By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Shanghai is one of the most populated cities in China and in the world with over 25 million people living there. Surely if you can go as a tourist or if you already live there you might find several things to do, but how is the skateboarding scene there? In today’s SHIT® matinee we’ll get to learn more about Shanghai’s skate scene: It’s history, culture and some venues that you might like to visit while you are there.
Time for a Little Skateboarding History Lecture
Photo: Mikael Cho (Unsplash)
As you might know China has a communist government which has been opening up to the world progressively over the past few decades through free trade deals and agreements with most of the countries in Asia, The Americas and Europe. That opening has let their products, services and culture to be placed all over the planet but also has led other countries stuff inside of it.
Skateboarding is relatively speaking new in China as it was introduced only in the early 90’s. Before that skate was censored by the government. Nevertheless, over the past years nearly all the companies around the world noticed in the Asian colossus not only a production site but also a huge market with limitless possibilities to grow. In that, skateboarding among other industries have found a fertile ground to sow seeds over the past years and nowadays some of those investment have been harvested, although the potential is gigantic and there is a lot of room for expansion.
The Skateboarding Scene in Shanghai
Nowadays skateboarding in Shanghai is facing a growing phase. People from all around the world finds Shanghai to be a terrific touristic site full of history, activities and culture. Skaters from other countries flock to the Chinese city architecture that mixes the communist party structures and history with the modern megapolis design. A playground full of great spots to skate and to develop street tricks and skills.
With the foreigners invasion to Shanghai many locals have been encouraged to embrace the skate culture and currently the community is growing around the city where they gather in bigger groups every day.
One good aspect about skate entering China during the early 90’s is that in many ways it doesn’t have the marginal aura that it has in other countries, It’s not seen as a political movement and for that reason the Chinese government hasn’t placed restrictions on it ever since.
It has become very popular among children and with Tokyo Olympics on the horizon the government and the families of the young skaters are increasing their support to develop the sport.
Great Places to Skate in Shanghai
If you are already living in Shanghai or you plan to visit the city, we got for 3 great spots for you to skate. Don’t forget your board!
SMP Skatepark: China's biggest skatepark. It’s frightingly big with a full halfpipe, a full street course, several deep pools, pyramids, rails and much more.
Love Park: This is one of Shanghai's most notorious skateboarding sites. Here you can always find skaters performing tricks, stuns and it’s a terrific place to hang out. When you end your skating session walk around the area and visit some of it’s restaurants, cafés and bars.
Suzhou River Mengqing Garden: The design of this place is amazing. Here you get a magnificent view of the river and it has lots of spaces for you to skate around. With all the trees you also get a taste of the wild inside of the city.
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