5 Amazing Skate Spots in South America
After its Southern California rebirth in the 1970s, the art of skateboarding exploded. Videos of the Z-Boys escaped beyond the bounds of the U.S. and eventually made its way into cultures everywhere. In later years, South America became home to multiple skate hubs, and today many of its countries host competitions and tours regularly. Wondering what the skate scene looks like below the equator? Check out these spots you have to visit on a board.
Mar del Plata, Argentina
This coastal city is a mecca for street skaters. Mar del Plata saw the first of Argentina’s skaters in the 1970s, during which Pablo “Tatú” Martinez, Marcelo “Mosca” Bejanele, Ivan Damico and Luis Kretschmann ran the scene. Today, it’s still known as one of the most skateable cities in Latin America. Super smooth transitions and skateable pavements run the length of the shoreline overlooking the beach. Multiple skateparks dot the city, including an indoor park for skating on rainy days.
While the city is often dwarfed by Machu Picchu located just 300 miles east, Lima is also an unexpectedly big skate scene. Smooth ledges and classic 5-stairs dot the city with incredible views of the beach. If you’re willing to fight the crowds, Mira Flores Skatepark is built on the cliffside overlooking the ocean, and more parks are being built all the time.
While Medellin is not the only city in Colombia that’s ideal for skateboarding, its well-designed skateparks and countless plazas make it a goldmine for traveling skaters. Unlike many other skate cities around the globe, Colombian skate culture still has that underground outlaw vibe that was prevalent in North America during the late 20th century. In fact, local skaters are so dedicated that it’s not uncommon to see broken boards in full-use at the skatepark.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Off the coast of Ecuador lies a chain of islands that doesn’t frequently show up on most “must-skate” lists. But while the skate scene is heavy on the mainland, the Galapagos Islands offer tons of open plazas that are great for skating without the crowds. Just a short flight away is Quito, Ecuador’s capital and a city that offers an unusual challenge. With an altitude of almost 10,000 feet, skating becomes incredibly difficult, making aerials a bigger accomplishment than you’d imagine.
Brazil has long been one of the major cities for skate, but this haven is the golden city for bowl skaters. Pros like Christian Hosoi, Steve Caballero and others have made their mark on the famous backyard bowl of Pedro Barros. Plus, tons of other pools — both public and underground — are scattered around the area.
Credit: Photo on Pixabay
- Outdoors Staff