A key feature to the internet’s role in spreading skateboarding across the world is democratic access to spot knowledge. You can become a local in any city with a skate scene through a mere Google search. The spots page is the most common tale of how people discover QS, and QS began as nothing more than a ripoff of the Metrospective spots page — one of the internet’s first city guides.
Anybody who has travelled in Europe (and even beyond) for skateboarding has been told about Skhateyou, which is a crudely designed skate spot guide reminiscent of Web 1.0 sites plus a Google Map. Though it is most well known for its comprehensive Barcelona page, in recent years, Skhateyou has accumulated spot maps for Chinese skateboard meccas, eastern European cities you’ve never thought to visit, and even cities in the Emirates. There’s next to nothing on Skhateyou.com besides maps and pictures of skate spots, so we tracked down the mysterious good samaritan responsible for remotely tour guiding thousands of European skate trips. (He still wanted to be kept anonymous though.)
Where are you from and how did you first get into skateboarding?
I’m from the Italian Alps. I started snowboarding at the end of the 80s with some friends. When the snow would melt, we’d bomb the hill around our place, and of course, I got an instant bug for skateboarding.
When did you first start Skhateyou, and what sparked you initially? Do people help you out with it?
When I started skating in the 80s, it was lame to skate. People thought that it was a kid’s toy and something that I would stop soon. Around 2000, I was still skating, and started to think about saying “fuck you” to everybody who thought you can’t skate when you get older. I thought “Skhateyou” could represent that state of mind; you don’t understand what I’m doing but are still judging me, so Skhateyou. I printed it on a couple of shirts for me and my friends.
I love to travel, and have always been more interested in the spot than the trick. Even a long time ago, it felt natural to shoot pictures of the spots I was skating. I moved to Barcelona in 2006 for one year, and decided to do the website. It felt logical to call it Skhateyou.com.
Do you remember any other skate websites from the time you started? Were any of them direct inspirations onto Skhateyou?
A friend of mine used to do something similar for the south of France — it was called skalpes.fr. I never really thought about it, but it was probably my inspiration. But back in the early 2000s, there weren’t too many skate websites.