Filmmaker Charles Lanceplaine offers a backstage pass to the Chinese skate scene.
LONG RAILS, plentiful ledges, and miles of smooth marble. Factor in a convenient transit system and cops that are happy to watch you skate, and Shanghai seems like it was built for skateboarding.
Yet, the skate scene in Shanghai is in its relative infancy.
Charles Lanceplaine has been documenting China’s emerging skateboarding culture for the last two years, starting with the release of Shanghai 5. The film showcases some of the nearly limitless potential of a city built out of stone, tile, and amphitheater-style benches.
“For your ledge skateboarder, it’s heaven,” pro skater Brian Smith says in the film. “There’s just ledges everywhere. The marble keeps going. It’s never-ending.”
The film doesn’t just showcase Shanghai’s urban skate-topia. Local skaters and skate-industry pros narrate their favorite things about the city, from the punk culture of Love Park to the ease of getting around by grabbing the backs of passing motorcycles. One thing many of the skateboarders also point to is the rise of skate culture in general, including growing acceptance from Chinese society.
“I hope that in the future more and more people will start skating,” pro skater Boss Xie W.K. says. “Come skate with us. Chill.”