Skaterz: Don't Go There (Go Here Instead!)
Updated: May 4, 2018
Are you a thrill-seeker who loves to travel? Thinking about moving somewhere that's more your style? It's widely known that skateboarding has come under-fire in recent years, with more and more cities passing laws making it harder to do what we love - get out and cruise on our Wittleboardz! We did a little research to find out the best - and worst - cities for tearing it up on four wheels.
1) Portland, USA
Portland is one of the few cities to recognize skateboarding as a legitimate mode of transportation and give it the same legal rights as a bicycle. In 2000, they legalized skateboarding on the streets - however, skaters are confined to the road in downtown areas (and no breaking the speed limit!). The city has even designated ‘preferred skate routes’ and provides skaters with a handy map to cruise around with - keeping that easy, chill vibe in-tact.
2) Malmo, Sweden
The home of ‘Vert Attack’, ‘Ultrabowl’ and the ‘Get Set Go’ girls contest, Malmo not only has a heap of awesome skate parks and events but awesomely paved streets to roll down. The local organization Bryggeriet together with the city to run Skate Malmo, which gets news out about the scene in an accessible way.
3) San Diego, USA
As the birth place of skateboarding, San Diego is the home of many famous skateboarders, such as Tony Hawk and Cara-Beth Burnside - so how could it not be mega skate friendly? Although it’s illegal to skate on the streets with the cars, there are miles of boardwalks and bike paths throughout the city, built specifically for those of us who prefer to be on wheels. Skating is an accepted form of transportation and there are boards everywhere. The promenade from Mission Beach to Pacific Beach is a skate highway, with boards cruising alongside bikes and pedestrians, problem-free. A load of awesomely built skateparks give you enough play space to get your fix, and they are open 10am to dusk each day.
4) Shenzhen, China
This spot has a thriving enthusiasm towards skateboarding, and even law enforcement has been seen skating on the job. Shenzhen is a popular choice for pros and skate fiends due to its numerous smooth marble ledges.
Now for the cities that have lost some of the appeal they once had in the skate community - These cities are known to provide some world class spots but not without a downside…
The legendary skate city came under fire when it hosted the X Games last year and banned skateboarding in public places for the duration of the games. Madness! But it was back in 2005 that laws passed by the council made it a less friendly place to skate. Fortunately, the city definitely still has its draws; a spot called Macba is known to be one of the most iconic skate spots in the world. Barcelona is home to some creative architects who filled the city with lots of skate-worthy structures.
Word on the street was that Bristol (an iconic UK skate town) was trying to pass some bylaws which would do away with all sorts of fun activities in more than 200 parks and open spaces. Activities such as tree climbing and skateboarding...we're writing a strongly-worded letter suggesting they target selfie-taking instead.
Being host of the X Games two years running and being the home of Love Park, Philly made a name for itself in the skate world in the early 00’s. Then all of a sudden it whacked on a fine for those skating the streets and more recently skating on public art. Don’t chip it or you could get hit with a hefty fine.
Yes, LA is a city of skate, from Venice Beach to Hollywood High, but sometimes things can get a little unfriendly! They've passed a law making it illegal to bomb hills and skate over 10mph You can even get into trouble for skating on the wrong side of the street (check out cop block.org)! Over time, it has become harder and harder to skate the streets of this beautiful city but the infamous school yards are still everybody's meeting point on the weekends, when the kids leave school and the guys with their skateboards start jumping fences. J-Kwon is a must on Sundays, but keep your eyes open for police strolling by every now and then.