Barcelona, the European capital of skateboard
First stop in our journey around the globe in the search of the 10 best cities to skate: Barcelona.
Skateboard is the core of Barcelona’s urban culture, proofs of its strong influence can be found daily and everywhere in the city. What are the roots of this cultural trait? Which are the reasons that brought Barcelona this world-wide recognition?
A bit of history
It all seems to start in the 70’s, when the death of Franco leaves the young generation with a fierce search for freedom and a need to unwind. Skateboard will turn to be the new trendy sport. With the influence of the Team Sancheski (the brothers Javier and José Maria Sanchez) who organized the first demo with American professional, and numerous competitions organized gathering the best skaters of their time (Pacos Gavas, Eduardo Graells, Gonzalo Rodriguez), skateboard is strongly and rapidly democratized.
The Olympics Game in 1992 had a strong influence upon the urban organization of the city that became modern and attractive. Many sports installations were modernized for the occasion, the MACBA (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art) was build and turned to be THE best skating location of Barcelona. All those transformations raised the city to be the best of Europe in term of infrastructures.
During the 90’s well-known brands of the sector came to Barcelona to film promotional videos, thus Tony Hawks, Ryan Sheckler or Bam Margera were often seen in Barcelona’s skateparks, enhancing the city’s reputation.
If Barcelona is often described as the paradise for skaters, it is without doubts because of its urban configuration. Indeed, the streets are large and smooth, with constant ups and downs and the modern architecture providing plain and understated surfaces is perfect for skateboarding. In addition, Barcelona is in perpetual construction, a perfect place for skaters in a constant search of new places and sensations.
The well-developed public transports allow skaters to go easily from one spot to another. Like if it wasn’t enough, the temperate climate and the proximity with the sea contribute to the enthusiasm of skaters for the city.
Among the large skateboarding spots offer, some are unmissable:
- MACBA, (LINK), the iconic spot is built with marble thus offering a great ride.
- The Forum (LINK) is offering all types of spots: curbs, low to high, walls, gaps, wave with different levels, pyramids, etc. and it’s also the only indoor spot when it’s raining!
- The Mar Bella Skatepark , located along the coast, professional and beginners skate together is this famous spot of 2 500m2
Skateboard is an integral part of Barcelona’s culture, shaping its streets and giving tempo to the daily life of its inhabitants. In comparison to other parts of the world, many female riders are skateboarding. Thanks to the high concentration of skaters, locals and foreigners, it’s very easy to meet other passionate and share a ride and build memories in the beautiful city of Barcelona.
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