By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Located in the Guangzhou University Town Sports Center, The skatepark is considered an extreme sports paradise by the many locals and skaters from across the world who get the chance to visit it, with 182,000 square feet its part of a complex that also has a BMX track and even a climbing wall!
China was already known for having one of the biggest parks in Shanghai (link), but this time, they decided to break all barriers and achieve a world record. This park is 3 times bigger than the one built in Shanghai. Its is funny that back when the park was being built, China was not considered a country with a lot of skaters, of course they are out there, but some people even asked themselves if it was not a little too much to have a 4 acre skatepark for a still blooming scene. Designers and builders of the park claimed that the main goal was precisely that, to make noise and have people and kids grow an interest in skateboarding to make it part of the youth culture.
The construction site is surrounded by 10 universities, with a combined attendance of more than 160,000 students that are currently being benefited by the complex that has not only skateboarding but other extreme sport disciplines.
Too Much Ground To Skate?
Is there ever such a thing?! We think not! Some locals complained about the vast amount of terrain and resources that was being used to build the complex, which is somehow understandable because they DON'T SKATE, but believe it or not, criticism also came from the skateboarding community, probably a dude or two that got used to his small park that gathers a “niche scene” but lets face it, the comments probably have a tint of jealousy and they could actually be dying to visit such a magnificent ode to skateparks!
Lance Mountain, the skatepark designer, said about the controversy caused by the immensity of the park, "I think parks legitimately need to be that big to cover all the bases and all the aspects that skateboarding has because it's so broad. It's not a football field. It's not a basketball court, it's not a tennis court. It's not one thing. There's bowl skating, vertical skating, pool skating, street skating, and course skating."
And he is completely right, usually you can find a park where you have a few obstacles to practice the discipline you prefer, but wouldn't it be awesome to have one where skaters of all styles have a place to develop their skills?
Brad Shaw who has been building skateparks for over 30 years and was in charge of the Guangzhou project which took over 6 years of planning before its official opening in 2015, designed this particular park with the object of doing just that, with a large Combi-type bowl, pools, mini-ramps, plazas, snake-run, banked slalom, full-pipes and areas designed specifically for those beginning and looking to learn how to skate, the park has it all!
Let's Get The People Skating!
This is exactly the goal Shaw was trying to accomplish when the project started to be developed, he saw an opportunity and was given the resources to build something that could get a whole new generation of skateboarders being born, and he was not far from achieving it, this park helped to develop many local skaters and entertain many other visitors and the park is currently considered to be one of the best ones of the world, apart from being the largest.
There you have it my dudes and dudettes, make sure to check out videos of the park to get a taste of what it has to offer and if you ever get a chance to visit the park, let us know how it was! We would love to hear about your experience!
Read also: 3 Skateparks in Europe You Must Visit