Skate Spot Porn: Barcelona Edition

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 And some of those photos were crooked, out of date, depicting insane spots that no human being could/would skate, etc.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 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.

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