There’s one thing I absolutely love doing. That’s breaking out of my comfort zone. You’ve seen me throw myself off a ledge at 134m high, sailing through the air with only a man holding on to me and a parachute, whitewater rafted down the River Nile and plenty. But there’s still one fear I still need to get over. That’s by going on a skateboard. I confess, I’ve faked it to everybody that I did the ultimate boyhood thing and pretended to be like Bart Simpson. In reality, I squeal when I precariously balance for a few seconds on a death rolling machine before sporting a bruise on my backside. So therein lies my quest. Simply put, I need to learn how to skateboard. And what better way than to ask around for teachers at the best skate parks the UK has to offer? And more so, I get to travel around the UK.
There’s nothing like discovering a challenging rail on a deserted street (or government building) to test your skateboarding skills. Unfortunately, there’s always a concerned citizen who’s happy to break up the party. For times like these there’s always your local skate park. These purpose-built areas are designed for people who enjoy skateboarding, BMX-ing and incline skating. With a huge variety of equipment including ramps, handrails, bowls, and pyramids, it’s the ideal place for beginners to learn tricks and seasoned pro’s to hone their skills. Whether you prefer outdoor or indoor parks, the UK has so many versatile parks to choose from. But which ones are considered the best? Here is a guide to the best skate parks across the UK.
The Works – Leeds
Situated in Airedale Industrial Centre in South Leeds, this privately owned park has been created by the best for the best. That’s not to say that beginners can’t try their hand at some of brilliant bowl sections, this park is for everyone – regardless of your level. The man with the designing hand is none other than Leeds skateboard legend Snoz, who has designed parks for the likes of Tony Hawk and Danny Way. Spanning 25,000 square feet, The Works has all the usual features including an awesome mini-ramp enjoyed by the majority of people who go there as well as some amazing full-scale ramps thanks to Snoz. While most go for recreational skating, you can also book personal sessions with a coach or hire out the multimedia suite to record and edit your performances. Unlike government funded parks, you do need to pay to skate at The Works. Open seven days a week, prices start from £6 for two hours.
BaySixty6 Skate Park – London
Previously known as The Playstation, this park is tantamount with British skateboarding having been a major player in the scene for the past decade. A mere five minute walk (or few minute skate) from Ladbroke Grove station lies an area boasting more lines than one would know what to do with. If you learn by watching others, this is the place to be with BaySixty6 hosting demos and competitions on a regular basis. Beginners beware: this course isn’t for the faint-hearted and is quite challenging if you are just starting out. There are beginner only evenings for those looking to get used to the layout without the added pressure of those doing spins over your head.
Livingstone Skate Park – Scotland
Livingstone Skate Park is what’s known as an oldie but a goodie. Being one of the first high quality free parks, this concrete jungle is loved by novices and seasoned boarders. With sharp transitions (mostly thanks to its deteriorating age) this exhilarating park is designed for those who thrive on adrenaline. A word of advice: serious safety gear and a superior board from the likes of Z-Flex UK is definitely needed to skate here.
I’m there or I’m square. Don’t have a cow man…Now I’m a skateboarding Bart Simpson…