(From The Spothunter's Guide to Zhengzhou, from The Skateboard Mag issue #155. Available here!)
People in my normal life are always asking me why I keep disappearing to China. I usually mumble something about marble being cheaper for the Chinese than plywood (a fact I have heard several times but cannot confirm) and then quickly change the subject. But the truth is that China allows you to live out your wildest skateboarding fantasies: passers-by who completely ignore you or treat you with a kind of polite fascination; friendly, encouraging security guards; and cities of marble, sprawling endlessly. None of these are groundbreaking revelations for anyone who has been paying attention to skateboarding in the last ten years; skating trips to China have cycled from being exotic adventures to a tired clichés. But what is less well-documented is that there are handfuls of Chinese metropolises that have never been explored by skateboarders.
Jake Darwen and I are constantly involved in all kinds of DMs with a revolving cast, trying to fill two to three Chinese taxis with our friends to explore some city we’ve never heard of in order to wander around looking for things to ride our skateboards on. Most of the time these trips die before they’re born, but this past April the stars aligned and we found ourselves descending over the uncomfortably rural-looking outskirts of Zhengzhou, an emerging transport hub in central China. —Paul Battlay
Video features Max Couling, Paul Battlay, Tully West, Che Lin, Adam Davies, Jarrad Carlin, and Jake Darwen.
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