Skate Spot Porn: Shenzhen, China

In the last decade, China surpassed Barcelona as the go-to skate trip destination. Shenzhen, though largely unknown to the west, is a place that any skate company with money has been to film in the past five years. If Instagram is any indicator, the Girl/Chocolate team alone has been there twice this year. The city is just outside Hong Kong, thirty years old (it was farmland up until the late-seventies), and considered to be one of the fastest growing cities in the entire world. Shenzhen looks like a real-life Blade Runner version of Los Angeles, and its sprawl has left a plaza below every single building. Apparently, marble and granite are cheap and abundant for Chinese developers (a few sources claimed they were even less expensive than plywood), and there’s no shortage of cranes in the sky, so Shenzhen’s collection of spots does not seem even close to being finished.

People use the “spot on every corner” line when talking about Barcelona, and it’s not exactly true. If you skate around MACBA for a day, you’re going to stumble on maybe four spots. You need to know how to get to everywhere else. Shenzhen actually has a spot on every corner, most of which visiting skateboarders don’t even bother waxing because there is always a better one down the street. “Everything is marble” is another line people use to describe good skate cities. Also not true. Sidewalks in Barcelona are not marble. Sidewalks in New York, outside of midtown, are not marble. Sidewalks in Shenzhen are marble. And when they’re not marble, they’re made from something equally smooth.

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