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Nazaré skatepark tour

Our mission to skate every skatepark continues. This time we went to Nazaré, a village in the West Portugal coast, known worldwide for its giant waves. To honour that legacy and prestige, the local skatepark features a handmade concrete wave. You don’t find anything like this in the rest of the country.

While elderly woman display long stalls of dried fish, waiting for the sun to do its work (the same fish their husbands, brothers and sons caught in the Atlantic Sea); while surfers are keen to surf the famous giant waves in Praia do Norte, an achievement only for the brave; while tourists save moments for eternity by taking pictures in the promontory O Sítio; while locals and outsiders enjoy the seafood, the Trucks and Fins crew proved that Nazaré is a place to skate as well.

After leaving the Pousada da Juventude in Alfeizerão with its rural landscape and family of sheep behind, we went straight to Nazaré Skatepark to check out the vibe and a special feature: a concrete wave of 2,20 meters, which makes this small, but fun park, unique.

“There’s no other like this in Portugal”, says João Sales, chairman of Wasteland Skateparks, responsible for Nazaré Skatepark’s profound renovation in 2014. “Once we were in Nazaré, we thought it would make sense to invite surfers to skate this park. I was inspired by a park in the Basque Country in Spain, which has this special characteristic. It’s totally handmade, the concrete was placed manually, and it turned out to be something between vertical and inverted. It’s a 2,20-meter wave, something really cool”, he adds.

This was one of the first public skateparks built by Wasteland Skateparks. Building is not really the right word; adapting is the one. “There was a previous park here. The actual mayor, Walter Chicharro, who decided to develop sports activities in Nazaré, asked us to renovate the park with a small budget. We did that”, João Sales proudly remembers, explaining why he had to build small ramps on the bottom side of the park: “There’s a wall and a parking lot. We always must adjust to the surroundings.”

Nazaré Skatepark was not made for big crowds. It fits about 15 riders at the same time, and you can skate three possible lines by exploring the quarterpipes, the delta, the spine, and other street obstacles. Some improvements are needed, though, João Sales acknowledges this. “It’s more a bureaucracy issue, but because we have a big affection for this park and for the local skaters, sometimes we come here to fill some concrete holes and to fix the rails”, says the Wasteland Skateparks’ chairman.

This park has one major plus point: its astonishing location. Going to this village in the Silver Coast of Portugal is a full experience. Even better with a skateboard.

Visit Nazare skatepark Find out more about Wasteland skateparks

By Manu Silva

How Troubl3 Keeps Making Trouble with Skateboards

June 29 2022 - Interview with Troubl3  “I always have been a troublemaker”. If Andrew, 41, had to pitch his idea, this could be a good punchline. It’s one of those cases where a business’s name is not just marketing, but a character’s extension. "So, Troubl3 is giving the middle finger to a lot of skate shops that do not support local people." Andrew (Owner Troubl3)   VISIT WEBSITE TROUBL3 is a Canadian skateboard shop based in Otawa. It was born in 2018 from the desire to go against the flow. “Skateboarding industry has become a mass production machine. Everything comes from China or Mexico, where people are not paid right. I buy something for one hundred dollars that really costs ten dollars”, he claims. “Then I thought: if I’m going to be a troublemaker, I might do something different. If I’m making a board it’s got to be unique like any skater is. I’m going to make one by one; it’s going to be tougher, it’s going to last more, every single board is going to be different. When you buy, it’s not just a board, it’s a piece of art and an experience”, he adds. This is something “one hundred percent customized”, from size, shape, wheels base, and a “seven veneer deck”. He proudly details: “Each veneer that goes into each deck is hand picked.” He buys local (wood from Quebec, for instance) in small batches, presses, shapes and hand paints the decks himself also, when he can, he promotes local artists to draw on the skateboards. “So, Troubl3 is giving the middle finger to a lot of skate shops that do not support local people who make stuff. They say they are local, but do not buy local”, Andrew reenforces, protesting against the rules of the game. “I always compare skateboards with pizza. I love pizza: a large one costs 50 bucks, the same you pay for a skateboard sometimes. Those skateboards are made overseas, they cost nothing to make, the price of pizza is gone to double, but the price of skateboards stayed the same for 30 years." “I evoke Paul Schmitt’s case all the time: a big name in this industry who shifted his business from California to Tijuana because people want to keep the price of a skateboard at 50 of 60 dollars for eternity. So, to keep his business going and pay his people, he had to move”, Andrew says.   He likes to be different. “Being marginalized is something good in skateboarding”. Although he admits the way he runs business is not sustainable: “The breakeven would be making 250 skateboards a month. Right now, I have had a month when I made four or five, others one or two.” It doesn’t matter. He believes this is the way. And he gives a discount if people really ride them and not just hang his skateboards on the wall. Authenticity is his brand, like the style he prefers for riders: “I like to see the most unorthodox skater. Do you do treflips? Fantastic, so can any other kid. I don’t care, throw your board against the wall, flip it on your head, do a back flip, do something I want to see. It’s different, do skateboarding and not do what others do.” “There’s a kid in Indonesia I started to follow who's skateboarding reminds me of a young Christian Hosoi. When I see the kid skate I can recognize Christian Hosoi’s influence. Can you recognize the inventors of other tricks you see people do at the park?”, he asks. Andrew sponsors five “troublemakers”: Eric Martin (Ontario), Dustin Lawrence (Ontario), Connor Callan aka Meat Feet (Arizona), Luis Uribe (Texas), Shinichi Nichiyama (Japan). He enjoys watching them and supports them the way he can. About his local skateparks, Andrew recommends: Bob MacQuarrie skatepark in Otawa Joel Gauthier skatepark in Rockland Local bus stop where where it's super smooth and is perfect for slappies, now that people stopped using busses, due to Covid, it's always empty and available.

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São Pedro do Sul skatepark tour in Portugal

Park nr 36 on our mission to skate every skatepark in Portugal is São Pedro do Sul Skatepark near Viseu.First of all I would like to say thanks to Wasteland skateparks and Gochill for supporting our latest roadtrip on our mission to film/skate every skatepark in Portugal. This time we decided to head up north and visit six skateparks build by the Portuguese builders Wasteland skateparks. Our first stop? São Pedro do Sul, a charming municipality nestled in the Central Portuguese district of Viseu, boasting a population of 5,728 inhabitants. Stretching across 14 picturesque parishes within an expansive 350 km² area, São Pedro do Sul is a part of the enchanting territory known as Montanhas Mágicas. While the region is renowned for its therapeutic thermal baths, it holds another treasure—a skatepark waiting to be explored. The skatepark in São Pedro do Sul is also definitely worth a visit. It's a fun park to cruise around and learn some new tricks. The mellow snake run provides different heights, so basically it's the perfect training ground to unlock new transition tricks that you've got on your bucket list of tricks. Looking for a place to stay check out the Pousadas de Juventude de Portugal in São Pedro do Sul. We really enjoyed our stay here and definitely recommend this pousada. The hotel is located in the middle of the historic center and everything is walking distance. Too bad we only stayed one night, because we could definitely chill here for a couple of days.

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