When Danny Way jumped the Great Wall in 2005, it became the unofficial welcoming of skateboarding to the country. An American jumping the country’s historic symbol of defense could have been taken the wrong way. Luckily, the sport has been gaining acceptance in China ever since, but it’s still relatively new, and there are some great untouched secret skate spots all over China!
From Vans to Volcom to Girl, every major skate brand is sending it’s best to the Republic, while documentary film makers like Patrik Wallner and skaters like Dave Bachinsky, Laurence Keefe, Jimmy McDonald, and Dan Zvereff, seek out and explore the unwaxed, exotic and dangerous lands of the East to capture and experience first-hand uncharted territory.
Here are some of China’s best skate spots:
Ranked number eight on Skateboarding magazine’s best cities to skate in the world, some skaters agree that the 30-year-old city outside of Hong Kong now rivals on Barcelona’s playing field. According to Quarter Snacks, a New York based skateboarding website, that’s mainly because nearly the entire city is made of marble and brick – all the way down to the sidewalks. Not many street obstructions like safety poles, steel bollards and cement dividers prevent skaters from a smooth ride. With virtually no local skating scene Quarter Snacks notes that the unfamiliarity of the sport with locals means that “in most cases, they don’t ’know’ to kick you out.”
The blog states that the city has four major skating points: The Children’s Museum offers a granite ditch spot with a mellow bank curb, the Shenzhen Museum with black marble ledges, the Horse Park with it’s underpasses and overpasses and last, the Marble Wave Park.
According to Transworld Skateboarding, Shanghai is currently the worlds largest construction site. With a cityscape that includes wide-angled staircases and raised geometric shapes that sprout up from the sidewalk, submerging polygons. From marble ledges, rails and stairs in people’s Square and with miles of not-yet skated terrain and new buildings, Shanghai can be a fascinating place for the street skater.
According to Skateboarding Magazine, the North East coastal city is home to SMP Skatepark, At 12,300 square feet the worlds largest skate park. According to Time out Shanghai, other great skate parks include Top Toys Skatepark in the Yuanshen Sports Stadium and Love Park in the corner of People’s Square.
Check out Charles Lanceplaine’s 23-minute documentary on the Shanghai skating scene, Shanghai 5 here!
Guangzhou, Guangdong Province
The south east coastal city also known as Canton is the capitol of Guangdong. The angled architecture of the cement seats, dividers, stairwells and planters of the cityscape create awesome skate spots all over the city. One of the city’s best skate spots is Yuexu Park, one of only eight certified scenic parks in Guangzhou, offer a one-of-a-kind skating experience offering bizarre, skateable structures looping sidewalks, cultural structures, buildings, gardens a museum, temple and more, according to yuexiupark-gz.com. The South East city is one of the stops in the annual Vans Dragon sk8 Series.
Watch Michael Mackrodt sample Guangzhou’s streets