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São Pedro da Cadeira skatepark tour

Our mission to skate every skatepark continues. This time we went to São Pedro da Cadeira in Portugal, a parish in the municipality of Torres Vedras, about 55 km from Lisbon. This bowl with pool coping stands out because it's also one of the cleanest parks in Portugal. All that thanks to the local community. Find out why.

Skating with the Atlantic wind behind you. The West Portugal coast has something mystique and spreads it out all over its territory. Going to São Pedro da Cadeira skatepark is all about breathing pure air whilst flowing on some super mellow concrete.

Built in 2020 by Wasteland Skateparks during the pandemic, this concrete park features a quarterpipe, a ledge, a delta, and a bowl with pool coping and tiles (assuring the unique crack sound. Grrrrrrr!). It is probably one of the cleanest parks in Portugal too thanks to the local community who nurtures and fosters the spot with love, like polishing the stone coping before our arrival!

“It’s really a clean place because the park where the skatepark is located is very well cared for”, says João Sales, from Wasteland Skateparks, praising the local parish council members: “One of them is a skater and he is constantly taking care of the joints and putting the varnish on the coping.” The local love for skateboarding has another chapter that must be told: “This is a small skatepark, for the local neighbourhood, but it was even smaller in the initial design. The chairman of the parish council asked us to enlarge it, we said it was impossible for the available budget, but he helped out by paying the concrete. Thanks to this we were able to extend the skatepark, by building more obstacles with no extra costs.”

São Pedro da Cadeira is a parish with a population of 5217 inhabitants belonging to the municipality of Torres Vedras, about 55 km from Lisbon. To respond to the skate fever the city council has invested in this facility inside of the Parque Verde Nossa Senhora da Nazaré, witch contrasts with the agriculture field and vineyards in the region.

The bowl is definitely worth a visit, João Sales says why: “It’s not too deep because the skate scene in Portugal in 2020 was like 95 per cent street and 5 per cent transition. In this bowl the beginners lose their fear and have this pool coping with tiles that looks like we are dropping in on an empty backyard pool in someone’s house.”

Extra tip: when you leave the park take a few minutes to enjoy the view from the Assenta Beach cliffs while eating the regional cake with a shape of a horseshoe. It will lift your spirit for riding the next day.

Visit São Pedro da Cadeira 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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