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
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.
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.
Yes, it was in 2003. I got a sponsor after participating in some youth competitions.
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.
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.
Yeah, my guys thought it would be finished in three months…
[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.
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.
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.
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’.
How a multi-storey skatepark in Folkestone is transforming the skateboarding scene in the Southeast of England and why so many people around the world want to visit it. The design of Folkestone51 could be a metaphor about life: the higher you go, the wider and greater your range of action. But it’s just a mind trick to take the visual weight off the building. The man who reveals this is Guy Hollaway, the architect responsible for this disruptive, comprehensive, and catchy building in Kent, in the Southeast of England. A 17 million pounds project that opened in 2022. We had a talk with Guy Hollaway, the proud architect of F51, the result of a long and sometimes painful process. 'I was F51's first blood injury', he says with a smile. What drove you to make this multi-storey skatepark in Folkestone, the F51? It's all due to a man called Sir Roger de Haan, who ran the Saga group, which employeed around 2.500 people, literally almost the whole population of Folkestone. 15 years ago he sold the company for 1,6 billion pounds and decided that his legacy would be philanthropic. He invested 15 million in the town, in arts, sports, education, in regeneration. He's also currently building around 1000 units on the sea front. It´s a one-man regeneration. I've been very fortunate to be on this journey with him and have been his main architect for this regeneration of Folkestone. About seven years ago he phoned me up and said ‘Guy, I’m thinking about buying a peace of Folkestone’ and I said ‘don't you own it all anyway?’ and he answered ‘yeah for sure but there's this piece of land’, located on the edge of one of the most deprived parts of Folkestone, if not in the Southeast of England. Kids there have no money and are very deprived. It's a desperate area. He said 'look, if we are going to put a thousand units there we need places for people to be’. It’s when the multi-storey building comes to your mind, but… I said ‘what about a multi-storey car park?’ He said ‘yeah, OK, good idea, go away and design that’. I designed it and showed it to him. He said ‘Guy, this is a bit boring’ and I said, ‘It’s a car park, what do you want?’. Then he told me that there was an old skatepark at the sea front and asked me to think about a way to integrate skate in this car park, put it on the roof, something like that.’ When I showed the design to him he said ‘this car park is boring, but the skatepark is amazing’. And then he asked me to think about this idea. That’s when I designed this multi-storey skatepark with multiple levels. I got pretty excited; we worked on this about six months and we came up with this idea of creating a building which was about adrenaline sports. It has climbing and a boxing club too. There are all sports which are about yourself and your own journey. What happened next? This got buzzy around the world and we suddenly thought ‘s*** maybe we got an idea here’. Even Tony Hawk called me, saying ‘I’ve seen this skatepark, are you going to build this thing?’ And I said ‘yeah!’ We did, we built it, it took a long time, but that happens when you try to reinvent something… What we wanted to do was to create a skatepark great for the beginners and for the local kids with an international standard. And now people come from America, Australia, Asia to skate here. We have put the town on the map. We are going to create a whole new generation of kids who skate. We have this programme where if your local and under sixteen you can skate there for one pound a month, which is pretty nuts, so suddenly skate becomes incredibly accessible. Accessible because they can get there very easily, too… Yeah. When I wake up in the morning my thought is ‘where are my car keys’ but this generation wakes up in the morning and thinks ‘where’s my bike, where’s my skateboard’, their mobility gives them a sense of independence. This skatepark becomes a training ground. What we wanted to do was to create something they could really belong to and how can we rethink the perception of skateboarding in the world. I had some people calling me from America, fascinated with the fact that we were putting the skatepark in the town centre, when they say ‘we build this skatepark out of the town’. Sometimes it gets territorial and doesn’t become so accessible. What we found is that we have these different levels, and we can have an all-girl evening or a rad dad’s night, we have school parties, birthday parties… it’s a very interesting concept. This building is literally a gift, isn’t it? Yes, a gift from Sir Roger. A 17 million gift. The business plan in a nutshell is this: the building makes money with the climbing wall, boxing club, through people out of town who come and pay to skate or roll, the Cafe, events… and the idea is that the money it generates is to pay the costs. I spent a lot of time making this business plan and it’s working so far. The only way that it works is that you have a building that is efficient to run. It’s a cold building so there's no heating in there, it has minimal electricity demands. Is it a private management? Yes. What Sir Roger does with all his projects is he creates a trust for the building with people who seat on the board and make all the decisions about the management of the building. As part of the trust there’s a network regarding other sports buildings, schools programs, we have all these connections with the town to get these kids into the building. “I also wanted to make something very urban and cool. If the skate community don’t like what you’ve done they will reject it” Tell us about the design of the building. Why did you choose that shape? I wanted to do a smaller building on the ground floor, where there is a café. Very visible and welcoming on the ground floor and a building that gets bigger as it goes up because we needed more space. But then I created some real architectural trickery: if you look at the buildings next to it it’s a three-storey building that looks bloody tiny but this is the equivalent of an eight-storey building, but it doesn't feel like that. It’s because the windows are two storeys high and there are big panels, so it plays tricks on your mind. The building looks and feels a lot smaller because you take the weight out off it. You don’t have angles into the ground, it curves away from you, so you never see the end of the building. I also wanted to make something very urban and cool. If the skate community doesn't like what you’ve done they will reject it. So it's a very big challenge to create something that is cool and is going to be accepted. Normally if you give that to the council or local authority of the government, they will kill it in seconds! Did you work with the skate community? We did things like we invited the skate community to submit designs for the murals in the skateparks. We had 120 young people put in designs and we put all those designs on the skateboards in the cafe, but we selected ten that went into the park, on these huge murals. It gave them a sense of ownership even before we opened. We did a lot of work with them in terms of consultation. Look: I'm not cool or I’m not what they think is cool, so they dictate what is cooler and everything else. The building was really well received by the skate community. “I don’t think it’s ever been attempted before to put a concrete bowl up in the air” What about the engineering: how challenging was building a suspended bowl? A nightmare! It’s one of those moments when you think ‘why the f*** I did that’ [he laughs]. I don’t think it’s ever been attempted before to put a concrete bowl up in the air. It was built by Maverick, they are extraordinary. We put decks and colour styling moulds like a jigsaw puzzle and late we reinforced it with concrete into the mould and took the moulds away and that formed the bowl. But that bowl is a beam as well, so it’s hard to tie the whole thing together, it’s pretty crazy. It’s quite a thing when you walk in, and you feel the bowl above your head. It’s heavy, it’s nuts! It’s a roof with architecture, engineering and skate coming together. I really don’t think anybody tried to do that. We invested in skate in such a way to celebrate the architecture, the engineering, and the culture of skate. It elevated the skate, you say ‘you have changed lives, you give young people an identity and you’re worthy to become an Olympic sport’. Maybe we will have the next Olympic skater from Folkestone, who knows? What kind of concrete did you use? We used a replacement of cement. It’s a bio product from steel manufacturing. It’s something more sustainable, i’s a low carbon concrete. Beyond the bowl, which is 2,8 meters deep, you got a street flow and a flow park, those are timber floors so that in 10 years’ time we can take timber floors out and replace it. The structure of the building goes into steel frame above the concrete so that just made the building a lot lighter as we went up through a little bit more cost effective as well. How many people can you host in the building at the same time? Up to 170 people on each floor, over 600 in the building. What tends to happen is we have a competition on just one floor, so it's like if you’re in a street exhibition you are not in the bowl. It’s pretty rare to have many people across all the floors. The climbing wall is more commercial. We have the tallest climbing wall on the Southeast of England Midlands and we have bouldering. I think if I had more time, I probably would have made the climbing centre bigger because it’s so popular. “When as I was growing up here all you could think about was leaving the town as quickly as you could. We wanted to upgrade their lives by education sports, to access to an adrenaline building like this. Maybe we can reverse brain drain” You have mentioned the commercial spots like the climbing wall. Is that what makes the difference? Because indoors around the world struggle by just doing business with skateboarding… Skaters are free spirited. I’m generalising, but they don't think ‘I’m going to skate in two weeks’ time so let’s book it’. It doesn’t work like that. They just look at the weather and make a decision. The building needs to understand the culture, but you can make money through climbing centres, bouldering and the boxing club. This is a club where people come to train, and we saw the membership triple. In the beginning we had two girls and now there are 43 girls. It’s pretty insane. All those sports coming in interactive, it’s about their own journey but what we wanted to do was a larger regeneration story, we wanted to upgrade their lives by education sports, access to an adrenaline building like this. This means that the memory of their upbringing might be positive and we can reverse brain drain. You had your own experience in the past… Basically when as I was growing up here all you could think about was leaving the town as quickly as you could, but now if you can create a memory which is supposed to be warm to your community and your family and everything… OK we are going to lose a lot but if we could capture maybe 30 per cent of those kids that will pay by 10/20 times over there because you're keeping the best brains, you’re keeping people in the town. How long do you skate? I'm not a great skater at all. I started skating when I was a kid and had a big injury, my tooth went through my bottom lip, it put me off a little… Lately if prefer to surf to be honest. I was the firs blood injury at F51. I injured myself quite seriously and had to go to the medic room on the opening day, actually [he laughs]. I love skating and I love what it gives. To be a good skater you need coordination, but you have to have discipline, the process of training and mental training and having dimensional awareness… Besides that... It’s often you find the Skateworld opens itself up to the creative industry... if you just look at fashion, trainers, if you think about the music industry, if you think about design and arts… it’s so accessible to the creative industry and creative industry is the largest growing industry now… if we could inspire some of these young kids through skate to see opportunities, to entering into work or into business and start monetize in some sort of way… If you look Netflix documentary ‘Dogtown’ all those guys came from some sort of former creative industry. So, we think these things create an opportunity and access to people. A building like this would be the same success in the centre of London, where you have more options around? Yes. Because of the weather, the convenience, the set up for challenges, because of the size and the scale of it. There’s a huge section of skaters, those who are the independent thinkers, they are people who skate anywhere, they are just obsessed. Historically there is this perception that skating is anti-behaviour or something else. And what this building does is to fuse these things together and opens up to another generation which has more girls getting involved and the rad dads who started skating again with their kids, or scooters or bikers… so if it becomes far more accessible it opens it up and then you can start to make financial models to work. That business model is a bit different at F51… This project is unfortunately unmeasurable. If you’re under the age of 16 and you’re a local you pay a pound a month. But that’s just Roger’s gift. We’ve looked to the model of F51 and started applying that on The Wave Project and other projects. We are starting to work out how we can make it accessible and revivable. You need these philanthropic projects. It took us a few years to build this, because we didn’t want to create a white elephant. “Through mobility that you become fitter and healthier, then I think skate will transform how we live” How do you think skateboarding will be in the next 10 years? I think one of the most interesting things by watching the Olympics was… if you watch the athletics or other sports if you come second it’s like their world ends, like they've failed, but in skate there are no winners or losers. You fall over and you get up, you learn from your mistakes and from falling, and life is a bit like that. I loved watching skateboarding during the Olympics because if you became 6th or 8th they were celebrating. Because when you skate everything's going to connect it once. Any multiple things could go wrong in any second, it’s like when you’re catching a wave, and you try to put a combination of something together. Skating is about yourself and about limits and that’s why it has so much potential in the future. Just as a sport or like something more? We will become more mobile in a different way, and we think about our cities, how we move around our cities, the 15 minute cities, and if we can create a generation of cyclists and skaters and scooters, these very contractions in the same way… If we can start to think about mobility in a different way we could start to think about fitness, wellness, well-being… Through mobility that you become fitter and healthier, then I think skate will transform how we live. It’s a really strong message. And that’s why we need these kinds of projects to nurture the next generation but also to educate the generations that exists. Guy Holloway Folkestone skatepark
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 18545 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 capita per skateparks? 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 7 parks and a population of 38383, meaning you have a park for every 5483 people. The USA currently is far from reaching the top 20 list with one park for every 95573 people. Brazil is another country that disappears off the list with one park for every 214781 people. 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
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
The Skatepark map of the UK is complete. Finding skateparks in the United Kingdom has never been easier. Piece by piece like a massive puzzle, here it is: the skatepark map of the United Kingdom is finally complete. From the ‘old school’ iconic parks, to brand new spots and crappy skateparks, we found them all. But please don't shoot the messenger if you do find one more, because I am sure there must be more hidden away somewhere. There's always one more. We have found a total of 1786 public skateparks, including asphalt and concrete pumptracks. Most parks are street focused, just like most countries around the globe, but it's never been a better time for transition skaters too. Did you know there are 267 skateparks with bowls in the UK? From North to South, skateboarders can find detailed information about each spot and together with GPS location and local businesses nearby. A map of stoke to compare parks with other spots and to decide where to go to next. With 1786 parks the UK scores third place in the countries with the most parks in the world, but numbers change a bit if you put things into a different perspective. If you look at skateparks per capita the United Kingdom only comes on 14th place, with one park for every 38504 people. Liechtenstein comes on first place of that list with one park for every 5383 people. Food for thought. 5 bucket list skateparks in the UK Southbank Undercroft had to be on the list, of course. Southbank has been around since the 70s and has many stories to tell. Like someone said “It wasn’t made for skating. If it was, it would be something completely different". That is why it's such a unique spot. Folkestone 51 is a 17 million pound indoor skatepark in Kent featuring the world’s first suspended concrete bowls and three stacked floors dedicated to all types of skateboarding and BMXing. Prefer street or transition, concrete or wood? Don't worry F51 has you covered and has something for all levels of riding ability. Dean Lane skatepark, aka the "deaner", has been around since 1978 and was one of the first parks in the UK. Dean Lane skatepark is a concrete self funded DIY park located next to the Bristol South swimming pool and features a transition and street section. The Deaner is famous for its severe transitions, making it hard to skate. If you like transition then Haverfordwest skatepark is what your looking for. The skatepark was built by Maverick skateparks in 2014 and features several bowls and a transiton area with nicely blended in street elements. Distinctive is that one in the Shetland Islands, too. This park proves that distance or geography aren't a problem when the community raises their voice and gets together. The Lerwick Skatepark is the northernmost skatepark in the United Kingdom and its smooth concrete and design definitely make the park a bucket list spot. Skateparks and Special features in the United Kingdom Racio total population/skateparks: 38504/park Total skateparks: 1786 Total asphalt/concrete pumptracks: 111 Total skate bowls: 267 Miniramps: 901 Halfpipes: 12 Fullpipes: 2 Skatepark Builders in the United Kingdom Click on profile builder - select "See all parks" to see the map of each builder. Maverick skateparks Four One Four Skateparks Canvas Skateparks Wheelscape Skateparks Influential Skateboarders in the UK Ben Raemers Geoff Rowley Tom Penny Matt Pritchard Sky Brown See all the skateparks in the United Kingdom
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 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
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