Marek Zaprazny Explains Why Barcelona Hosts Street League Skateboarding
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Marek Zaprazny Explains Why Barcelona Hosts Street League Skateboarding

We asked pro skater and Barcelona resident Marek Zaprazny what draws the world's best skateboarders to the city year after year.
May 24, 2017, 11:41am

Photos by Daryl Mersom

Monster Energy girls, a largely American roster of the world's top skateboarders, and the humble demands of 2 Chainz, who raps: "All I want for my birthday is a big booty ho."

At the Barcelona leg of Street League 2017 we experience skateboarding as an American export: dripping with machismo and packaged into competition form.

This environment makes for a ridiculously high level of athleticism, and offers a glimpse at what Olympic skateboarding might look like – though surely we are to expect more female competitors?

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So why pick Barcelona for this particularly American brand of competitive skateboarding? We sat down with Marek Zaprazny, a Slovakia-born pro skater who has lived in the city for some time, to find out what draws the world's best skateboarders to Barcelona each year.

Top three spots to skate that aren't MACBA (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art)?

These manual ledges at Forum, then the Badalona ledges here are dope, too. And for the third one, I just go to the streets. Paral-lel is not how it used to be so I don't go there often. Universitat is fun but there's a lot of people so you have to go at night.

Top three spots to eat?
I like Japanese, then Koku Kitchen Ramen on Carrer d'en Carabassa, and then Tacos Tacos on Carrer de Tapioles – it's close to Paral-lel. They have this offer Monday and Tuesday, tacos for one euro – everybody should go!

Top three ways to live cheap?
There are restaurants that on different week days have offers, so Monday and Tuesday is Tacos Tacos, then Thursday is The Good Burger – they make dope-ass burgers, small ones but it's two for one on Thursday. If you go to Boqueria Market any day of the week except Sunday, around 8pm you can buy fruit and smoothies for one euro because they are getting rid of it. You go there with three euros and you're going to end up with a full bag.

Top three places to meet people?
Pretty much everybody goes to MACBA, Paral-lel, and Universitat – they are the three main spots. Sants used to have the tables but they took them out, and people stopped going there. They want to build a new park for people, with a skatepark in the corner. It's going to suck though; it's not going to be how it used to be.

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Top three Barcelona-based brands?
3rd Floor Hardware, [which is] a bolts company. Free Wifi – that one is super dope – they are doing a bunch of cool stuff like clothes and videos. There is a [friend of mine who has] a good bearing company, Mosaic. I don't skate for them but it's a cool company and a good product, too. I will be hyped if they come up a little bit.

Top three skaters to watch out for?
Definitely Brayan Albarenga – this dude is fucking insane, he's a kid from MACBA. Then another one of his homies, Pedro Attenborough. They skate together.

Top three video parts filmed in Barcelona?
All of Javier's parts are insane. Daniel Lebron and Jesus Fernandez – I love to watch these guys skating. I have respect for what people have done, you know. I appreciate it.

Top three tricks to have gone down in Barcelona?
There is so much heavy stuff, then like tech stuff, it's hard to say. People fucked up that double set at Gorg. Then at MACBA, Joslin did the back bigspin over the trashcan. Javier fucked up the ledge so bad like 15 years ago.

Top three things that aren't so good about Barcelona?
In the summer it gets full of tourists, it's insane. It gets hot as shit as well. The stealing thing sucks, too.

Street League will now continue, with stops in Munich and Chicago, and a final event in Los Angeles.