The city of Barcelona nowadays is known as “the skate capital of the world”, due to its modern and highly skate-friendly infrastructure. Some current skaters joke about how the local decision makers over the past years had to be skate fanatics, because of the many miles of flat asphalt, smooth tiled squares, and endless opportunities to perform tricks in perfectly built public spaces, parks, boulevards and playgrounds.
The city was not always like this. In fact, skating in Catalunya started outside of its capital, in the first official skate park of Spain, Arenys de Munt, initiated in 1979 by Kim Roig, and built by the skaters themselves. Roig had travelled through France to do research on skate parks, where skate culture had arrived from the United States in the early 70’s, and he was also the founder of Spain’s first official skate organization, Skate Club Catalunya. Only a year after the Skate Club Catalunya was founded, the province now had its own skate park and skating started to get very popular in a high tempo. The new sport was commercialized quickly by corporations, many brands in clothes, boards and merchandise were born, and the skate culture was used in advertising as well.
Skatepark Arenys de Munt became a breeding place of skate talent, but also a central place for sports fairs, exhibitions on the culture, regional tournaments, and the park where the first Open Championship was held, and international tournament, also in 1979.
From 1979 until the early 80’s, skating in that era was at its peak, and but decreased highly in popularity after 1986, only to be practiced by a few hardcore skaters. A global decrease in popularity in skating also occurred in Catalunya, it was used less and less in advertising. It begins to be considered dangerous and is virtually banned in Spain and is no longer considered “fashionable”, like many temporary hypes. The new generation hardly practiced it and skating is no longer as popular as in the years before. Even the skate park Arenys de Munt was visited by less and less skaters, and the Skate Club Catalunya seized to exist shortly after.