The story of F51, the three storey 17 million pound skatepark that is changing lives

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

By Manu Silva

I like skateboarding as a hobby, not a job

William Montgomery rides particularly good. Or better: Big Chicken shreds, already with a signature. He’s just seven years old but has already visited more than 75 skateparks from coast to coast in the United States of America, during his school holidays. “It’s fun to roll quietly through airports”, he says, never forgetting the most important thing: skateboarding is for fun. Meet this very special Trucks and Fins’ skatepark hunter. So, William, first tell us about your nickname: why ‘big chicken’, what’s the story behind it? My dad got a Big Chicken Beer sticker from henhouse brewery in Santa Rosa, and I put it on my helmet, and we decided it should be the name for my Instagram account.   Explain a bit more about the drawing on your helmet. Who made it? It is a Nutcase helmet with a bunch of travel and skate stickers on it that I have collected. You have visited about seventy-five parks. How did you manage your time with school stuff and other activities? Exploring the Bay Area on weekends (we have a lot of spots) and taking my board with me on holidays. Fun to roll quietly through airports. Can you choose the best skatepark from all these seventy-five? No, but I really liked Vans Huntington Beach, Woodward Tahoe, Fremont, Cookeville and Potrero.  In the last couple of months, you have travelled from coast to coast. Was that all planned? How did you program your tour? I just go wherever my mom plans (we like to travel) and then my dad helps me go to skateparks while there :) When did you start to skate? Tell us a bit of your personal story, and about your dreams regarding skateboarding. I started in April 2020. I saw my friend Jack’s skateboard and wanted one, so my parents got a penny board for me, and I used it at Shredders Skate Camp. Big thanks to Chris there for encouraging me.  He said I was good and my dad’s friend Mark gave me a bigger board. Reese Forbes then taught me to go fast and the guys at Potrero help me. I like skateboarding as a hobby, not a job.   Considering we are a community-focused directory, tell us how important are skatepark hunters like you for the people around the world who like to find new spots to ride and new places to discover.  My dad likes Trucks and Fins, especially when we travel to new places like Portugal, so we don’t travel to a boring one. I like to see parks to ride before going, so I can imagine what I can do there. Instagram Big Chicken

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My top 3 skateparks in the world - by Pro Skater Dora Varella

So what are the favourite parks of famous, professional skaters? We reached out to one of the best skaters in the international circuit to ask for her top 3 skateparks in the world, outside of her native country, Brazil. USA, Norway, and Dubai are the hotpots on the map. 3 bucket list skate travel destinations by Brazilian pro skater Dora Varella. If you are a top Brazilian skater, it means you are one of the best in the world. The ‘Brazilian storm’ is no longer a slogan just for surfers, because boys, girls, men and women born in this great country are dominating the skateboarding scene thanks to a unique soul and an expansional energy. Dora Varella is a Brazilian skater who is currently killing it, with her skating and contagious vibe. At the age of 21, she’s on top10 World Skate ranking. She has recently won the STU Park in Brazil (the Brazilian circuit) in Criciúma, and the qualification to Paris-2024 is one of her main goals. Dora Varella by Júlio Defeton Dora finished 7th in park competition in Tokyo-2020 Olympics. She was this close to reach the podium, but there was another trophy that she and the other finalists won: a fair play award for the empathy toward Japanese Misugo Okamoto, raising her on their shoulders after she failed an important manoeuvre that could get her a medal. She started to cry immediately, but thanks to this natural and spontaneous collective attitude the tears were gone and Misugu started to smile again. This is the kind of image that makes skateboarding different from other sports. And that’s why we find on Dora Varella’s official website this headline - that can summarize the spirit of something that is much more than a sport: “Skateboarding has taught me many lessons: cheering for others doesn’t stop you from winning; treating all people with respect despite the differences transforms your own existence; if you fall, get up, like in everything else in life”. Dora Varella by Eduardo Brás Millions of skaters fall and get up again like her, and many of them are always looking for new spots outside their cities, countries and even continents. Like Dora, too. With eleven years of skateboarding experience and being a professional since 2017, this pro skater from São Paulo was asked by Trucks and Fins to choose her top 3 skateparks in the world, outside Brazil, that could inspire users around the globe. She kindly said yes. So these are ‘Dora Varella’s top 3 skateparks in the world’: XDubai skatepark A 3,200 m2 facility in Dubai, the largest in the United Arabe Emirates. Set on a beachfront location, it’s good for beginners and professionals. Definitely a must-go spot. Visit XDubai skatepark Oslo Skatehaal indoor skatepark A 2,300m2 indoor skatepark with a 840m2 outdoor area in Voldsløkka, Oslo, capital of Norway. Ordered by the local City Hall, it features a full-size vert, the kind of challenge for someone who has already dropped Bob Burnquist’s ramp in California. Visit Oslo skatehaal California Training Facility Located in California, USA. It’s a high-performance centre developed specifically for skateboarding, incubating future world champions. But is has room for amateurs, throughout special programs designed to teach everyone who dares to get their feet on a skateboard. Visit California Training Facility skatepark Dora Varella by Anderson Tuca Take the advice. Valeu, Dora! See all the skateparks in the world Instagram Dora Varella

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The Mystery of the Belmonte Bowl in Portugal

Skateboarding in Portugal Quandary in the Quarry - The Mystery of the Belmonte Bowl.  It’s a kidney shaped bowl, wrapped around a half-pipe that leads to a fullpipe ending in a cradle BELMONTE SKATEPARK 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 other skateparks in Portugal See all SKATEPARKS 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.

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10 best skateparks in Spain - Discover what spots are bucket list travel destinations

How do you define the best 10 skateparks in a country? It's definitely not an easy task to choose only 10 out of a total of 1071 skateparks we currently have found in Spain. The last couple of years I have been travelling quite a bit around Spain, mapping out spots for Trucks and Fins and in total I was able to visit and take photos of 425 skateparks. "So what are my top 10 spots in Spain" people ask me regularly. Making a top 10 list, I guess, also depends a bit if you have a preference for street or transition skateboarding. In my case, I like my bowls... So, here they go. Mar Bella skatepark Located next to the C. A. Canaletes Sant Martí sports centrum in Barcelona you'll find our first bucket list spot: Mar Bella skatepark. The skatepark is made up of a bowl, an enormous snake run and small street area.  Visit Mar Bella skatepark Camas skatepark Another spot I personally think deserves a spot on the top 10 is Camas skatepark near Sevilla, built in 2019 and designed by Daniel Yabar. Camas skatepark is a large concrete skatepark featuring a bowl and a street area packed with obstacles and lines.  Visit Camas skatepark Torrejón de Ardoz skatepark Torrejón de Ardoz skatepark is a 1400 square meter concrete park, featuring a bowl and large street area, built and designed by ZUT skateparks in 2008. The skate park is located next to a large and extensive pumptrack.  Visit Torrejon de Ardoz skatepark Cullera skatepark South of Valencia is another transition focused park I really enjoyed with a 5 star vibe: Cullera skatepark, built by Copinramps in 2019. Fun park to cruise along, with some unic obstacles, but difficult to skate when it's crowded.  Visit Cullera skatepark Guineueta Canyelles Skatepark  Another spot you can't miss in Spain, is Guineueta Canyelles skatepark in Barcelona. The skatepark was built by IOSkateparks and Ramps and Vulcanoskateparks and features three bowls, a long snake run, and a street area.  Visit Guineueta Canyelles skatepark Nepal skatepark If you like transition and want to see some local rippers in action, then make sure to head over to Extremadura Park in Madrid. Nepal skatepark in Alcobendas, designed by Daniel Yabar, is one of the most historic skateparks in Spain. It is known amongst locals as “Nepal” because of the extreme cold in the winter and views of the mountains near Madrid. Visit Nepal skatepark Tres Cantos skatepark Tres Cantos skatepark is a 1000 square meter gem built by ZUT skateparks in 2018. The park features a concrete skatepark and an asphalt pumptrack.  Visit Tres Cantos skatepark Ruben Alcantara Malaga skatepark Ruben Alcantara Malaga skatepark is a 10,000 square meters sports facility for BMX, Skate, Roller and Scooter. The skatepark features a worldwide famous bowl designed by the two-time world champion Rider Rubén Alcántara, a halfpipe, miniramp, a street plaza, concrete pumptrack and a BMX dirt track with three lines. Visit Ruben Alcantara skatepark La Kantera Skatepark La Kantera is Spain's most inconic skatepark, aka Algorta park, built in 1987, thanks to the initiative of a group of local surfers and skaters. In the beginning legends like Txus Domínguez, Alain Goikoetxea, Ivan Fano, Afonso Fernandez etc turned La Kantera into the Mecca of skate in Spain, inspiring the following generations of skaters. 35 years later the park is still a worldwide reference for its radical and creative approach to skateboarding. Visit La Kantera skatepark Ramputene DIY skatepark In the Basque country, in Donostia San Sebastian, located under a bridge overpass you have Ramputene DIY skatepark that definitely deserves a place in the top 10 ten because of all the love and work put into this spot. Don't forget to support the local cause and keep it clean. Visit Ramputene DIY skatepark See all skateparks in Spain

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A skateboard is the best thing you can take with you on travel adventures

Trucks and Fins welcomes Bros Around The Globe who will share with us their inspiring travel adventures. In their first blog you will get a comprehensive perspective on how traveling and skateboarding share the same ‘mantra’: freedom and connecting people. So simple. So pure. So healthy. If you’ve stumped upon this, chances are you’re thinking about bringing your skateboard with you on your next trip. And if you haven’t thought about packing it, you should, because you’ll probably regret it if you don’t. As a skater, a skateboard is the best thing you can take with you on a travel adventure, besides well, your skate shoes, of course. Whether you’re heading out to the next town over or abroad to a new country when you take your board with you, the possibilities are endless, and Trucks and Fins can navigate the skate along the way or even help find a place to stay.  Though it may feel awkward to carry and seem like extra weight at first, the benefits of bringing your skateboard will soon reveal themselves in more ways than one. Between waiting for buses, taxis, trains, and all the downtime that travel provides, your board is sure to keep you occupied when you're not seeking out new skate spots or exploring a new city on four wheels. With a board in tow, you have the ability to get from point A to point B, all while expressing the creative outlet we call skateboarding. As you hit the streets to take in the new sights, sounds, and smells, the pure joy from kicking, pushing, and rolling in a foreign place is a feeling second to none.  “Skaters respect other skaters no matter where they may find themselves in the world and there’s a special connection in a shared passion and lifestyle” Besides skating legendary spots, parks, and plazas, you’ll quickly learn your skate doubles as a universal language for making new friends. Not to mention it helps you navigate language barriers and tap into skating’s tight-knit subculture. Skaters respect other skaters no matter where they may find themselves in the world and there’s a special connection in a shared passion and lifestyle. Skating knows no boundaries, no borders, nor skin colour because every skater knows how much, blood, sweat, tears, and time goes into the learning process. When you meet other skaters, there’s an unspoken bond that brings high fives and high vibes in whatever corner of the globe you may find yourself in.  Skating can be a tool to clear one’s mind, let off steam, challenge yourself, be present, and rediscover the learning process. Besides helping you get around, it’s a useful tool to have when traveling long-term and can be all the above and more. You may even inspire others to get on a board or help a groom cruise for the first time. Each skate mission will give you a glimpse into the local skate culture and diversity of skaters worldwide. You’ll meet new friends, skate legendary spots you can only dream of, and make memories to last you a lifetime. All made possible by a wooden toy and the desire to ride.  “Becoming friends with locals is always a powerful travel experience, leaving you with the feeling that you were fully immersed and a part of the city” When you arrive at a new destination, just show up at the local, and you’ll be in the neighbourhood crew before you know it. Young or old, beginner or professional, skateparks serve as places for people of different backgrounds to interact with each other. When you’re on the road, stopping by the skatepark or DIY spot is one of the best ways to take in the vibe of a unique place and meet new people. No matter where you are in the world, skaters are gonna skate. Becoming friends with locals is always a powerful travel experience, leaving you with the feeling that you were fully immersed and a part of the city, town, or village you were visiting. On your journey, you can’t forget to make a stop to support the local skate shop. Around the world, skate shops serve as a catalyst for developing and sustaining the local skate community. It's a place to gather and chop it up to gain some insight into what you should really see and do in a new place. When traveling, the best advice is always from people who actually live there. A skate shop is the root of a city’s skate culture, and it brings people together. Skate shops are much more than a storefront, they support real people and put their money back into the local skate scene. Skate shops around the world always have a welcoming atmosphere that illustrates just how vibrant the skate community is. “Travel and skating are all about freedom, creativity, and thinking outside the box. When you combine the two, you’ll experience the best of both worlds” Traveling with a board taught me how skateboarding and traveling are similar in many ways. Through both, you must be present and only concentrate on the now. Skateboarding, like traveling, has always taught me about patience, persistence, never giving up, and mental toughness. Both prepare you to adjust when a mistake arises and to keep trying when something doesn't go your way. They teach you to adapt when things don't go correctly and push you out of your comfort zone to try new things. On the road or on your board, there’s a humbling feeling when you fail or fall down, leaving you to get back up and do it again through sheer determination.  Freedom, creativity, and individuality are values of skateboard culture. There is no question that skaters are unrelentingly dedicated to the progress of the sport and welcome anyone who has the courage to get on board. The skate community is built on mutual respect. Instead of one-upping each other, skaters continually encourage each other and embrace their differences, something ever so prevalent when you travel the world with your board. Travel and skating are all about freedom, creativity, and thinking outside the box. When you combine the two, you’ll experience the best of both worlds.  So when it comes to packing for that next trip, make sure you leave enough room to bring your board. Your skateboard will take you to places you could only dream of and give you memorable experiences that will stay with you long after your adventure is concluded. With 85 million skaters around the world, you’ll be sure to find your tribe when you travel, and all you’ll need is your board.  Website Bros around the Globe Instagram Bros around the globe

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The New Milharado skatepark in Portugal is almost ready

FRESH Wasteland concrete in Mafra, Portugal. We reached out to João Sales of Wasteland Skateparks to find out more.  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, that sort of stuff. The initial idea was to build a bowl in the Parque Desportivo Municipal de Mafra sports complex. The project was handed out to a random architect, but the measurements were all wrong and the plan was a bit of a mess. That's when we were contacted to do a budget for the project. We told the city hall that we know the local skater community well. Building a huge bowl in that area would be a mistake, because we have build a flow bowl nearby in Venda do Pinheiro. The boys in the area need some street obstacles there too. So, later the contractor asked us to build a different thing. We made a lot of different proposals and the city hall kept on shrinking the area, until they accepted the final project. There is still no date for the official opening, but it's going to be soon, somewhere in August! The concrete is ready, but the park around it still needs it final touches. So hold your horses for a couple more days. Is there any feature that you're particularly happy with, that came out really nice or is really fun to skate? We kind of feel sorry about the space and feel frustrated because all the decisions made did not evolve the skater community in the Mafra area. Anyway, we were able to turn a small park into a fun little set of good quality concrete.  Any dream trick or link you'd like to see go down in any of the park's features or areas? We hope to see happy faces at the park. Hopefully the park will provide an area were local kids can progress. That would be a "dream trick" for us. Visit Mafra Skatepark Visit Wasteland Skateparks

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