If you mention Antwerp, chances are people will talk about diamonds, biscuits or it being Europe’s second biggest harbour; but Belgium’s most populous city also has a deep skating heritage.
The first ever European to grace the cover of Thrasher (October ‘85) was Antwerp’s Bruno Peeters. Then came the Air Attack contests back in the late 80’s, featuring talents like Hosoi, Ventura and local ripper Robby Weber. Nowadays the Antwerp skate contest takes place every August on the city’s most iconic street spot: the Theatre Plaza (Theaterplein), drawing some of Europe’s most talented riders like local Phil Zwijsen.
Antwerp is definitely a city to visit as a skateboarder, with two world- class concrete parks built by Team Pain, a street plaza in the middle of the city park, and the Spoor Noord skatepark, a massive bowl with vert sections and a huge cradle, as well as a replica backyard pool.
Park skating is far from being the only option though, the streets of Antwerp have many spots to offer, from the Justice Hall banks to the harbour area, there is something for all abilities and tastes.
If you’re in need of a new board or just want some information, make sure to visit one of the city’s skateshops - One Love, Real Deal or Lockwood, which actually just celebrated its 15th anniversary with the release of a book of photos from another local personality, former Deathbox rider and noted photographer Davy Van Laere.
Plan your trip to Belgium now and put Antwerp as a must visit: friendly people, amazing beer, mussels and chips, good street spots and concrete parks all over the place - what more could you ask for?