Adidas’ SAMBA Doc Captures Shanghai’s Skate Scene

The short doc by Roni Shao gives audiences a peek inside a world of skaters, and skate videographers

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5:37 PM HKT, Fri October 20, 2023

A new short documentary offers an intimate look at Shanghai’s thriving skateboarding culture through the lens of the city's skate videographers.

SAMBA, directed by Roni Shao and sponsored by Adidas Originals, features plenty of skate clips and casual moments, as well as interviews with skaters and videographers who are documenting the evolution of Shanghai’s scene.

As a Shanghai native who’s close to the community, it’s a meaningful story for Shao.

“This is the skate film I’m doing for my brothers only,” he posted on Instagram. “From LOVEPARK to ANRAYA, you guys have been establishing a skate empire in China. The legend goes on, and the family always stays the same.”

The short video captures camaraderie among the city’s core group of skaters and videographers, exploring how skate culture in China has progressed over time, with fashion and aesthetics becoming increasingly important creative components.

“A long time ago in the 90s, or even earlier, when we went skateboarding, skaters didn't really care about their looks,” says skater Xu Zhao. “We dressed randomly. But now when we watch a video, we might say, ‘wow bro, you look good!’”

For an authentic snapshot of China’s skate scene, give SAMBA a watch.

Cover image via SAMBA

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