The month of July is drawing to an end and some well-deserved holidays are already on the horizon with the arrival of August. So this is a golden opportunity to explore some destinations that will truly delight all skaters and roller skating travellers.
Barcelona has set the bar very high as one of the temples of skating, but there are also many other options for travellers to enjoy a roller skating holiday in many corners of the globe. Without having to leave the country, Madrid is also emerging as an interesting alternative in Spain. The Spanish capital has some very striking neighbourhoods like Carabanchel or La Latina and parks like Madrid Río, on the banks of the Manzanares River, with some specifically designed skating areas.
The major capitals of Europe are in fact are a guarantee when it comes to providing resources to skaters. Paris is a good example. Apart from its beautiful setting, the City of Light organises evening roller skating excursions from Montparnasse, including routes lasting more than three hours. Le Dome, located in the Palais de Tokyo, is another small skating paradise.
London, for its part, boasts its emblematic Southbank Skatepark, which has a more underground feel, while Berlin, essential in the summer months, has the amazing Kulturforum, a mix between Barcelona’s Forum area and MACBA, as well as the city’s spacious Tiegarten and multitude of bike lanes. If you have time, your German adventure also deserves to be capped off with a visit to Hamburg and its popular St Pauli quarter, where skating travellers can enjoy an exciting roller derby bout featuring the Harbor Girls.
REST OF EUROPE
Europe also offers relaxing alternatives to the hustle and bustle of major cities, with several beautiful routes through the centre of the “old continent”. One of the most famous is that between Passau and Vienna, a fairly easy route that can take about eight days. It is a feast for the eyes and includes an invaluable detail: alternative public transport is available in case your energy levels flag. But if we return to capital cities, you should also consider Copenhagen. The Danish capital is an ecological benchmark and famous among skaters for its CPH Open competition, and also boasts an attractive wooden skate bowl in the Christiania district.
Moscow’s Soviet architecture and marble monuments are a big draw for skaters travelling to the Russian capital, as is its Victory Park. Other countries like Israel, straddling Europe and Asia, are also surprising because of their skating culture. The Tel Aviv Rollers group manages to attract some 400 skaters to the city’s Habima Square every Tuesday evening to complete a route of between 25 and 30 kilometres that connects with Tel Aviv’s nightclubs. A different skating excursion concept that has an even more easterly version in Canton, the hub of skateboarding in Asia. The third most populous city in China, after Shanghai and Beijing, it has hundreds of squares and many of them have been built in marble. It is a true skating paradise in a relatively inexpensive destination.
One of the most iconic places of skating culture can be found on the other side of the globe, across the Pacific Ocean: Venice Beach. This beach in Los Angeles has a wonderful climate and is decidedly one of the undisputed cradles of skateboarding, as well as currently being home to many professional skaters. JKwon Plaza, also known as Radio Korea, is one of its jewels, despite recurrent problems with the police because it is a private compound. Six hours from LA, but still in California, we arrive in San Francisco and its iconic streets and demanding slopes, as well as its legendary Embarcadero. Another must-see location.
On the East Coast, Florida also enjoys a sunny climate and invites you to be nostalgic at Jacksonville’s Kona Skatepark. Inaugurated in the 1970s, the centre still retains some original facilities. Time travel is possible at times with a return to the origins of skateboarding. But there are also other enticing options further north in the country. New York welcomes roller skaters and skateboarders in the haven of Central Park, which has some exclusive skating circuits. Louisville in Kentucky also has a large skating space at its mammoth David Armstrong Extreme Park, consisting of 3,700 square metres divided into levels. Its more than seven-metre-long full pipe is the jewel in its crown. Not to be missed.
REST OF THE WORLD
Some true gems can be found returning south, but in this case to South America. Argentina’s Mar del Plata claims to be the birthplace of Latino skateboarding in an enviable location. Brazil, for its part, is split between Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia. The iconic beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema are a popular weekend attraction when one of the lanes is closed to traffic. A golden opportunity for skating enthusiasts who also keep their eyes on Brasilia as the umpteenth paradise for skaters. The options, in fact, are endless. The hub of Australian skateboarding can be found on the other side of the world, in Melbourne, with some 20 parks within a radius of just 15 kilometres. Riverslide Skate Park, located in the Alexandra Gardens, is the most important in a city that has increased its roller skating appeal over the past decade.
So the most complicated thing will be for you to choose from all these options, especially when taking into account such an endless list. An extensive choice of idyllic downhill locations, among others, adds to this generous range of possibilities. And if you want to enjoy a World Championship, then take the invitation to visit Teolo in Italy in August, while Zandvoorde in Belgium will be buzzing with the European Speed Championship and at the same time León in Spain will be doing the same with its Alpine European Championship event. So think no further. Simply pack your bags and enjoy your dream roller skating holiday. And if not, we’ll always have Barcelona.