Skateboarding readings of space

The other day I mentioned this short article I wrote in JCDecaux trend report. It was about how skateboarders "read" space, make decision about where they do skateboard or to hang out with peers. In a sense, it's about "social navigation" and what sort of "footprints in the snow" matter for skateboarders. I dug up some examples from my city ventures below. Choosing a skateboard spot according to the physical aspect of the place

For instance, in Niteroi (Brasil), that curved sidewalk is definitely an invitation to skate it: skateboarding spot

This bench in Z├╝rich (Switzerland) is also an obvious point of interest (from the physical point of view) but the presence of wax also attests that OTHERS are using it as a spot. The place can also be more than a physical spot as the presence of wax indicates it marking by a community. It reveals the appropriation by a click of skateboarders (and the likelihood to find them here on saturday afternoon) Waxed area for sk8

Skatespot approval or how places are validated for certain activities

This "thumb-up" stickers found in front the of the University of Geneva indicates the approval of the spot by a community of skater (in that case a local shop/community):

Skatespot approval

Skateboard map

The usual paper map, for example in Lyon (France) found in a shop called Wallstreet, that depicts interesting spots to do skateboarding:

Lyon skateboarding spot map

And of course, there is an on-line/participatory version, named freeyourspot, see the example of London (which not really reveal about skateboarding potential there):

Why do I blog this? of course one could use lots of other examples but I find skateboarders a very interesting target group to study spatial behavior, and how they use various techniques (from wax to participatory websites or cell phones). In this post, I tried to update some examples of how skateboarders read/navigate in space.

I find them really interesting examples IMHO of what some would refer to as "situated technologies".