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The old school paper guide that helped boost skateboarding in Brazil

September 21, 2022

The story of Marcos Hiroshi, a Brazilian skater, who, in the beginning of this century, was responsible for mapping out all the skateparks and skate spots in Brazil in one guide for ‘100% Skate’ magazine.

If there is one thing we know at Trucks and Fins is how much time and work it is to make a skate map, but to pull this off in the days when there was no internet, is insane. Back in those days everything had to be done the “old-school” way, send things by post. But, Marcos made the impossible happen and even found a skatepark in the middle of nowhere in the Amazon jungle! Twenty years later, he still proudly says this was a key moment to put the community in touch with skateboarding. A skatepark guide in a magazine that brought together the skaters in Brazil and created an “onda de skate” (a skate boost), which resulted in what we can see today.

When did you start skating?

I was three years old, when my father bought me a skateboard as a toy. It became more serious when I was around eight years old, when I started riding the streets of São Paulo. When I was about fourteen years old, my friends and I found a nice spot, far away from home. Here we could do wallrides and other tricks, but one day a security guard came, took our skateboards, and called my dad. He wasn’t incredibly happy with that, and I was forbidden to skate. Only at the age of sixteen, when I got my first job, I got myself a skateboard again and never stopped since.

Then you became a professional.

Yes, it was in 2003. I got a sponsor after participating in some youth competitions.

But it was not enough, though.

Yeah. I worked in a bank at the same time because I graduated in management. But the bank was sold and all the people from my department got fired. I thought: ‘I will dedicate myself one hundred per cent to skate with the compensation I received’. Unfortunately, the money ran out and I had to find another job.

Then you came across to ‘Cem por cento skate’ magazine.

Cem por Cento skate (100% skate) is a Brazilian magazine, one hundred per cent dedicated to skateboarding. They started a project in the beginning of the century and wanted to create the first skatepark guide in Brazil. I was chosen to embrace this project.

So, making a skatepark catalogue from scratch in a huge country like Brazil, in the early 2000’s. A great undertaking.

Yeah, my guys thought it would be finished in three months…

It took a little bit more, I presume…

[he laughs]. I took a year and a half. Remember: in the beginning of this century there was no internet. I had to send handwritten letters, asking them to fill out a form about all features of the park, to print photos and send all that by mail. I phoned to everyone to check out if they knew someone who knew someone who knew of a good spot, things like that. That’s how I met a lot of people from all around the country and made friendships that still last two decades later.

How many skateparks in Brazil did you gather in that guide?

We did that in stages: 427 parks in our first edition in 2002, then we increased to 721 parks in 2004 and in 2006 we had a total of 1024 skateparks and spots. It was an ‘ants job’, like we say in Brazil.

What distinctive features did you have?

The same you find today and some other warnings, like ‘hey, this place is dangerous, you must go there with a local rider, don’t go alone’. We added a danger scale and things like that.

What was the most exotic skatepark you found?

We were able to find a park in the Amazon Forest, right in the middle of the jungle. And they were some other bizarre parks too. Due to a total lack of criteria about spending public money we had all kinds of crazy spots: hand wide handrails, a quarterpipe facing a wall... We made observations on the spots description like ‘there’s this place but it’s horrible’.

Instagram Marcos Hiroshi See all skateparks in Brazil

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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