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
Skateboarding in Portugal Quandary in the Quarry - The Mystery of the Belmonte Bowl.
The village of Belmonte (population: ca. 3500) lies towards the northeastern part of Portugal. It’s head of a rural municipality where you can find about 54 people per square kilometre and where they’re highly likely to be advanced in years, as the ratio of elderly to young people is close to 3:1. Towards the northeastern part of the village, not far from the local Intermarché supermarket, there’s a small residential neighbourhood facing an abandoned quarry. Inside this quarry sits one of the biggest skate bowls in the world.
It’s a kidney shaped bowl, wrapped around a half-pipe that leads to a fullpipe ending in a cradle. The pictures should help make this clearer. It’s close to 4 metres deep and has almost a full metre of vert all around. There are oververt extensions over a metre tall. It’s a beast of a thing, especially when you consider the standards of skateboarding and skateparks in Portugal. Anyone that sees it immediately asks himself “What the hell is this doing here?” And it seems to me to be a fair, reasonable question.
Anyway, when faced with a Portuguese skate-related mystery, there’s always one thing you can do, and that’s call up Luís Paulo. This dude was the first Portuguese skater ever to get sponsored, one of the few to have met Tony Hawk and the only one to have done an aerial over him, so he’s been in the game for a bit and knows his shit. I thank him for giving us the lowdown on this one.
Apparently the whole idea came from the Belmonte Municipality. They are close to Serra da Estrela, the only ski resort in Portugal, where there’s also quite a bit of downhill biking and hang gliding going on in the summer, so they figured a skatepark would attract some of that crowd and get some more visitors to come to the village. Not a bad intuition
However, as it often happens, they didn’t consult any skateboarders before diving into the project. At the time, the largest skatepark in the world had just been built in Shanghai (SMP Skatepark – it’s since been surpassed by the one in Guangzhou) and the architects hired to do the job in Belmonte decided to take inspiration from one of its sections. They did an impressive job: the bowl is nicely tucked inside the quarry walls, the transition is good and the full pipe and cradle look amazing. The only problem is that vert skaters in Portugal are thin on the ground. They did build a street section above the bowl, but unfortunately they didn’t study this subject as well as the transition bit, and it’s just unskateable.
As it is, the Belmonte Skatepark, which was inaugurated in April of 2011, is about to celebrate its tenth anniversary with a still pristine coping. We have seen examples of what can go down at that bowl when the right people find it, but they’ve been few and far between. In 2012, Jake Phelps and the Thrasher crew (P-Stone, Rhino) came by and brought Peter Hewitt, Pedro Barros, and Grant Taylor for some serious ripping. One year later the Carve Wicked team (Sam Pulley, Alex Perelson, Sam Beckett, Rob Smith, etc.) also dropped some hammers. But the place can take it. In fact, it’s begging for it. If you’re into big walls, start planning that trip and type this into your GPS.
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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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