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Pataias skatepark tour

Our mission to skate every skatepark continues. This time we went to Pataias, a parish in the municipality of Alcobaça, on the West Portugal coast. Next to the Perforated Valley Beach and surrounded by trees, the park offers a combination of nature and skate, with a variety of obstacles that make sure you can ride multiple lines.

The iodine from the Atlantic air enters deep into the pores, that’s a sign the beach is very close. A journey where we can fall on concrete or water. It’s good to have a menu of choices. Diversity is what Pataias Skatepark offers, with a variety of obstacles that provides multiple lines, with a pyramid dividing the park into a transition and street section. Who said a small park has to be boring?

“When you have a bank with two quarterpipes it’s possible to go to the sides and not just back and forth. It’s a detail that matters deeply”, says João Sales, chairman of Wasteland Skateparks, the builder responsible for its construction in 2017.

The broom is mandatory, but not because of human garbage. It’s the only drawback of having a pine forest as neighbour. But once it's clean you're ready for your fresh air session.

Wasteland Skateparks carries the flag all the time: every park must be unique. This one, for instance, has a special feature: a single piece of pool coping on the quarterpipe. “There is nothing like this elsewhere in Portugal”, João Sales ensures, explaing why each skatepark must have its singularity: “There is so much to create in skateboarding, that it’s not worth to replicate ideas. The fun thing is to visit different parks and meet up with different people to learn from them and teach them at the same time.”

Special note: Sunday might even be the best day if you want to skate and travel to Pataias, because the Sunday market, right next to the park, is the perfect way to finish off your session. The small tents with barbecue are irresistible, especially after a three-hour session where we gave it all. It was the perfect fuel for the next stage: a long and challenging downhill toward the Perforated Valley Beach (it’s how it is called, like if there was a hole in the valley). There is no greater sense of freedom than this. It’s the hidden secret of Pataias.

Visit Pataias 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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