Our pastime has always thrived in the metropolis. In keeping with the International Issue, the following, in no particular order, are our picks for the 10 best cities on earth for skateboarding. (Outside of our humble hometown, San Diego of course).
Words by Mackenzie Eisenhour
The Catalan capital has been the world's Mediterranean skateboard Mecca since the late '90s. MACBA, Paral-lel, Sants, Forum, Fondo, Barcelonetta, Beer Banks, Arc de Triomf, Mercado, Universitat, Molins de Rei, and onwards. BCN remains a crown jewel on anybody's travel wish list for architecture, weather, and lifestyle. Still got it.
Clint Peterson’s Neighborhoods in Barcelona.
2. Los Angeles
The birthplace of modern skateboarding. Home to probably more pros, more companies, and more documented spots than any other city on the planet. From Venice Beach to Downtown, Hollywood High to San Pedro, the City of Angels mixes perfect weather and the heart of skate culture with anything from schoolyard tables to backyard pools.
Pay homage to the LA schoolyard table with the first half of Bryan Herman’s part in Stay Gold.
3. New York
The buzzing vibrancy of the city that never sleeps just energizes skating there. Rolling down the avenues, surrounded by the flurry of lights, diverse cultures, and massive skyline is enough to make you feel like an immediate superconductor. Tie in NYC's rich skate history and scene along with some epic spots, and you're landing high on this list.
Eli Reed shows you what NY skateboarding is all about.
4. San Francisco
Also rich in skateboard history, San Francisco was the center of the world in the EMB heyday of the early to mid '90s. Home to skateboarding's most famous hills, some of our most iconic companies and pros, and housing legendary spots from Wallenberg to 3rd and Army, The City exemplifies real street skating's ideal visual aesthetic.
A little old, but the title says it all.
Writers, poets, and artists have been inspired by the City of Lights for centuries. Skateboarding there is no different. The abundant marble of Le Dôme, Bercy, or La Défense, and perhaps even the legendary Eiffel Tower "Basins" crossed with the rich Bohéme lifestyle of cafés, Le Métro, and multiethnic cuisine keep Paris up on any top 10 city list.
Another world wide gem from the Three Stripes.
Australia hosts some of the best metropolitan areas on the planet. With a shot out to Sydney, Melbourne has become the main travel destination, skate-wise there over the past five to ten years. With a bustling scene, and a solid collection of spots, from the popular museum gaps to the old Flinders Street gold rail of Dollin fame (how many rails have a Dunk named after them?), Melbourne is in the club.
Melbourne and Dollin go hand in hand.
While the rain may be hard to get past, I'll claim that the home of PWBC, Southbank, and Slam City Skates has a romantic appeal specifically for it. London footage always has that telltale signature feel that makes a Nick Jensen sweater vest look spot on. It's also been the cultural epicenter of the European skate scenes since R.a.D. magazine.
The sweater vest never looked so good.
With buildings springing up overnight, China at large has risen from obscurity since '00 to become a go to skate travel destination, clocking footage in every major video from Zoo York to Lakai. Shenzhen, in the South of China's Guangdong Province has proven enough of an untouched marble goldmine to serve as the epicenter of the budding Republic's skateability.
James Craig 360 flips off the dragon’s back in Shenzen, China.
About two years back, sold on cheap rent, a thriving social and art scene, and the city's futuristic infrastructure, a bunch of my Euro cool-kid friends began deeming Berlin the new Barcelona. Packed with spots, from Kulturforum to Friedrichshain Monument and on, one need not look further than recent adidas, Cons, and Habitat videos to see why.
Analog is just one of the many teams to make a trip outta Berlin.
10. Tel Aviv
Our own Mike O'Meally clued us in to Israel's hidden gem after returning from a tour there last year (See our March 2010 Issue). Tel Aviv is in the midst of a smooth ground building boom, is littered with spots, boasts incredible fresh local cuisine, has a flourishing nightlife, club, and art scene, and is topped off with year-round good weather and topless beaches. Amen.
The photo version of this Quik trip to Israel was in our mag.