A skateboard might not be the first thing you reach for when you’re packing for your travels but really it should be. Plenty of people don’t let their board leave their side on an adventure because the world is full of incredible places to skate.
Whether it’s for a cruise through the city, some mellow downhill in the forests, or slashing banks at a local park, there’s no better way to explore a new place and see the adventure in every street, park, rail and pavement.
This is especially true because it’s such a global community. Even if you can’t speak the language, when you meet other skaters your board will do the talking.
A brand like Arbor are all about community. Since 1995, they’ve been making snow- and skateboards and meeting the needs of professionals and commuters alike without costing them the earth. Back in the day, people would call them ‘that hippy brand’ and mean it in a negative way, but now their recycling, waste reduction and re-wilding are being properly valued in the scene in the way the boards themselves are.
One of their latest artist collaborations is with Jess Mudgett. Hailing from Colorado, Jess’ art is inspired by the spirit of the wild west and champions the region’s heritage. It also makes for some pretty cool looking boards.
We’ve teamed up with Arbor and Jess to show you the best places in the world to cruise or kick flip with one of their Jess Mudgett collection boards.
Vietnam, like a lot of countries in the South East Asia region, has a big park culture. Strolling around even the smallest city park means dodging tai chi demonstrations, Zumba classes, badminton matches, and, of course, skateboarders.
Though the hectic streets that double as car parks don’t make Ho Chi Minh the best place to get around by board, once you’re in one of the city’s many public parks, it’s a paradise.
Skaters constantly talk about how welcoming the local community is, inviting them back to skate, listen to music and have a few drinks in the city’s hidden spots.
The Sizzler is the perfect board for a city like Ho Chi Minh. It’s compact enough to transport around the hustle and bustle and can make a fully-fledged skate park out of the most improvised infrastructure.
California has one of the biggest skating scenes in the world, with LA being a cradle of skateboarding. With a little more rain and a lot more hills, the nearby San Francisco is the perfect place to try out a board like the Axis.
Inspired by snowboards, it handles the legendary hills of the City by the Bay with ease. From the straight hills where Steve McQueen filmed Bullit to the slalom that it Lombard Avenue, San Fran is the place to go with a drop-through longboard.
Brazil’s Rio De Janeiro is on most skaters’ bucket lists. With cycle paths and pavements stretching the length of the city’s beaches, it might be the most stunning location for cruising in the world.
The beaches are also bursting with music, art and fun so you could spend a whole day on the popular path from Copacabana to Ipanema Beach. Get involved with some volleyball, sample some chicharron or samba ‘til the sun goes down on your way through.
Another highly recommended spot is the Aterro Do Flamengo park. This gorgeous green space on the coast has loads of weird and wonderfully shaped paths for carving and a thriving cruiser scene.
The Pocket Rocket, a stashable mini-cruiser, is the perfect board for Rio because it’s small, light, and easy to transport the potentially long-distance to Brazil. It can also handle all the pressures of a metropolis like Rio with snappy turns and quick manoeuvring.
Whistler, Canada, is the former host of the Whistler Longboard World Cup. Could you find better runs for a board like the Fish?
This stunning Winter Olympic park has all the best of the Canadian wilderness, including towering fir trees and tumbling waterfalls right on the side of the mountain roads. Although the Canadian climate isn’t known for being a skater’s dream, the thriving community makes up for every drop of rain
The Fish is perfect for the long sweeping bends in the roads, and will perform equally well on flat land once you’re back in town.
Barcelona is the capital of European skating and for good reason. Anywhere along the waterfront you’ll find very smooth paths to cruise and natural features to enjoy. The heart of the city also feels like it was designed to get around by board.
The Pilsner is a fun, functional cruiser that will allow you to navigate these twists and turns whilst admiring the art that abounds in this creative hub. Parc Güell and its colourful mosaics is a great place to start a downhill cruise into the city and to the water. Your Jess Mudgett board will fit right into a city so dedicated to its art.
Has a skateboard gone straight to the top of your ‘to pack’ list? Check out Arbor’s Jess Mudgett collection at www.arborcollective.com.