We all know about China's fastest-growing economy, its sometimes tepid relationship with the U.S., and the country's harsh treatment of activists and dissidents, but who knew it was such a great place to skate? Rodriguez recently went on a trip to the port city of Shenzhen. "Everything is made of marble – the ground, the ledges, the stairwells – so the whole city is one big skatepark," he says. "Marble is cheaper than plywood, apparently." The choicest spot is a series of marble waves in a park downtown. Surprisingly, authorities rarely crack down on skateboarders. "They don't even know what to make of skateboarding," Rodriguez says. "They just think, 'Who are these crazy Americans throwing themselves down stairs?'" [Downtown Shenzhen, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China]
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