As previous posts have suggested, there are hordes of people in Shanghai at the moment. Clearly, however, there aren’t too many Shanghaiist contributors around — it’s all quiet on the eastern front.
Like many foreigners living in Shanghai, they’ve probably scarpered off for an extended break from work. And while we’d usually be green with envy to be stuck here, we actually don’t envy them one little bit (particularly not the two who are currently in Fujian Province dodging this thing).
Reason? They’re all going to miss the opening of the world’s largest skate park — here in Shanghai — scheduled for October 6-7.
The Shanghai New Jiangwan City SMP Skateboard Park, covering an area of 27,000 square metres — three times the size of the current “world’s largest” in the US — will kick off with the SMP Gravity Shanghai Showdown, an extreme sports tournament for inline skating, BMX bike riding and, of course, skateboarding. The two-day event will also feature freestyle motorbike racing and live bands.
Sounds good, particularly as the park has received rave reviews, not least for its monstrous half-pipe, 40 metres in length and 4.1 metres in diameter.
On the other hand, not all locals are busting their guts to get to Jiangwan.
“The big-name competitions and castle-like skateparks may be good for sponsors but not skaters,” says Leo Tong, a local amateur inline skater who prefers to do his tricks on the stairs at People’s Square. “The essence of the sport is to do it in your own way and do it on something that doesn’t look like it’s meant for skating. That’s what the originality of the sport is all about.”
And while we’re on the topic of originality in skating, we’re wondering what happened to Danny Way’s plan to leap across Suzhou Creek on four wheels. It was suggested earlier in the year that Way would attempt to supplement his successful Great Wall skateboarding conquest with a death-defying jump across Shanghai’s Suzhou Creek.
Perhaps Way took one look at the watercourse and was put off by the thought of landing in the boggy drink. Much nastier than wiping out on one of the concrete towers of the Great Wall.
Details of the Shanghai Showdown are proving elusive, though there are scraps of information here.
Image from www.skateboarding.com