By Nora Barros López, Miguel Cruz Vázquez and Rosa Barahona Malvar
WHAT IS SKATEBOARDING?
Skateboarding was born in California in the 50s, when a group of surfers decided to put some wheels on a table to keep rolling when the weather wasn’t good enough to surf.
Later, in the 60s, it became more popular, but it quickly lost popularity.
Fortunately, in the 70s, a new invention changed the way people practised skating. Urethane wheels were invented, but the best was about to come: Alan Gelfand invented the ollie, which is a trick that consists of kicking the top of the table with the ground to elevate it. This brand new trick opened the doors to a new whole variety of skate.
Later on, modern skateboarding started to appear with the emergence of Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero or Rodney Mullen. We will talk about them later. Nowadays it’s an important sport which is practised either on the street or in skateparks.
WHERE TO SKATE IN VIGO
Nowadays, we can see how skating in Vigo is one of the most recognized and practised sports, but where do people exactly skate in Vigo?
Well, the answer is everywhere. Some skaters prefer skating near their homes, and some others prefer going to a skatepark. Luckily, one of the most important skateparks in this country is here, in Navia. This skatepark was opened two years ago, and its success continues. It is a structure made of cement and is 2000 m² in size. It became one of the favorite places to skate for many experts, but not so much for beginners.
Another excellent place for skating is “La plaza de la estrella”, near the Náutico. It’s a concrete skatepark, with banks, stairs… the skating landmark in the city.
Every day, especially on Friday and Saturday, a group of skaters from every corner in the city meet there and spend a great time together. Most of them are young skaters, between 16 and 19 years old, and some of them, beginners.
Near this skatepark is the famous “Náutico”, where teenagers from Vigo meet their friends. This is a less visited place because most of the people there aren’t skating, so it’s more difficult to do this sport there. However, lots of skaters prefer going there, because there are some great structures where you can try new and advanced tricks, like high stairs, noticeable slopes…
It doesn’t matter where you skate as long as you enjoy it and try to do your best.
From 2001 until now, O Marisquiño has become the largest Urban Culture and Action Sports event in southern Europe. It’s a great, free of charge outdoor festival in the middle of August, in front of the sea. It lasts three days during which there are ten sports competitions as well as different cultural events like break dance, graffiti exhibitions, and live music.
Every year O Marisquiño presents 3 competition events: World Cup Skateboarding Street, World Cup Skateboarding Mini Ramp and Dirt FMB World Tour scoring in global rankings, where the best national and international riders meet. And since last year, a new sport discipline has also been added, the FIBA 3×3 Basketball, which will finally be in the Olympics in Japan 2021.
The festival is held the second weekend of August and in each edition, more than 160,000 people enjoy the competitions, exhibitions, concerts, gastronomy and the unique atmosphere that is generated around the seaport of the city of Vigo.
In addition, in the last four years, O Marisquiño has been broadcast live to more than fifty countries through live streaming on the Internet.
When you first start skateboarding, you have to gain some confidence with your skating, so the first thing that you learn is how to stand on your board. When you know how to do that, you can try to skate fast, and maybe flip your board. You don’t have to be afraid of falling; skating is about practising and getting up on the floor. After that, you can try some simple tricks like the “Strawberry milkshake”, where you turn your board with one of your feet without standing on it. It’s a good beginner trick because you can’t fall doing it, but you also can make it more difficult. The first real trick that a skater learns is the “ollie”, which is the trick where you jump and dodge obstacles. Then, there are some more advanced tricks like the “nollie” (similar to ollie), the manual, the kickflip, the pop shove it, the varial flip… and thousands more.
The most famous skater in the world is Tony Hawk. He’s a legend for skateboarding fanatics, and his name is everywhere in this little world. His career in skating is brilliant and successful. In 1990, the magazine Thrasher named him “Skater of the Year”. Nowadays, he’s trying to encourage young people to skate, building skateparks where he thinks it’s necessary. We can appreciate his virtuosity in skateboarding when he does one of the most difficult tricks: the 900.
Another famous skater that every skater must know is Bob Burnquist. He’s a Brazilian skater. He’s really creative and an acclaimed skater.
There are a lot of great and fantastic skaters such as Steve Caballero, Rodney Mullen, Danny Way, Mark Gonzales… They all inspire new and young people to try skating and to not be afraid of dreaming.
SKATE SHOPS IN VIGO
There are two main skate shops in Vigo: Woodtown, in Camelias, 20, and Novalbos, in Pintor Laxeiro, 16. Of course Decathlon sells skates, but they have less quality and buying skates there doesn’t support local skateboarding.
There are a lot of well-known brands which were born out of skating. Vans, for example, is a very famous brand for shoes, and they have a reputation for being one of the best for skateboarding.
Thrasher, for example, is also well-known for their sweatshirts, but they’re in fact a skate magazine.
Another example of a brand that found its reputation around the skate world is Supreme, which was founded in 1994 in New York, and has had a quick boom since then. It wasn’t only about skating, instead it was based in urban culture and streetwear.
It’s quite interesting the huge variety of video games about skateboarding, to the point that most players don’t even like skateboarding, but they enjoy playing video games. Probably the most famous is Tony Hawk Pro Skater, which has been in the market since 2000 and is still getting updated.