When we flew to China we arrived at Shanghai airport as two tourists, my travel companion had been to the “People’s Republic of China” before but it was my first time in Asia. I didn’t know what we were in for but I was down to experience it all, we both wanted to see as much as possible.
We had brought along the perfect tool for that, an old Digital 8 “tourist style” handy cam. Armed with both the “handy cam” and our boards we chose to visit not only the Vans Park Series but everything else that Suzhou, Jiangsu and the Chinese people had to offer us.
First off, I have some information for you, “the internet” is not the same in the PRC, no Facebook, Instagram or even Google! This was at times a big plus because instead of looking down to our devices we looked up into the somewhat smog-filled part of the world we were in.
Secondly, we didn’t want to spend all our time at the hotel or at the event. “When in Rome” you don’t just want to stay inside the Coliseum, right? So one-day Oski (bless his heart) managed to get us some free (complimentary) bikes and we were off into the weird wilderness of China’s concrete jungle.
Now, we were two white guys. Normally that is not a big deal but we were in a part of China that did not have many westerners in it. This Caused us to become somewhat of a circus show at times. People wanted to skype their families together with us, stared without shame, took “secret” pictures and the biggest bonus, they allowed us to go and see and do everything. Nobody told us no! We went into temples, factories, sweatshops and “fake supreme shops” all with our “tourist camera” in hand.
That brings me to my second to last point:
Environmental groups are not completely against dams. We approve of appropriate development.
Ma Jun, Chinese environmentalist.
Now after reading this quote you might be confused about the link to the Vans Park Series right? Well, there is no link other than that we put a large percentage of “random” quotes in this video. Not normal quotes (spoken ones) but quotes printed on various pieces of clothing.
We found these quotes (in a store that sold fakes) that seemed random and were often badly spelled and connected them to our experiences in Suzhou. So instead of trying to make sense of the quote at the top of this article just know it is a random quote we found and used, in a similar way as all the others you will see in our video.
A small example of what we found.
Finally, if that didn’t convince you to watch the video let me assure you that we have included some great moves by people like Romand Pabich, Oskar (Oski) Rozenberg-Hallberg, Brighton Zeuner, Kokona Hiraki and a dancing, screaming but overall ripping Pedro Barros. Press play and enjoy the ride!
Remember those Vogue skateboard magazine t-shirts, the one with the Thrasher font? Well, there might be more truth to that shirt than we thought because they just released a really good article about the rise of women in skateboarding. Here is a part of the article
“In 2005, the Action Sports Alliance staged a women’s boycott of the X Games until pay and media coverage were improved. A year later, they landed a meeting with John Skipper, then president of ESPN, who agreed he would bring the women’s prize winnings up every year until it was equal to the men’s earnings. “He was true to his word,” says Knoop. In 2008, the women and men’s champions both took home $40,000. “And it’s been equal ever since.””
Written by Mackenzie Wagoner
If that sparks your interest please click this link to read the full thing.
Photo by Arto Saari.