Nowadays, there are apps for every aspect of your life, especially when it comes to fitness and sports lifestyle. There are running apps like Strava, which not only tracking your day to day workout performance, but also allow other like-minded runners to connect and build communities; through the app you can get notified of when, where and with whom, your friend went for a run. When it came to skateboarding, this element of real time online connectivity was still missing. The most tried and true method of building communities in the skate scene is just finding skate spots/skate parks. At least in your own city, you will be able to connect with other skaters who skate the usual hometown spots, but once you leave your home turf, it gets tricky and complicated. While exploring the unknown is a huge part of skateboarding, there are times you just spend too long on Google Maps searching for the spot, only to arrive frustrated and with thirty minutes of sunlight left. This was a problem for many skaters who ventured out to new areas. Up until now, with the Shinner app, that was created 2021 by a crew of guys who saw a digital void in skateboarding and decided to do something about it. Similar to other apps, Shinner has also implemented functions to allow the connectivity of a skateboarding community.
Danijel Stankovic, Co-Founder of Shinner, said in a Solo Skateboard Mag Interview: “I always had this joke with Shinner that if Chuck Norris knew about it he would call it a “digital Swiss army knife” for skateboarding.”
Just recently, we headed out for one week to skate Barcelona and Copenhagen and tested the app (which is free and without advertisements) to get an understanding of the features the Shinner App can offer to the skateboarding community.
A key feature of Shinner app is a simple but very comprehensive spot map. Finding skateparks on Google is easy, but finding street spots can be an impossible mission. Having one central app showing a full breadth of spots in different categories (Ledges, Tables, Banks, Gaps, etc.) has been missing for years. The main advantage is having one app with spots all over the world, where everyone can contribute to building out the spot list and add new spots wherever they live. Next to spots there is also the option to add Skateshops which are usually the best and first contact of connecting to a scene. The “spot adder” can upload pictures, tricks and detailed descriptions, such as the best times to skate the spot. Once you find a spot through the app, Shinner is able to provide a route to get to the spot.
We traveled with a group of friends across multiple countries in Europe and made sure to hit up Barcelona and Copenhagen for the recent CPH Open. When it comes to these famous skate cities, it’s quite easy to find the notorious spots on the map, but Shinner came in handy in finding those less known skate spots that are hidden gems. The app helped a lot to cut back time on finding spots, which allowed us to have more time to skate. One of the perks of Shinner was that it had hidden, “locals only” spots in a lot of nearby smaller cities.
For those who are using Shinner back home, you can check your local area and scout spots you did not know about or were even forgotten. This gives you a chance to hit up spots and connecting to scenes that are close by that you haven’t even been to before. Furthermore, an awesome feature of the Shinner App is the “Spot Randomizer”. If you live in a city with too many spots or are always going to the same spots and getting tired of it, the Spot Randomizer randomly selects a spot for you, and perhaps one that you may have forgotten about. When it comes to meeting on a Saturday with friends, the Spot Randomizer decides the spot for you, gets you out of our usual routine and lets you explore spots you have not skated in a while.
The spot map is the core feature of the app and is absolutely amazing; it not only helps you find specific spots you want to skate but also drives you to explore and connect with skate scenes in your proximity that you otherwise would oversee.
When it comes to connecting with your local scene or even meeting new scenes from different cities, the Shinner app also features an separate event page that keeps the community updated on upcoming events and programming. Besides the obligatory Go Skateboarding Day Event, the app also shows other events like CPH Open, or even branded events. Not everyone can travel to CPH Open, so some Shinner events are accessible both virtually and locally.
The Event feature from Shinner is simple but powerful. The existence of one platform that host events or challenges can bring some spice to the sometimes boring local skatepark session. Features like spot hunts or uploading tricks and having a chance to win prizes, is just a way of adding some fun to skateboarding. Through these events, Shinner is not only fostering a close-knit scene but also offering an experience to complete challenges and adding an element of credibility to connect skateboarders globally.
The final feature of Shinner we mentioned in this intro, is the Feed. It is basically a collaborative platform to share spots, tricks and to let your friends know when you go skating. Every time you upload a spot or video of you or your friends doing a trick, it shows up on the Feed. It’s a platform where you can also share your skateboarding session, apart from the ads and spam on Instagram. One key element of the feed is the Go! Skate Button. You can Go Live! and share with your friends when you go skating and where, if they end up meeting a bit later. The Feed is basically keeping you up to date but also a source of inspiration that pushes you to see new spots and tricks and meet new skate homies that also use Shinner.
The Shinner App has key features such as the Spot Map, Event Page and Community Feed tool that are huge pluses in minimizing your time in finding spots and connecting with skateboarders globally. The app is free, and we definitely recommend downloading it if you’re curious of other spots/skaters around your area and join events. The Shinner team is adding on features constantly and are also open for feedback, so leave your ideas in the comments below or directly on the Shinner app.
P.S. we heard rumors about a hunt, Searching for Animal “Shins”. Get the app, search the “shins” – they might be useful in the future.