SYCLD (So You Can Longboard Dance) is the biggest longboard freestyle and dancing competition of the year. It has grown so much that it is now regarded as the World Cup for longboard freestyle and dancing. The success of the event has attracted people from all over the globe, including Gravity-X of China. Together with the organizers of SYCLD, they brought the event to China this past Fall, and the Paris Trucks Team got a front row seat to all the action.
We arrived in Shanghai the day before the event and immediately after settling into our hotel, headed over to the competition venue. Located on one of the upper floors of a giant parking garage, the area seemed a little small for the 700 riders who were registered for the event. Apparently, it was virtually impossible to find a bigger space due to the very strict rules given by Chinese authorities.
“The crowd grew until almost 200 people were all watching and applauding after each trick was landed.”
We spent the rest of our day skating at one of the main longboarding spots in Shanghai and were stoked to join local riders in a game of S.K.A.T.E. Passerbys stopped to watch as our game turned into an impromptu demo lasting well over an hour. The crowd grew until almost 200 people were all watching and applauding after each trick was landed. It was a good audience and a nice warm up for the upcoming contest!
The following two days were dedicated to the main event. We arrived early the first morning and were shocked by the number of people waiting to get in inside SYCLD. Squeezing through the throngs of skaters, we made it to our booth and were immediately bombarded by riders asking for our autographs. It was a bit overwhelming but made us feel like total rock stars.
Like the China Longboard Carnival in Beijing the previous year, the SYCLD China crowd was massive. The Asian longboarding scene has grown quickly, and this year the Korean riders in attendance swept the podium in the Sponsored Men category. Kim Bum Seok, took 3rd place in the main contest, 2nd in Best Trick and 1st in Best G-turn earning him the overall title of Best Asian Rider as well as a spot on the Paris Trucks Team. Kate Voynova took the top spot on the women’s podium placing 1st! Lotfi Lamaali also took 1st place in the Hippie Jump, and Andrei Churakov finished 2nd in Best G-turn.
"Wherever we went there was a security guard that shooed us away in a foreign language. Although we didn’t understand what they said we got the message."
The days following the SYCLD event were spent skating with locals at the Longboard Space skate shop, filming together, and exploring the city. We quickly found out that skating in Shanghai can be tricky. Wherever we went there was a security guard that shooed us away in a foreign language. Although we didn’t understand what they said we got the message. We were able to get some shots, but had to take a bit more incognito approach, quietly making our way to each spot, getting the shot and disappearing before we were caught.
Overall, the trip was amazing! Great city, incredible people and fantastic (and HUGE!) longboard scene. Special thanks to the event organizers, and all the staff from SYCLD and Gravity-X for making it all happen. It was an unbelievable experience for all of us and and we hope to return to China again soon!