It all started in the scarier hours of the night, when it gets very cold and humid. It was such a long time ago that Jesus wasn’t even born yet. He was actually not to be born for another couple centuries! Dark times, I’m telling you. That night, as the stars were shining over what was soon going to be called Burdigalia by the Romans, the founders of that little port -a Celtic tribe coming from the north of what would one day become France- all gathered around a big fire. The “Bituriges Vivisques”, as historians would one day fondly remember them as, had an ugly business to do. But, hey, there’s no such thing as tin business…
Red wine and fine skating
Got you worried for a sec’, uh!? You envisioned yourself embarked in a five thousand plus words lyrical odyssey about a French town you only know of because it seems to embody the making of fine red wine. Or, even better, you probably have never even heard of it because you are young enough to drink carbonated sodas only, and your parents are crass enough to believe there is no such thing better tasting than beer in tall metal cans… well, I’ll try to save you from the cultural verbiage and go straight to the point: the shredding! Hmm? The schralping! Uh? Ok, the nollie flips…
Jacques Chaban-Delmas, a partisan hero during the Second World War, had been elected in 1946 and was still holding the reins almost fifty years after. Bordeaux’s inhabitants could feel they needed something new, and voted for a new Mayor in 1995. Alain Juppé quickly put the old lady on a heavy diet, and Bordeaux has since been going through major changes, one being the return to an old favourite: the tram! For the past couple years, Bordeaux has been one mess of a traffic jam, so a whole new grid of tramway lines had to be set up. And, yes, the social-economic expert in you knows what road renewing, plaza redoing and a general street- lifting brings: spots! Lots of them, plus a quick way to get there… In virtually two years, the new generation of skaters received a reward for their years of polishing their skills on one dying marble plaza and a metal skatepark by the river: a whole new town of some sort.
It was pretty common knowledge that the city offered a great plaza.
Bordeaux has virtually turned overnight into a new Mecca for skateboarding.
A local board company even grew on those newly fertile grounds. Opus ended up being short lived, but it still united even more a scene that was now booming. Bordeaux now has a lot to skate, including a second skatepark along the river again, but this time in the shade and way more contemporary. Look at the photos and realize they show more than the best skaters of one town. They also feature fifteen years of skateboarding in Bordeaux, as some of those actually have witnessed, and survived it all. Still doing it. Still growing. You’re just never too old to better yourself, even as a city.
Bordeaux has virtually turned overnight into a new Mecca for skateboarding. It will never be The Mecca, but it is now known as a good place to go, and meet good people. Be aware it wasn’t such an easy change, and nothing is either black or white, though. And enjoy the best part of Bordeaux now: its people and their diversity, not its spots.