Latin America’s skating scenes are thriving – even in places where it’s tough to find boards and skateparks are unkempt (or non-existent). In homage to these diverse communities, Nike is kicking off a skateboarding roadshow that will bring some of their top riders to Latin American cities along the Pan American Highway for exhibitions alongside local pro and amateur skaters.
The tour, which starts tomorrow, will hit Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Lima, and México City, and feature Paul Rodriguez, Luan Oliveira, Ishod Wair, Shane O’Neill, Youness Amrani, Theotis Beasley and Karsten Kleppan, among others. The whole thing culminates in a big bash in the the skateboarding mecca of LA. Below, learn a little more about the most iconic skate locations in these regions — and if you’re in LA, stop by the final show!
Roosevelt /Largo da Batata, Sao Paulo -- October 4
Located in the heart of the west side of São Paulo, Largo da Batata (which roughly translates to “potato square”) was once a plaza where potato venders congregated to sell. After the vendors moved on to a different square, a desolate space was left behind — with no benches to sit on, or trees to lounge beneath, the plaza wasn’t a particularly inviting public space, and it languished unused. But this wide open space is exactly what made it inviting to skaters, who began flocking there to skate on the relatively smooth stones. Plaza Roosevelt is similarly appealing — its smooth tile and abundance of handrails to do tricks on have made it a skating center.
Tecnópolis, Buenos Aires -- October 6
Over the past three years, Buenos Aires’ skate scene has blown up, with more than 20 public skateparks built. Tecnópolis, which was built in 2011, has since become a hub and hangout for Porteño skaters, and has even hosted international skateboarding competitions.
Coliseo Mariscal Cáceres, Lima -- October 8
This one is an interesting choice, since Lima has more traditional skatepark spaces, including the one Converse built two years ago (the first large scale professional skatepark to come to Lima). But I guess brand conflicts steered Nike toward Coliseo Mariscal Cáceres, an indoor arena in Chorrillos. On the plus side, it has a capacity of 7000, which means any and all will be welcome.
Templo Mayor, México City -- October 10
The Templo Mayor skatepark is one of Nike’s own, the result of a collaboration between NIKE SB and local government. It is the first ever street league certified skatepark outside of the United States, and features some pretty awesome aztec-influenced artwork — including a specially commissioned sculpture by artist Luis Ponce.
Lincoln Park, Los Angeles -- October 11
Lincoln Heights is the old stomping grounds of Skate All Cities, and in 2011 the NIKE SB team and Paul Rodriguez brought a legit skatepark to the neighborhood. Hubba ledges, rails, a mini double-set, a flatbar and a Euro gap make this a great place for skaters interested in street obstacles.