge change! Furthermore, many specialists started to work on the backstage: therapists, physiotherapists, coaches, referees… people who became professionals. I was in Tokyo during the Olympics and people from other sports were saying ‘hey, I like the way things work in skateboarding.’ They got impressed. You have conquered a place… Yes, but we are having some disputes with Worldskate, which is more related to roller skate. Skateboarding wants to take their own decisions and follow its own path. Worldskate has nothing to do with skateboarding. Fortunately, skateboarding is rising in other countries due to the Olympics. I went to China recently and I noticed how powerful skateboarding is. I saw some exceptionally good things in Turkey too. You are a judge member at skateboarding competitions, including the Olympics. How subjective is your analysis? There is a fixed value for a trick. The extra comes from other factors like did he do that it at the limit, the speed, style... For that we give hundredths of a point and that is what makes the difference. Let us say a deep slide is worth 5,10 but the guy who does that perfectly and with style gets 5,86. We value the one who makes the difference. It's not like snowboarding, where there are mandatory maneuvers with a closed and fixed value. Subjectiveness is one of the more important parts of skateboarding. Style and individuality mean a lot, which is the essence of skateboarding. We stand to prevent riders to become robots. How do the judges establish judgment rules? The CBSK created referee courses to explain, in each state, how the evaluation system works. Judges learn how to take notes, what to pay attention to, etc. Do you watch training sessions to? Yes. In the Olympics we must watch all training sessions since day one. Is there a specific training sessions’ number? Yes. If a competition starts on Thursday, then Tuesday and Wednesday are dedicated to practice and official training sessions. That is when we see what the athletes are preparing and what they are going to do in competition. We start to study them on previous days. Based on that we, the judges, start to set an average to a special trick. Give me an example. Let us say we see a guy doing a flipnose blunt. We start to discuss: how much should we grade it? And then we start to make charts to divide it in those items that we talked about before. We go to the park, too, to try it. It is impossible to understand the difficulty level of the obstacles from a higher point of view. By going there, we see the distance between obstacles, how high they are, witch side is more difficult, if there is a crack. Those details will help us to have a full guide and to give a fair rate. You must decide very quickly. Because competitions have TV broadcasting, judges cannot debate rates, we must decide almost immediately. We have 15/20 seconds to do it. That is why we prepare everything in advance. Is there a chance of a rider surprising you during a competition? That is almost impossible. If a rider wants to show a new trick, he must try it before, at training sessions, where we are studying them. I remember one time a guy doing a Caballerial nose flip. He was just trying, but we started to debate ‘how are we going to score this if he does it during the competition’? How many judges were you at the Olympics, in Tokyo? Five judges and a head judge. I was a park judge. Are the Olympics changing the skateboarding categories? Mixing styles in one competition is the future? Yes, the future is to combine all features at one single track. The rider of the future will be the one who has not just a category, he must do everything well. It is by watching championships that you see who has that profile. Andy Anderson is a good example; he is someone from freestyle who rocks in park. Park is still too attached to bowl and vert; the future will be a fusion of all these categories. Instagram Marcos Hiroshi Read interview part 2
October 28, 2022, interview with skatepark hunter Patrick Peeters Meet Patrick Peeters, one of our top skatepark hunters, who visited 107 skateparks in less than a year. Patrick Peeters is a Belgian TV camera operator who discovered skateboarding during a "bad moment" in his life. Skateboarding helped him "clear" his mind and chasing skateparks in Europe has been his passion since then. 107 skateparks, in less than 1 year, is one hell of an effort, so we decided to have a chat and find out more. First, tell us something about you. Where are you from, what do you do and how/when did skateboarding turn part of your life. Hello, I'm Patrick, I'm 46, I live in Belgium where I work as a television cameraman. As a teenager I skated, but can't remember doing anything special. I just liked cruising around and jumping over some self-build quarters. Then I stopped skating for 30 years, but have been back on a board for the last year and half. So yep, I'm back skating again and love it. In the beginning actually my sister wanted to start with inline skating, so I went along at the local pumptrack with her and that's how it all started. What drives you to find, discover and help update new skateparks? I love to skate at different parks, just so I can find spots I like. Skating different parks helps me get comfortable on different surfaces, shapes, heights of quarters, and carve in different bowls. I was planning to make a Facebook Page or something similar, to collect my pictures of different parks, to get my own sort of database. And then I discovered Trucks and Fins. I knew this was what I was looking for. I believe there are more people that would love to have information and see quality photos of skateparks, before making the decision to go there or not. And that's why I love to help update the website. Can you tell us how far you go to explore a skatepark? When I drive to a skatepark the first reason is to find a spot to skate. The second reason is to get photos of the park because I am there. I'm lucky to be allowed by my chief to make some detours on my way to work abroad, so I can drive some extra km's to check out parks in France and other places. Along the way I have found some great skateparks. Recently I was on vacation in Tenerife and of course couldn't resist to check out all the local parks and put them on the Trucks and Fins website. You have visisted 107 skateparks, what are your favourite? And what about the worst? I didn't end up skating all the parks. Due to weather or not having a board I didn't skate every single one of the parks. But from the ones I did skate the worst was Grand Marais Skatepark near Amiens in France. It's a concrete bowl with a nice shape, but because it's old, there are pieces of concrete coming off everywhere. I just left after a couple of minutes. It really wasn't possible to skate there. The best? I can't really pick "a" favourite, so here are my top 3: Du Grand Large in Mons, Strombeek Bever near Brussels, and Sint Niklaas skatepark. They all have a nicely shaped bowl and a street section with different obstacles in an interesting setup and quality quarters. Based on your experience, does the average skatepark have the right features for average riders? What could improve? For me there is no ‘standard rider' because of the different disciplines. It's difficult to build a park that's right for all of them. For street you want lots of flat space and obstacles, for transition skating you want a lot of quarters and half pipes in different heights, and for a bowl you want a good closed bowl to carve around. But I guess Blaarmeersen in Gent, Sint Niklaas and Strombeek Bever are all-round good parks. What could improve is getting more in contact with the local skate community when building a park. I have visited a lot of big expensive parks with a bad surface, bad quarters, or the trend now to paint bowls... Skateboarding is a social gathering, too. Do you have a happy story at a skatepark you would like to share? Recently I met a woman who was skating but wanted to skate more and with other people. She was happy to learn about the 'skating for adults’ lesson I was following each week, and she joined our group. When I was on a little holiday in Vienna, Austria, I met some local skaters who invited me to their park, lended me a board, Vans and full protection gear so I could have a go. It was a fantastic moment skating together and being welcomed like that. What is your favourite trick? Not sure if it qualifies as a trick, but I love to carve and I hear nice comments about my carve skills. I know it's definitely not a standard skill. At the De Kuil bowl in Den Haag one skater said that at the time he first tried skating a bowl, he already skated 10 years but couldn't carve, and was impressed with my carving after 1 year skateboarding. Another skater said he held competitions between his friends to see who was able to carve a curve after a curve, but they couldn't do it. And to see me do it like I do after just 1 year was really great. So, I guess it is a trick! Who’s your favourite rider (actual or all time, it’s your call)? To be honest I don't follow any specific rider. I prefer to follow adults on their journey to learn to skate than more experienced skaters. But of course, as a kid and still now I know Tony Hawk and really like his style. Would you like add something I didn’t ask? I want to go more into what skateboarding has done for me. I started to skate when I was in a bad place in life. Skateboarding gave me a thing to focus on. Something to clear my mind, a reason to go outside and do something, to meet other people, and do some good exercise. It has helped me a lot on a mental and physical level, which I could never have imagined when I started. As I have become fairly active on Instagram with my skate account, I had some people who told me they are inspired by my journey, by my progress, and so I think it's given me an extra boost to share it all, the positive and the negative. And I always like to leave a positive remark or an encouraging note. We all have our own journey, our own progress, don't compare yourself to others. Just have fun and enjoy your own skills. Could you give us your opinion about our project, Trucks and Fins? I love it! It is exactly what I was looking for. A map with all the skateparks, with some pictures, so I can plan a skate trip to the parks of my interest. I hope every skater will get to know this map, and to use it for their trips. Patrick Peeters Instagram See Patrick Peeters his skatepark portfolio
October 26, 2022 New Yamato concrete in Cologne-Mülheim, Germany.We reached out to Jan Kliewer of Yamato Living Ramps to find out more about this little gem. Introduce us to the park - tell us its name, where it is, what kind of park will it be (more street-oriented, just a bowl, a plaza...), its approximate dimensions, if it's already open to the public, who involved in the construction and design, that sort of stuff. Keupstraße skatepark is a playful, flowy street skatepark in Cologne’s Mülheim district. We tried to come up with an innovative design, low obstacle heights and thought-out placing to guarantee fun and constant challenges for all skill levels. The skatepark is packed with basic features that complement and add-on to each other. All packed into around 450m2 of skateable concrete. Is there any feature that you're particularly happy with, that came out really nice or is really fun to skate? Renovation of a very dreary predecessor, aspiring to fulfill the needs of the neighboring playground, as well as to cater to the more experienced, while reasonably adding to the city's skatepark portfolio. Visit Keupstrasse skatepark Find out more about Yamato Living Ramps
October 4, 2022 How has the Rayssa Leal phenomenon changed the image of skateboarding in Brazilian society? Well, let's start off with this... In 2022 there are more girls than boys in skateboarding schools in Brazil. Don't miss the second part of this conversation with Marcos Hiroshi, former Brazilian professional rider, where we tried to understand how Brazil turned into a massive player in the world of skateboarding. How do you explain the evolution of skateboarding in Brazil? We had ups and downs, but at one time skateboarding started to appear frequently on TV and city halls all around Brazil started investing in skateparks. We had this mayor in São Paulo who started building a skatepark in each community youth Centre (places with schools, specialized courses and sports equipment, including, of course, skateparks). In São Paulo around thirty skateparks were build and the city became a reference in skateboarding. Most of these skateparks were built in the city’s outskirts, in poorer neighborhoods and many good riders came out of those initial skateparks. Mainstream media helped, too… Indeed. It was when the X-Games appeared. Suddenly, skateboarding was on TV all the time and we had our ace, Bob Burnquist, who became a true ambassador. Many others came afterwards: Sandro Dias, Rodrigo TX, Tiago Lemos, Luan Oliveira and the most recent of all, Rayssa Leal, who at the age of thirteen years old won the silver medal in the Olympics. Photos credit: Julio Detefon / CBSk What was the impact caused by Rayssa Leal in Brazil? A tremendous impact. Every child wants to ride now. Parents are being pressured by their kids to put them in skateboarding schools. The Olympics showed that a little girl can ride and have fun like if she was in a playground. I can even tell you more. In Brazil now, we have more girls than boys in skateboarding schools! Photos credit: Julio Detefon / CBSk You have accumulated a lot of experience in skateboarding events in Brazil… Yes, we acquired a lot knowledge in the last two decades. The CBSK (Brazilian Skate Confederation) exists for twenty years and has many skillful people. We have associations, federations, statutes, projects connected to schools, you name it. They are also many social associations that take kids from streets through skateboarding. All this know-how resulted in big events and we have created a whole group of specialized people along the way. The image of skateboarding in Brazil has changed… For sure. It became mainstream and less marginalized. Several years ago, parents didn't want their kids to skate. And a girl? Never! But now that all changed overnight. The general public now understands something about skateboarding because the Olympics and all the Brazilian "skateboarding" idols. Now we have public money allocated to skateboarding, to prepare the Olympics, because skateboarding is an official sport. This money is also used to build more skateparks. The CBSK has an agreement with local and central government to act like an official advisor with skatepark builders to prevent bad constructions. Photos credit: Julio Detefon / CBSk How many skateboarders do you have in Brazil? A search made in 2015 by Data Folha (data platform from newspaper Folha de São Paulo) concluded they were about 8,5 million skateboarders in Brazil, but I can say for sure that we have now more than ten million, after the Olympics in Tokyo. Instagram Marcos Hiroshi See all skateparks in Brazil
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Trucks and Fins is a huge present to the whole skate community - not just for the skating people, but also for shops, builders and schools. Super easy to use and can't believe how complete it is.
Pascal Lieleg aka Official Bowlshit
Trucks and Fins is a great resource for checking on local spots if you are traveling or planning a road trip! A one stop resource that is constantly updated with the newest projects as well as those bucket list locations worldwide. The intuitive UI features gps coordinates as well as useful information about shops nearby.
Trucks and Fins provide a great service. Its quick and easy to use and has such a vast amount of parks included, not just in the UK but worldwide. CANVAS Spaces support the cause and fully back what they are doing.
Our skate community has been crying out for a comprehensive guide to global skate spots. Trucks and Fins should be commended on their dedication to mapping the world's STOKE!
Trucks and Fins brings all of the world's skateparks to you all in one convenient place through their endless search for parks around the world. They have park locations, details, images, and more to help plan your next skate quest wherever that may take you. We appreciate their dedication and passion for skateboarding and the amazing gifts that skateparks and skate spots are.
Steve Zanco, Skatepark Respect
A big part of skateboarding is about finding Animal Chin - your spirit animal, or in other words: whatever gets you stoked. Could be the right people to roll with, or that special dream terrain. Trucks and Fins has all the best skate destinations in one place; a map of stoke in your hands.
Jan Kliewer, Yamato Living Ramps