Barcelona Skateboarding was Almost Banned In Its Mecca

Taking a trip to Barcelona skateboarding in Spain is like a the trip to Mecca of Skateboarding. The city is filled with the most interesting and amazing terrain for skateboarding.

I believe it is a must to go to with your skateboard. The entire city is a skatepark. The Architecture and parks in the city seem custom built for skateboarding. I think it is a mix of the culture that loves the community and outdoor gathering spaces, amazing architectural and art influences like Antonio Gaudi and the the rest of Europe.

These influences were allowed to flourish with the money and new construction powered by the Olympics.

Every corner, every Metro stop has a surprise skate spot. You could spend months here checking them all out. I only had three days...

Skateboarding is Not a Crime

In December 2005 I traveled there to check it out. I showed up at a really unique time. This is the flyer the I was given. Its in Spanish, I don't know what it says:

Up until that time skateboarding had been allowed in many public spaces. The police sort of let it go on. The public had no problems. The great spots were a free reign for skaters the world over. That doesn't mean the there wasn't the occasional police raid. MacBa or the Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona Is a super popular spot for skaters. It would get cleaned out by police from time to time.

The Government was passing a law that would make skateboarding illegal and subject to fines everywhere. The law covered a lot of different public activities and skateboarding was one of them.

The skaters were ready to strike back and march to protest.I joined a group of hundreds skaters mounting a protest. We met at a plaza near a university and travelled as a Critical Mass of skateboarders. Critical Mass is a gathering of cyclists to ride the city streets in a large group. They "take over" the street and show that they belong there and need more awareness of the need for bike friendly corridors.

We did it as skateboarders. Through rush hour traffic down a main street to a central area of the city called Universitat a famous skateboard spot. We rode in solidarity.

It was an amazing experience to feel so close with many people of whom I did not even share a language. We travelled through red lights and busy streets blocking traffic and making our presence known. The sound of thousands of skateboard wheels rolling all at once was awesome.

To look forward and back ward and see only skateboarders filling the streets was something I will never forget.

I was lucky to be there at that time

It was fun to be there. I skated and partied a lot on that trip and it was amazing. We lived up to the independent attitude that is commonly pinned on skaters.

In the end it turns out that the law was passed but the police never really enforced it.

Look here for a great Spanish website site about skateboarding in Spain.

Barcelona Skateboarding Rocks!

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