For about a week and a half, I was out in Shanghai, China for the Asia Gravity Games and the grand opening of the biggest skatepark in the world to date. The contest was hosted by SMP Clothing, which owns the skatepark with the help of the Chinese government backing it. Josh Evin, Dayne Brummet, Greg Lutzka, PLG, Neal Hendrix, Lincoln Ueda, Sandro Diaz, and I were invited to compete. World Cup Skateboarding was there because you know you can’t have a proper contest if Dave Duncan isn’t on the mic. Dayne won the street contest, and Josh won the best trick. On vert, Neal got first, and PLG won the best trick. The skatepark has a separate area that was built just for contests, and the rest of the park, especially the bowls and vert ramp, is incredible—just look at the pictures. The stands were packed even though it rained a ton before the event, and they plan to host the Asia Gravity Games here for the next four years.
There are currently about 4,000 skaters in all of China, and skateboarding is growing fast there in the Far East. Now with this monstrous skatepark, there’s going to be some talent coming out of there, for sure. This was my third trip to Shanghai this year, and I’ll definitely be going out there to skate again soon. The Chinese skaters are lucky to have this park and the loads of untapped street spots. Oh, wait, did I say that? China kicks ass!—Willy Santos