By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
The Cold War between the US and the USSR generated a huge skateboarding delay in the eurasian country. However, over time and thanks to its evolution, soviet skateboarders developed their own style and aesthetics. Making its big cities true attractions for lovers of skateboarding.
The Effects Of the Cold War
Photo: Mikael Cho (Unsplash)
During the 1970s and 1980s, Russian military factories began producing household utensils and other products such as skateboards. Back then, they were imitations of the first American skateboards of the 1960s. The Soviet version had a flat shape, with a very short nose and tail, as well as rubber wheels. Those skateboards were fine for slalom and cruising, but very useless for street techniques. So, in summary, the USSR were about 20 years behind the rest of the world in terms of skateboarding.
The Rebirth of Russian Skateboarding
Everything changed with the dissolution of the USSR in the early 1990s. As Russia emerged from the Soviet ashes, a new political and economic model determined the arrival of imported goods. The combination of Russians going to work beyond its borders, and westerners arriving in Moscow, the skateboarding community began to get good skateboards, as well as discover a whole new world with the arrival of skate videos and magazines.
By the late 1990s, a good skate community had already developed, with filmers, photographers, and even leaders. From the start of the new millennium, the opening of the first skateboarding shops and the building of the first skateparks took place in Russia.
In a country where it rains and snows for at least 6 months of the year, skateboarding is still a struggling industry, kept alive by an undying passion and sheer determination. With the only indoor park closing in 2012 it’s a seasonal sport for many of the locals. Traffic can be intense and it is not the safest place on the planet but it is worth the risk. You have to go around the city of Moscow and find the great spots this city has to give. Enter the subway, let yourself be impressed and go to Victoria Park to skate in this iconic place. Local skateboarders are very friendly and are always there to help visitors, although never forget that you must respect their customs. These are some places you should go to roll in Moscow.
The Vans park
Made of wood and rebuilt each summer. It is not just a skatepark, it is a meeting point for young people from different cultures who just want to have a good time, have a beer and who appreciate good skateboarding.
Puma ‘Social Club’
Offers concrete terrain with a DIY feel. Many locals visit this place to practice and sometimes competitions are organized there.
Has become Moscow’s new ‘home spot’. On any given afternoon you can have a fun sessions here with the locals.
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