No skate park in your town? Or maybe there is one, but you’re just getting started and don’t necessarily want everyone to see you learning the ropes? Not to worry–you can still do all the tricks you dream of, you may just have to think outside the box.
- Be Creative
The world is your skate park! For most skate tricks, what you need is a run-up and a landing. A loading dock has both those things. So does a staircase. So does a raised planter, a concrete park bench, and lots of common architectural features. Schools, banks, stores, parking lots, parks, downtown areas, docks, underneath bridges, and more, all usually have these things. Looking for a half-pipe? If you’re lucky enough to have a (dry) drainage ditch or swimming pool in your area, you’re in luck. Just getting started? A simple curb and crosswalk ramp can get you started on basic jumps. Get used to looking at the world through skateboarding goggles: assess every architectural feature you see in terms of how it will work for tricks. It may take less than you think.
2. Be Sneaky
The problem with all those options we just talked about? A lot of them… don’t want you skating there. If all the schools, businesses, and parks in your area tend to be busy or have no-skating signs up, your next move might be to get a little sneaky. It may not be ideal, but if you go at night or very early in the morning, it’s unlikely anyone will give you a hard time. Be aware of how much noise you’re making to avoid getting cops or security called (and, you know, not bother people who are sleeping), but you’ll usually be OK if you use the cover of darkness.
3. Think Small
Having a lot of space to skateboard is great, but you don’t actually need a ton of it to do most tricks. If you live somewhere rural or with particularly active police, start thinking in terms of the minimal possible skateboarding equipment. Does your driveway have a bump in it? Stairs in front of your house? A roomy garage? A short railing around a planter? Doing the same jump over and over again may get a little repetitive and not be as much fun as having a lot of varied landscape, but when it comes to actually learning new tricks, it will usually work fine.
Whether you have lots of space or none at all, it won’t help you if there are really no skateable features to it. If you’ve graduated beyond what a curb can offer, the next step may to make your own skating features. You can find lots of great blue prints for different kinds of features online, and if you have some basic power tools, they aren’t too expensive to make.
Cool Do-It-Yourself Ideas
Make a jersey barrier into a ramp
Make a spot under a bridge
Skate your truck
5. Adapt Your Style
There’s more than one way to skin a cat. If none of the options above work for you, you can always try a different kind of skateboarding. There are tons of cool longboarding styles that don’t take anything to jump off of, all you need to bomb a hill is a hill, and you can always work on your cruising speed and fluidity. Those skills will still help you if you do eventually get to a situation where you can work on tricks, and they’re definitely better than nothing if you’re wanting for skateboarding spots.
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