Aranya’s Grand Masters Festival Attracts Skateboarders from Across Asia

Organized by Avenue & Son, the Qinhuangdao festival is cementing its place on the calendars of pro skaters and boardsport enthusiasts

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After its successful inaugural edition last year, skate festival Grand Masters returned to the resort community of Aranya in Qinhuangdao, Hebei province, from July 5 to July 10. Presented by Shanghai skate brand Avenue & Son, the six day festival is one of Asia’s largest international skateboard competitions as well as a huge celebration of street culture. The competition attracted more than 110 elite contestants across Asia, skating in street and bowl styles. Besides skateboarding, Grand Masters 2024 also featured a 5v5 soccer tournament, breakdancing, and tennis.


Grand Master Posters


Best known for its district of Beidaihe, a resort town where China’s leaders gather each summer, Qinhuangdao actually has decades of skateboarding history. International skaters including Steve Caballero visited the city in the 1990s, and Powell Skateboards briefly ran a store there. Since then, skateboarding has grown across China, and continued to thrive in Qinhuangdao.


Meanwhile, Aranya, a culture-focused resort community in a southern suburb of the city, has increasingly become an in-demand site for art and culture festivals attracting out-of-town crowds. The community first gained widespread attention in 2015 when a video about its library, “The Loneliest Library in the Whole of China,” went viral on Chinese social media, garnering more than one billion views. In recent years, Aranya and its unique architectural environment have hosted events including fashion shows and theater and music festivals, including an annual party by Zhaodai, one of Beijing’s leading techno clubs.


Skate park


As such, skateboarding is one of many subcultures that have found a home in Qinhuangdao. With the only skate park so far in China that aligns to the Olympic standard, Aranya is the perfect site for Grand Masters, and promises to be the venue of choice for international skateboard events in the Chinese mainland going forward.


The finals for Grand Masters 2024 go down at 3 pm on July 10. A livestream can be found at kickerclub.com.


All images by Handuo Sun.



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