Pascal Lieleg - Skate Photographer Interview

Interview with Pascal Lieleg, Photographer. |  by Sebastião Belfort Cerqueira

The man behind Official Bowlshit is one cool dude. Read on if you want to know the origins of the mysterious tribe of the SkateoFaris, the secret reason why people start skating transition, how to successfully mix beer with skating, and lots of other fun bowlshit.

As one of the most active photographers in the Trucks and Fins community, there’s quite a few things I’d like to ask you. However, first of all, I was looking online and I was trying to figure out if you were a professional photographer, I mean, do you do photography for a living?

Mmm... I don’t like to use that term. It’s hard to tell when that point comes when you’re a professional. Is it just because you earn money from it? I feel all the time like I have to learn a lot of things when it comes to photography, I’m not finished yet. I wouldn’t call myself a professional, just very ambitious. Plus, I don’t like the pressure. You know, when someone says “oh a professional photographer is coming”... I’m just hoping I can make them happy with my images, but you never know. Sometimes people like them, sometimes they don’t, photography as a lot to do with taste. So, yeah, I do it, but my normal profession is as creative art director for a hotel brand. In my semi-professional way I try to get better at photography and earn some money while I’m at it. One day I hope I can say I make a living from it. That would be the dream.

Because I saw you have a whole different side to your photography, outside of skateboarding, like shooting real models and for brands like Adidas and some others...

Yeah, I’d say it’s all about context. I do a lot of running and so I came to Adidas because they have a running group here in Hamburg and that’s how I got the connection, cause they said “hey, we need a photographer”. It’s always like that, that’s why I got to work for Men’s Health and Adidas and sometimes for other big brands.

  • "In my semi-professional way I try to get better at photography and earn some money while I’m at it. One day I hope I can say I make a living from it.
  • VISIT PASCAL PROFILE
It’s always cool to be at the right place at the right time. But let’s get into skateboarding – I always like to ask people when and where did they start.

I guess I was 12. Yeah. Now I'm 33, so I was 12, I was in school. One of my classmates had a board. We were at this school for the whole day, it was like nine hours and then you went home. And the school had great conditions, like big sports facilities, and we also had a little skatepark. It was one rail and two quarter pipes and the bank, that's it. But at least we had something back in the day. And, yeah, we shared this guy’s board because he was the only one who had one.

I was so addicted from the first moment that I was wishing I could also get one. And then I got one for Christmas. Yeah. For Christmas, I got a complete. And it was not the typical first board you get when you tell your parents you want to start skateboarding. They’ll usually go to a big Walmart or something and buy a board. But my parents went to a good skate shop and bought me a really good board. So that was quite cool.

Since then I had just a few breaks from skateboarding. In my hometown we didn’t have a skatepark, not a real skatepark, we had some quarters. But the city was always trying to put these quarters where we wouldn’t annoy other people, so it was hard for us, it would be like in some industrial parking lot somewhere. Until eventually this guy that was involved in looking out for the youth of the city decided to organize the community and we got our first real ramps and an official park.

How old were you then?

I guess I was 16 or 17. But before that sometimes we had the chance to go to this big skate hall. That’s one good thing about the area, a forty minute drive would take us to one of the biggest skate halls in Germany. It’s really huge, with 3,200 square meters of skate area. At first, when I was just starting, it was a pretty shitty park, they’d build ramps on pallets and everything was really DIY... but it had a lot of character. But then they got some support from the city and from some big companies and they started improving the ramps until it became a really good park. Nowadays it's called Playground Skatehall.

One good thing about it was that, when they were starting, they had miniramps with different sizes, they had huge transition and a half-pipe. Now they have completely re-done the park about four times, I think it’s in its fourth version, but the cool thing is that they still kept some of those first features and my favourite one was the bowl. We didn’t have one in my hometown and so I was always eager to skate it when I went there. And the funny thing is none of the locals ever seemed interested in skating it, most of the times I’d be the only one in the bowl.

Yeah, I didn’t have any type of transition around when I started skating, it was just street. So nowadays when I go to a skatepark I just suck at it.

It's really funny. I love both. I also do some street stuff. But the main reason why I chose transition was I just had to drop in. Because, back in the day, I was pushing mongo. I wanted to hide it, and when I dropped in nobody saw that I pushed mongo. So I have the theory that most of the halfpipe and bowl skaters are secretely mongo pushers, that's the reason why they start. Mongo pushers are also good at fakie. But, yeah, actually it was just two or three years ago I decided I’d teach myself how to push normal. It was a hard pressure to put on myself but I kept at it and now, even though I’m not as fast as I am pushing mongo, at least it doesn’t look as stupid as in the beginning.

It’s really tough. Especially when you’re older and you only have those precious moments to go skate and you know you can have so much fun doing it the way you’re used to. It’s a hard decision. But anyway, I wanted to talk about something else. More than once, when you sent us pictures of skateparks for Trucks and Fins you also sent us little articles about them that were really cool. It’s more than just information about the park, it helps us get an idea of its environment, the people who go there, and so on. Do you have any more of those planned?

Yeah, unfortunately some of the parks are closed, and that’s kind of annoying. But when I send you any stuff I always try to ask myself what I would find interesting when I go to a park. And for me it's always the people who are in the park and, like, trying to get to know a little bit the community surrounding it. Because... I don't know, maybe it’s the same everywhere, but at least here in Germany every skatepark in every town is like a community thing. It's not just that some mayor of the city said “Oh, I want to have a skatepark.” It's never like that. It's just the community.

In Jever, the town where I grew up, which is famous for its super bitter beer, when we first got our shitty ramps, we formed a group, we called ourselves the SkateoFaris, and we took care of the place. The city let us have a space where we could have the ramps and we wanted to make our little park grow. The city didn’t want to spend money on it so we had to earn it ourselves. We gave skate lessons to kids, we did demos whenever there was a public celebration in town and asked for donations, we sold SkateoFari t-shirts, we invested everything back into the skatepark, and that’s how it grew. And nowadays... it's really, really funny... The skate group still exists 12 years after we founded it. And they, the actual members of that group have no idea who it was that founded all that. They know Joshua Dings but they don't know me and Kevin Kellermann. They still call themselves SkateoFaris, but they have no idea about the history behind their crew. That's pretty funny.

It’s a great story. Sometimes we hear about a community getting together in order to convince the local authorities that the town needs a skatepark, but it’s not everyday that people actually take it upon themselves to make money and invest it into their town’s skatepark. It’s pretty inspiring. Moving on, and since you mentioned beer, I really liked your “Beerics” video. I thought it really had some production values to it, and the rhythm is really well-managed. I wanted to ask you, did you shoot it and direct it all by yourself?

Yeah! People have asked me that question a couple of times but, yeah, it was all very spontaneous. Tom [Tieste], the skater, has been working for some time as a trainee in this small brewery in Bremen, learning how to make beer. One day he asked his bosses if he could skate the brewery, you know, along the different parts of the process. It was quite funny, because he knows I do some video stuff and he told me about the idea and asked if I could be there to shoot two or three days later. I asked him how long he thought it would take to shoot and he said maybe one and a half to two hours. I have to say he was well organized, he had a good plan. But it was only when I got there that he told me exactly what his plan was and I was like... “ok... fuck.”

I had to think about a lot of things. And I guess in the end we were there for four and a half or five hours. Which was okay, yeah. It was okay. But in my head I was always like “you have to remember when he comes from the left side where he goes to, so then the next cut he must come from this side...” Because otherwise you get confused, you know, when he comes from one side and next scene he’s coming from the wrong direction... I had that in mind all the time so the pressure was really high. Yeah, I'm still a little bit proud of that one.

Well, you should be, because it looks like something that was made for a big skate brand by two or three photographers or filmers. Speaking of that, are you planning on doing more youtube stuff in the future?

How should I put it... yes, I do plan to do more of that stuff. But in the end it's always the time. I love to edit a video but I hate it at the same time because it takes ages. For me the hardest part is to find the beginning and to find a way in which I would like to tell the story. When you have the raw material, you have a lot of options. I want to entertain the viewer and to find my style, but in video editing I don't feel like I've found it yet. I experiment a lot and I try to use new techniques or to adapt stuff I see on skate videos. But there's a lot of things I have to learn. That said, I want to do some artsy stuff, but it's hard to do artsy stuff that everybody understands. I want it to be artsy, but understandable at the same time.

But actually I am working on some things right now. Last year I went to the DIY Sintra spot with Joshua [Dings] and I want to edit some video of that trip, I’d like to do it like a travel movie, because I took a lot of photos and I’d like to combine them with the video. Plus he also did some hard tricks there, he did a darkslide, we also have this one with another guy, Chris, who showed up at the spot and was a very good skater. Josh did a blunt to fakie on the quarter while Chris did a backside alley-oop wallride over him. I can’t wait to show that to people.

The thing is, when you see it too small, like on instagram, you can’t feel the image.

Can’t wait to see it. Now, we’ve recently prepared a short interview we do to every new photographer who joins Trucks and Fins, but since you were onboard before that, I’d like to ask you a couple of questions that we put on there. The first one is more of a request: choose a photo you took that you really like and tell us why.

Ok, I have this one I really love [check photo number 4 in the gallery]. The thing is, when you see it too small, like on instagram, you can’t feel the image. You need to look at a big version in order to understand what’s going on. This circle is like a full-pipe, it’s an art object made by this artist called Karolina Halatek. It’s seven metres long, I guess, and it's five metres high and the surface, the inner surface is completely like a led stripe. It’s a plastic full-pipe and it’s completely lit up. It had been standing outside the art museum in Bremen for some weeks and it was completely unprotected, there was no security, I had seen people riding bikes through it. So I went there at night with a couple of friends from Bremen, Louis and Gino, and I asked them if they could do a double. I wanted them completely on the sides and I shot it straight from the front because I wanted the image to be as confusing as possible. It looks flat but then the skaters are not on the same plane. I left a little step that was in front of the sculpture just barely perceptible, but otherwise there are no clues, it’s completely dark. I thought when I dropped it on instagram every skate magazine would be like “What? What is this?”, but it never happened... [laughs]

I’m sure it’s because there are not many magazines anymore and they must all be pretty busy. Anyhow, I’d seen that picture on your Trucks and Fins profile page and always thought it was really strange. It makes sense that it’s an art installation, you don’t just find that kind of stuff out there in the wild.

Yeah, and you know what’s funny: I really liked the installation so I found Karolina Halatek on instagram and sent her the picture. I thought it was a good picture of her work. But she was really pissed, she was commenting on the post like if she was shouting “NO SKATING ALLOWED!” and I had to say “sorry, we didn’t know, there was no security, nothing...” And then what’s even better is that the Bremen museum organized a competition of the best photos taken at the installation and mine was considered one of the top ones. I also have another good one there where Louis is doing an ollie into it and it looks like he is falling into nothing, like that big wide hole is taking him. The only thing is that his ollie is not that perfect. That's why the shot is not that special but the idea is nice.

Sounds cool. Now let me ask you another one from our short quiz: if you could choose a combo to shoot, like any skater doing any trick in any spot in the world, what would your dream combo be?

Ooh, that’s a good one... It’s really hard... but there’s this new guy that no one had heard about until Thrasher put his part out, this super sick bowl skater, John Worthington.

I know, I think he’s on Creature now.

Watching his part I was like “what the hell?” I’d love to see him destroy our local bowl in Bremen. There are these really hard stairs, like in this tight pocket, it took me months to be able to get around them, I was super stoked. I actually met one of my best skate buddies there once. He’d come from Stuttgart and he had a to-do list – he wanted to do all the stairs in all the bowls he could find in Germany. He’d saved Bremen for last and it took him one hour of straight tries. He told me those had been the hardest he’d ever done, and he’s definitely more talented than me. But anyway, I’d love to see Worthington hit those stairs, he’s so skilled at doing hard transition and shallow ends that I imagine he could probably do a backside or frontside air over that pocket. I’d love to take a photo of that.

I see you really know your bowlshit...

You know, it’s a funny thing, there’s a cool side to not using my real name in my work as a skate photographer. First I can go to the skatepark incognito, people may know Bowlshit but they don’t know that I’m the guy who’s taking all the photos. Some people think Bowlshit is a company, I’ve gotten messages and emails wishing me and all my team the best of luck and stuff like that. It’s funny. You see, when I started doing photography in college I naturally started shooting skating, because that way I could go skating and still get work done for my courses. In my group of friends there was this Swiss guy who used “bullshit” a lot. Anytime he was pissed off he’d say everything was bullshit. Only with his accent it sounded like “bowlshit” and I just thought that was the perfect name for my photography projects. Then we had to build a website for another course and design a logo and I just made everything look like it’s a brand. It’s like one big joke. I can act like I’m this big company. Newspapers that have used my photos ask me for the copyright and I tell them the copyright is “bowlshit”. Having an official newspaper write that the copyright is “bowlshit” is just funny as hell.

It’s a great joke. Before we wrap this up, is there anything you’d like to add? Any new stuff in the works?

Yeah, there’s one thing I’m starting right now... it was planned for last year but because of the whole corona thing it got postponed... maybe for October or November of this year, anyway, I’m working on a photo book. I’m choosing the best photos from the past four or five years of skate photography and putting them in a book. I’ll probably try to do it through crowd funding or like a pre-sale. Just do one run, for the people who let me know they want it, and when it’s done, it’s done, no second edition.

Sounds like a good idea. Be sure to let us know when you get that pre-sale going, we’ll help spread the word.

By Sebastião Belfort Cerqueira

Interview with Txus Domínguez, CEO of Zutskateparks

August 10, 2022 Zut. It's the Basque word for ‘vertical’, which can be used for almost all kind of stuff that's vertical. Even that too, explains Txus Domínguez with a naughty smile. CEO of Zutskateparks, a Spanish builder, who started his journey with La Kantera and since then has been involved in the construction of more than 100 skateparks all over the place. If we want to guess how skateparks will look like in the future, this is one of the guys with a crystal ball. His prediction? A mix of styles at the same spot. "I like skateparks where everything flows. A good chaos." ZUTSkateparks You have been involved in the construction of more than 100 skateparks in many countries. Did it all start with La Kantera? It all started when I was a kid and started making wooden ramps. We did that because of our natural restlessness. Then came La Kantera and before I knew it a thousand copies were made of it and I told myself: ‘I have to do more’. The La Kantera bowl was my first project of this magnitude and I never stopped since. Do you keep finding mistakes made when building skateparks? It’s a shitty thing. Designing skateparks is quite cool, but working with some city halls can be crazy. For many of them it’s just about politics. They don’t care if it has real quality or not. Sometimes the most important thing is to make it just to show off. Yes, they are some who think logically, but most of them think differently. How is that? It happened with me. I was asked by an architect to design a skatepark in Madrid. He was handling all the talks with the City Hall, but because he didn’t know nothing about skateboarding, he told me a public tender would be held, respecting the criteria. A bigger company came, presented a smaller price, and won the project. Two months of hard work went to the gutter. So, is it hard to compete with the majors? The thing is many of those majors are general constructors, they are not specialized in skateparks. Yes, they are very good companies, but I’m talking about those who reduce the price sometimes to half of it, killing the market. And why do they offer so little to build it? Because the workers are poorly paid, they do not have the necessary skills and the result mostly turns out to be a disaster. That is when they come to me, to try to solve the problem. Doing that, will increase the final cost and it will end up being much more than before others tried to reduce the price to "win" the project.  How do you think skateparks will look like in the next 15/20 years, considering how the skate scene has evolved since the 80’s? I hope skateboarding continues to evolve in the next years. We saw what happened in the last 40 years with the appearance of half pipes, bowls; simple circuits that became more complex. Now we see a mix between street and flow. I think it works fine at the Olympics. This could evolve to something… I don’t know if it could be a blend of big and small, a mix between bowls and street… you name it. Are you working on a new skatepark concept? I’m putting pure skate aside and working with surf and skate parks. They are organic shapes with "dunes". It’s not just for surfers, people who think that are wrong. They are transitions from where they can jump, there is a street line too where they can ride and do some flips… I have made that in Galicia. You have dunes where you can do some snaps, it’s easier, it’s like doing a coping with no grinds. You can do grabs and whatsoever. It’s a place where surfers can do aerials, grabs, where you can do fast street, mixing all these lines and styles. I made one of these in France, an indoor park where the under-20 surf national team works. I’m now building one in Galicia, with miniramps that turns into mini dunes at the rear, where the corners are curved. Everything flows. Everything mixed… I don’t like "linear" skateboarding. The street section at the Olympics looks nice, but it looks better to me if a rider gets out his board, flows around and doesn't stop. It’s like in the old days when we had total freedom on the streets, when everything was improvised, a good and nice chaos. So, more transition and less street… Surf/skate parks are growing everywhere, but I can’t say if this will be the future. Let’s see. There’s a park in Stockholm I would like to visit, it’s like a dish, they mix many concepts. From the first draw to choosing materials: what is the ideal skatepark for you? Well, I have to say there was only one time when I had total freedom for that: when I built the bowl at La Kantera. I drew it without showing it to anyone. That was the one I like the most. Since then, there’s always some things people ask to do differently, and I have to respect that. That’s why I sometimes joke: give me the Arrigunaga bowl and downhills and I’m happy with that (he laughs). Could a good skatepark be considered a piece of art? Of course, because you must be an artist to design that, it takes a lot of creativity to do it. They are like concrete sculptures. But you can mix materials, too, like a plastic artist. I make artistic details at some parks: a dragon’s head, a whale’s tale, etc. Like an extra? Yes. If a city hall keeps his word and, in the meantime, they don’t change the project I reward them by doing this art details. It’s a way of saying thank you. What people don’t understand is that drawing a skatepark takes a lot of time and many city halls ask projects for "the next" week, as if this was possible! Visit ZUTskateparks Find out more about La Kantera

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Rote Flora DIY skatepark - An illegal DIY park in the middle of Hamburg 

July 28 2022. An illegal DIY park in the middle of Hamburg they just can't get rid of, with a weird mix of skaters, squatters, dealers, drug addicts and tourists taking photos. The Rote Flora theater was constructed in 1835 and was shuttered down after World War II. After the war it turned into a cinema and later on a store. In the late 1980s, locals heard about plans to make the theater into a venue for performances of 'The Phantom of the Opera'. Afraid, this would change the area and attract tourists, locals proposed to turn it into a community Centre instead, but this alternative was completely ignored by the city. When in 1988 the rear end of the building was demolished and it didn't take long before sabotage attacks started occurring on the construction site. After a while the city had no other choice then giving the community a temporary lease to use the building. When the lease expired in November 1989, the occupiers stayed and Rote Flora was squatted. The squatters said the building was a "free space for realizing an autonomous life". In 2001 the collective said "We are the 'UFO in the neighborhood'. The black hole in public space. The city won't get rid of us because we are a part of what life is."  Regarding the new owner, the collective said "we neither asked Kretschmer to buy Flora, nor are we in the slightest interested in his opinions about the political ideologies and the work of the Rote Flora." Kretschmer had signed with the city a contract that expired in 2011 and that's when a resistance campaign called "Flora remains incompatible" against possible eviction started. Things have remained pretty much the same until 2014, when a change in plans for the site was announced that would ensure the building would not be demolished and could remain a cultural centre (wikipedia). Over the years, Rote Flora has also become a destination for alternative tourism and a popular skate spot. Bang in the middle of the centre of Hamburg, behind the theater you will find the Rote Flora bowl. This DIY project was started by several skaters back in 2005, when they built a miniramp in the backyard of the occupied theater. In between 2005 and 2007 the local founders got professional help by Matt of Minus ramps and they started to built the first part of the bowl. The guys just kept on building and years of extensions later the Flora bowl is known worldwide as one of the oldest and most central DIY skateparks in Germany.  What makes this illegal spot really unique is it's location. There's not many spots in the world like this. During the Thrasher Skate Rock Tour Jake Phelps and other American rippers fell in love with the spot cause they were not used to a DIY skatepark that is that close to the center and built illegally.  Photos Courtesy of Pascal Lieleg aka Bowlsh!t    Visit Rote Flora Skatepark Official Bowlshit Flora Skatepark DIY Documentary

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The sanctuary of La Kantera,  Spain's most iconic skatepark

25 July 2022. Interview with Txus Domínguez, the spiritual father of La Kantera skatepark, Spain's most iconic skatepark, aka Algorta skatepark. The eighties, a one-of-a-kind decade. An era of creativity in music, movies and art performance. A decade stuck between the old and the new global world, when waves crossed the Atlantic Ocean rapidly, bringing along new ideas and tendencies. That happened with skateboarding too, when the incredibly young Txus Domínguez and his Getxo Boys brought the Californian sun to the Basque Country in Spain and build La Kantera, currently one of the oldest and most renown skateparks in Europe. Txus Domínguez guides you into a journey to the past and tells us why this place is so special, so mystique and so iconic. La Kantera. First things first: what does it mean? In Spanish we say ‘cantera’ for two things: a training ground for kids to learn a special sport or (and this is the case) a kind of quarry. This was a place packed with stones, that is why we called it La Kantera. La Kantera was built in 1987. You were still so young but had an extraordinarily strong role in this process. I’m from Getxo, a place in the Basque Country with a huge surf tradition. In the 60’s a company called Sancheski showed up and built the first skateboard. Initially they build skis, but after being in the US, they brought "skateboards" into Spain. I received my first Sancheski when I was six years old. This was a toy at the first stage, but in just a couple of years skateboarding had turned more serious. Surfers started building ramps. Madrid built its very first skatepark and quickly we started to put pressure on the City Hall. Was it hard? Not really, because there were many surfers in the region, some of them worked in the City Hall. We went to schools to collect signatures. We got more than three thousand signatures. In the meantime we started to build ramps everywhere, that was when my brother and I met the architect who still works with me and helps to build skateparks. He’s six years older than me, he was sixteen when we first had meetings with the City Hall. Do you still remember how much the first park cost? Around twenty-five million pesetas (former Spanish currency), which is now something like 150.000 euros. Architects who had designed the plans made it too vertical, fortunately we saw that in time and changed the plans. We started these discussions in 1984 and three years later La Kantera was inaugurated. Did you find resistance during those three years? No, we had good vibes since the beginning and after La Kantera was built I promoted some events and the City Hall helped, like the Arrigunana Downhill race, the famous Bajada Arrigunaga. That was held in the 90’s. Police helped by closing the streets and we also received some money to organize things. What makes La Kantera so special?      A mix of several things. For one we have a strong culture of surf and many hills in the area. Skating with speed is something natural for us here in Getxo. That’s the type of skate we mostly did here in La Kantera, a very surfer kind of style. The place is special too. It's located on the beach side with the ruins of an old military fort. All this has given a big charisma to the place. It was the cradle of big skaters, too. Yes! If there was a national competition in Spain, let’s say with 40 riders, 25 of them were from La Kantera. Many great skaters were born here: Alain Goikoetxea, Alfonso Elvira, Javier Mendizibal, Alfonso Lute Fernandez, Ivan Fano, Jon Txufo… It turned into the Santiago de Compostela for pilgrims of skateboarding… Before we knew it people from abroad started to come. Big names in skateboarding flipped out when they discovered our park. This looks like California, the Americans used to say.  How has La Kantera evolved since 1987? Was your bowl, built years later, decisive to boost it?  After La Kantera was built, some fifty copies were made in the Basque Country, but all worse than the original. There was a time that La Kantera died out a bit, because people got bored, they wanted new things. Around that time, I went to California with some friends. I wanted to skate in pools, that was my dream. I stayed there for three months. When I came back the City Hall proposed to enlarge the park. I drew a bowl from scratch, and it was built in the year of 2000. It’s a famous bowl… Yeah, it’s not a perfect bowl. It has a different transition, it’s not like the actual bowls, where everything is more perfect. At the begging people said it was crazy. I built it when street skating was the "thing", and vert was almost dead. People were riding with 30 mm wheels, and we were riding with 60 mm wheels. I was doing ollies, but not flips or gabs. Fortunately, guys from Consolidated like Peter Hewitt and Steve Bailey came to La Kantera and fell in love with the bowl. That's when we were put on the world map and people from all over the globe started to come. La Kantera skyrocketed. Big names started appearing at our bowl like, Christian Hosoi, Steve Caballero, Gordon Smith, Steve Clark, Nicky Guerrero, Florian Bohm, Steve Olson… Not to forget all the famous street skaters as well. The ‘fiestas’ that you organize, they are famous too. What drives you do to that?     Just to have a good time with the community and meet new people. It all started when I did the Arrigunaga Downhill. First it was illegal, then we wad agreements with the City Hall, and it became legal. It was just speed, fun and beers. At a new years’ eve, we had over 5000 people watching it. But there was a time when a kid almost died and the city said ‘the party is over’. I also organized some parties at La Kantera during all these years, the famous ‘pool parties’. The flames and the skull you see in photos, that’s me who drew it. But because of my work (I make skateparks) I currently just organize one party, I call it ‘killer fifty-fifties’. Theoretically it’s only for over fifty-year guys, but anyone can participate, really. It’s an old school event, with almost no sponsors, no security bays, it’s pure fun, simple chaos. It’s a way to go back to the origins.        Visit La Kantera skatepark Visit ZUT Skateparks

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The New Mafra skatepark in Portugal is almost ready

July 24 2022. FRESH Wasteland concrete in Mafra, Portugal. We reached out to João Sales of Wasteland Skateparks to find out more.  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, that sort of stuff. The initial idea was to build a bowl in the Parque Desportivo Municipal de Mafra sports complex. The project was handed out to a random architect, but the measurements were all wrong and the plan was a bit of a mess. That's when we were contacted to do a budget for the project. We told the city hall that we know the local skater community well. Building a huge bowl in that area would be a mistake, because we have build a flow bowl nearby in Venda do Pinheiro. The boys in the area need some street obstacles there too. So, later the contractor asked us to build a different thing. We made a lot of different proposals and the city hall kept on shrinking the area, until they accepted the final project. There is still no date for the official opening, but it's going to be soon, somewhere in August! The concrete is ready, but the park around it still needs it final touches. So hold your horses for a couple more days. Is there any feature that you're particularly happy with, that came out really nice or is really fun to skate? We kind of feel sorry about the space and feel frustrated because all the decisions made did not evolve the skater community in the Mafra area. Anyway, we were able to turn a small park into a fun little set of good quality concrete.  Any dream trick or link you'd like to see go down in any of the park's features or areas? We hope to see happy faces at the park. Hopefully the park will provide an area were local kids can progress. That would be a "dream trick" for us. Visit Mafra Skatepark Visit Wasteland Skateparks

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