When I was a young lad living in rural Vermont, frigid winters were no joke. The season tends to drag on forever, and the nearest indoor skatepark is 30-40 minutes away…that’s if you can get there! As times have changed, indoor skateparks are shutting down because of the high costs of running them. More people are buying online, and the cost of a session won’t keep doors open forever.
You’re sick of not being able to skate, and the only thing you can think about. Even if it’s raining out, you don’t have a place to go. Can’t skate in the garage because cars are parked, and basements are no good. So…what can you do and where can you practice skating when you’re at a dead end???
The best places you can practice skateboarding may be uncommon. Finding a place that’s unique, and keeps you out of trouble is the best. Stomping on your parent’s wood floor isn’t ideal, and can cause more damage. There are places outdoors I’ll list here that may potentially change your life. Finding locals in your area is also a great option to get ideas from.
Where Can I Practice Inside?
I’ve faced this problem so many times it drives me CRAZY! You might live in an apartment, or in an old house where the basement is dirt floor, and spiders crawling everywhere! There are several places, and sometimes you might just have to wait it out. I’m going to give you a fair warning, I’ve skated in some of these places and have gotten in trouble.
Places on private property, or even in state parks will get people’s attention and you WILL be kicked out. You can choose how to deal with this, as it’s up to you to deal with these situations. Getting yelled at can be intimidating, but also causes a sensation to want to fight back…you’ll probably get nowhere with it. Just be yourself, leave peacefully, and it’s up to you if you’re willing to return.
Wasn’t going to include this, as most of you know this is like a last resort. Usually only good for decks only, as you’ll find it difficult to flip tricks with trucks and wheels on. If you’re starting out, this is a great way to develop foot placement for tricks, and of course, learn how to flip the board in general. Although you can do this, it won’t help with learning how to balance starting off.
When I had a basement, or friends’ basement this was the ultimate spot. You can design your own little pad, chill, and build your own platforms, setting up rails. Some basements are finished, or like I noted before just not skateable. If you come across that you need to clear a lot of stuff, just ask to move it. Even the smallest space to practice is better the no space at all. There might be cracks, and holes in the ground. You can ask your parents, or maybe just fill it in with some cement which isn’t too difficult. Bondo is a great choice if you’re facing minor or long cracks on the floor.
Definitely, my favorite times were spent in the garage. Of course, they’re meant for cars…but if the owners are nice enough they’ll be kind enough to move them. They’re also might be oil stains on the ground, which can be removed with a degreaser or oven cleaner. You might have to spend a day cleaning, scrubbing, and preparing this area for use. I want to mention slush, and snow as this is a challenge to remove. Laying down cardboard only works so long, as it gets wet and falls apart. Something like a nice big blue tarp would work well to park on to catch the snow falling off wheel wells for the cars. Remember this is another area prone to deep cracks, or holes in the surface.
Nothing like a nice big pavilion to shred during the winters or weeks of rainstorms. These can be excellent places located usually in parks. Some are poorly developed which leaves water to leak in, and snow puddles to form. I highly suggest buying a squeegee, something I never got but they work wonders getting rid of puddles super fast. We used to set up picnic tables and do tricks off of them, god that was fun!
That’s right, the shed is another place to well…shred! I’ve known people who have mini ramps in their sheds outside. Of course, it depends on the size, and if it’s actually being used. These are fun little pads that can be used year-round, and be a chill spot to kick back and relax with friends. Even setting up a simple fun box or rail will do the trick.
Highly likely to get kicked out considering the amount of noise..but the smooth concrete is irresistible. A good spot for quick tricks and to learn flat ground. Wouldn’t recommend bringing objects there unless there’s nobody around and you never get kicked out.
Under An Awning
Located at your nearest mall, or school you can find a nice patch of dry area to pop some tricks. These might give you limited space, and your likelihood of getting kicked out depends obviously on the location.
On The Porch
Oh yes, this might be frowned upon. A nice wood porch is another one of my favorites, but the homeowners might freak out as it’s loud and can damage the wood. You could set up some sheets of wood for a smoother ride, you just might get caught in the cracks!
I highly condemn doing this…only putting this because you’ll become extremely desperate. Abandoned warehouses, houses, are places skaters have hit up. This can be extremely illegal and you could go to jail or even fined for doing something like this. Mainly because well…it’s trespassing and the owner could push some serious charges on you. For the most part, you’ll get a warning or screamed at but please…be freaking careful!!
What If All Else Fails!?
Let’s be real.. Nobody enjoys practicing on mom and dad’s hardwood floor or carpet, it’s just too risky and doesn’t feel the same! Not only that but you’ll probably get yelled at and kicked out! Ok…maybe going a little overboard but you get the point.
There’s a problem I face too…
In Connecticut, there are only outdoor parks and nowhere to go in the winter, unfortunately. Vermont’s well-known Talent skatepark went out of business, and the next indoor park is almost an hour away. You might be able to relate, that’s why I’m writing this article. It’s disheartening to listen to these stories, so much hard work and effort went into devoting their lives to helping skaters have a place to skate.
At this point, this is seriously something you’re going to see more of. Rent/leases are extremely expensive, $10 a session won’t cut it, and making $12 on a pair of shoes is going to kill business. You’re left to wait out the cold winters, and rainy days which makes you wonder if it’s even worth it anymore.
Don’t Give Up Hope…
I want you to realize, that being off a skateboard for a couple of months doesn’t mean you’ll lose all your tricks. It just takes time to re-learn them again. This usually takes a solid 2-4 weeks of getting back into the game. I find doing exercises like jump roping and squats help warm up time and flexibility. Keeping your body in motion keeps you healthy and feeling awesome.
Doing this will get your game going insanely quicker, even if you’re not skating on a regular basis. You can still practice with a deck, learn flip tricks, do ollies, and the basics. If you’re really bored, then maybe playing your favorite skate game will keep you from screaming and rolling around like a little B^%&$! Just keep a positive mind and you’ll be on a board in no time!
Wrapping It Up….
The greatest thing about skateboarding is the ability to create and develop your own style. To find a new place to skate, share it with your friends, and share it in a comment! You’ve got the ability to create some cool ideas, ramps, rails made from trees, using construction cones…whatever! I remember skating a street sign someone had, scary as hell but we had some great laughs! Skateboarding gives you the ability to not limit what you can do, create something epic… get a 2×4 and create some crazy rail. If you’re going to do this, make sure to use screws and not nails!! By the way, building your own fun boxes can be simple and fun if you’re on a budget. Buying rails and boxes can be very expensive, but can absolutely be worth it.