Skate Spot Porn: Barcelona Edition

August 4th, 2011 | 1:31 pm | Features & Interviews | 22 Comments

If you skateboard, you don’t exactly need anyone to recommend a visit to Barcelona. Some people with more extensive experiences of going there claim that “It isn’t the same,” as say, five years ago, due to spots getting blown out, knobbed (yes, that happens out there), or whatever else. But compared to America, or more specifically to the northeast, you could take Boston, New York, Philly, Baltimore, and D.C., (even throw in the B-list cities like Providence, Hartford, Stamford, Newark, Jersey City, etc.), combine them into one city skate-spot-wise, and you still wouldn’t even come close to the “remaining” terrain it has to offer. No, that’s not being hyperbolic.

This fact goes well beyond the more design-attuned nature of the city (basically, if any New York spot was designed in Spain, it would be made infinitely better, not just in terms of unintentional pro-skateboard terms, but quality, and aesthetic-wise too.) Culturally, the public approach to skating is much different than in the U.S. You get the feeling that people in Spain don’t experience surges in dopamine whenever they get a chance to scream out “No skateboarding!” the way that Americans do, a place that has a fetish for prohibiting pretty much everything except sitting and walking in 90% of its public spaces. We were kicked out of three spots while we were there, and all three were in neighborhoods where the demographics lean heavily above sixty-years-old. If MACBA, Universitat, Forum and Parallel were in any American city, they would have been knobbed six times over. American culture loves to find things to complain about, and you don’t necessarily get the same feeling from the Spanish. (All of these conclusions were drawn in a matter of two weeks, so take them with a grain of salt. America sucks for skateboarding though, that’s a fact.)

During our time in Barcelona, we utilized an oft-recommended, yet could-be-better spot resource for Europe called SkHateYou. It didn’t have any information by way of directions or descriptions, just clickable subway stops and photos of what’s around there. (You’re welcome.) And some of those photos were crooked, out of date, depicting insane spots that no human being could/would skate, etc.

The internet didn’t offer much by way of decent Barcelona spot photographs, so in turn, here are some photos we took while out there, encompassing maybe 50% of the spots we had a chance to skate. If you haven’t done it — save some money, go to Barcelona, forget that you have ten minutes to skate something before security comes rushing out or some dumb white person with nothing better to do than worry about architecture they never cared about in the first place starts complaining (“DON’T YOU REALIZE YOU’RE RUINING EXPENSIVE ART?!”), and have fun. Do it while you’re still young, motivated, and healthy.

All pictures are enlargeable.

This random metal B in the middle of the block would have metal bars all over it if it was in the U.S.

Went out to this thing to simply look at it. It’s as high as it seems. The waves themselves are fun to push around on though.

Across the street from it was the start of a neighborhood completely covered with brick banks that rarely appear in videos. It wasn’t a “spot,” it was an entire neighborhood with banks of all different sizes and set-ups running alongside a bike path. The bottom ground isn’t great by Barcelonian standards (probably accounts for the lack of coverage), but nothing compared to what we’re used to in this stupid city.

There are a few of these by the water. They’re just covered with those helicopter-propeller-like seeds that give you automatic wheelbite.

These are in front of a bunch of apartment buildings near the Forum. Nobody says anything to you for skating here.

Oh, you know, just an open smooth concrete field in the middle of nowhere that serves no purpose except to throw some banks on.

More mellow banks. How many of those are there in New York? None?

Nobody seems to really skate these. They’re below what looks like the tallest building in Barcelona. One of the few spots we got kicked out of, but after like 30 minutes.

People out here have a habit of telling you a spot is “right outside the train station.” The train station is called Fondo, and the spot is called Fondo, so that would make sense. Yet, it’s like six blocks from the train in a completely random direction.

This place exemplifies a key difference between how they treat public spaces in Spain V.S. America: Knob two out of three sections of these banks, and then leave one open, put metal on top of the ledges, and leave a bench leading straight into it. Could be a coincidence, but probably not. The bump-to-bank that Kalis nollie flips and tre flips in Mind Field was built over and replaced with a playground, though.

Most of the video coverage from the Forum tends to be the two level ledges, the wave and the stadium ledges. Yet, there is an infinite amount of other stuff here, like a pretty low hubba ledge, and a mellow, descending ledge alongside a long handicap ramp.

There’s so much more here, including five million other set-ups of that two level ledge from all the videos.

Two-foot-deep bowl along the beach.

Metal ledge that Mike Carroll made famous. This is the closest thing to a New York spot in Barcelona, except if it was here, it’d be in Brooklyn, and on shitty ground. And you’d still probably get kicked out, or it would get knobbed.

Parallel is built a lot like the Tribeca Park — metal squares filled in with smooth concrete. Except at the Tribeca Park, they made the ledges three times higher, and built ramps up to them. That’s exactly what we need more of in this world, ramps up to ledges, right?

This thing is a lot harder to skate than it looks.

Oh, just another random bank with no purpose except maybe for skateboarders and kids to kick soccer balls onto it.

The bank Ricky Oyola skates in Static II, found while aimlessly searching for Fondo.

This place, along with Universitat (below), are the only places that were explicit night spots. People have been known to throw stuff down from the adjacent apartment buildings because of how loud the echo from skating is at night. Sounds like SoHo.

Went into the culture of this place in greater detail here, but it’s amazing that these things aren’t that chipped up or worn in after so many years of skateboards.

The sort of thing that would look great with a fence around it if it was in New York.

22 Comments

Comment by SF
  • awesome post as always, one thing though, when composing posts,make your links open in a new window.

    especially to outside websites.

    August 4, 2011 @ 2:24 pm
  • Comment by omq
  • “American culture loves to find things to complain about” then you continue to complain about how “america sucks for skateboarding” …

    August 4, 2011 @ 2:25 pm
  • Comment by Snack
  • Yes, obviously. I’m an American complaining about how Americans complain about skateboarding.

    August 4, 2011 @ 2:27 pm
  • Comment by Snack
  • Wait, it’s a double negative, so it cancels out.

    August 4, 2011 @ 2:31 pm
  • Comment by Jules
  • I know this would just be feeding in to the americans-are-complainers mentality, but please, post something like “oh, but the people out there are really annoying” or “the trains suck” or “it’s really expensive (not that ny isn’t..)”

    August 4, 2011 @ 2:44 pm
  • Comment by dan
  • hi, i will visit bcn in a few days, could you tell me at what station i could find this metal b? thanks in advance

    August 4, 2011 @ 4:24 pm
  • Comment by dedleg
  • Wow, drool worthy. This is way more like porn than those fucking porn star boards.

    “More mellow banks. How many of those are there in New York? None?” Sad but true. We gotta import some of those shits.

    August 4, 2011 @ 4:36 pm
  • Comment by Snack
  • I’m 95% sure that the metal B is off the La Pau stop. It was 1-2 blocks from the exit.

    August 4, 2011 @ 4:51 pm
  • Comment by Wally
  • Barcelona, spot-and-attitude-wise may be utopian, but from my vantage point, New York (minus the winters) is still amazingly blessed. Living in a urban-sprawling strip mall-having “second-tier” level city of about 400K people, I still count down the days for each trip I make up to NY.

    Barcelona is isn’t, but still, NY’s pretty amazing for skating. Obviously, it’s all relative. On the scale that goes from bleak to crappy to decent to good to great to amazing, NY falls easily in the “great” column in my book. But yes, awesome and inspiring article! Thanks!

    August 5, 2011 @ 9:08 am
  • Comment by longtime visitor
  • i must say i am extremely disappointed with the lack of lil wayne dropping in on a bowl coverage on this site. all the shit you guys talk about rap and skateboarding and yet you have failed to chime in on this legendary event. shame on you.

    http://vimeo.com/27304325

    August 5, 2011 @ 2:02 pm
  • Comment by honestly..
  • ^ jesus christ.

    August 5, 2011 @ 3:57 pm
  • Comment by longtime visitor
  • my nipples are hard

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cUNNKzj_Nc

    August 5, 2011 @ 4:39 pm
  • Comment by person
  • thank world war 2 for skate spots

    August 7, 2011 @ 2:18 pm
  • Comment by bitch
  • just got back from barcelona
    went to pretty much all the same spots as you guys
    this woulda helped me alot since like you said skhate you only gives you the spots around the subway station

    August 8, 2011 @ 10:30 am
  • Comment by Tony Hawkinson
  • Damn, You know they took the design of tha Roosevelt Island Plaza right from EA skate…

    August 9, 2011 @ 9:16 pm
  • Comment by which makes one wonder...
  • that perhaps Louis Kahn’s mid-century architectural plans for Roosevelt Island were the inspiration for EA Skate?

    NIGGAS IS FLIPPING THE SCRIPT ON YOU HOES

    August 10, 2011 @ 3:09 am
  • Comment by wasabi
  • Will the world ever see the Matt mooney sex tape?

    August 10, 2011 @ 10:37 am
  • Comment by hmmm
  • Has Mooney ever had sex with anything besides a skateboard?

    August 10, 2011 @ 1:44 pm
  • Comment by ...
  • I heard mooney trys ta fuck anythin that moves

    August 10, 2011 @ 2:20 pm
  • Comment by Herman Hals
  • skhateyou.com has an awsome barcelona tube map skate spot guide. it’s great and most of the famous spots out in barca (some unknown too) they even got that huge stair p-rod ss frontside heels in his prod5 commercial.

    September 13, 2011 @ 3:08 pm
  • Comment by Fleming Blishen
  • If you are looking for a map of Barcelona Skate Spots then check out http://barcelonaskatespots.wordpress.com/
    There are also some overviews of some of the more famous spots.

    September 24, 2011 @ 12:28 am
  • Comment by Adrian Mikkelsen
  • Hi everyone im looking for this perfect handrail and i know its somewhere but i cant find it help me plz..

    December 3, 2011 @ 7:31 am
  • Leave a comment