Anyone can skate down the street and think they're a skater, but it takes a real experienced thrasher to jump off a 20-foot half-pipe and nail a 360-degree flip. And only at an actual skate park can you successfully train to skate like a pro.
Still, while there's more demand than supply in terms of public skateparks, skaters don't necessarily need to practice their tricks in the back of shopping centers. In honor of Go Skateboarding Day
, we've scouted the best skate parks and venues for thrashers and even skaters of all kinds to get their skate on.
It's not exactly a skateboarder's kind of place, but other kinds of skaters exist too, you know. If you grew up in Miami, Super Wheels may bring happy childhood memories of birthday parties and balancing off the wall that surrounds the rink for dear life. And they've been keeping up with the times, too. Thankfully, they've upgraded from less-easy-to-master roller skates to roller blades. 12265 SW 112th St., Miami, 305-275-7466, superwheelsmiami.com.
In the brutal temperatures of summer, most of us tend to either cocoon ourselves in air-conditioned spaces or by a tony swimming pool. But what better place to stay cool and skate like the angels than at Kendall Ice Arena? Just make sure to wear protective gear. As a Miamian, your ice rink skills are dubious at best. 10355 Hammocks Blvd., Miami, 305-386-8288, kendallicearena.com
Contrary to popular belief, rollerblading on South Beach is not only for tourists and overly tan, drugged-out men in thongs. Head to Fritz's on Lincoln Road, rent some roller skates, and experience a great workout in a beautiful and relentlessly entertaining environment. You may even get a shot at coming out on a Travel Channel special. 1620 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305-532-1954, fritzsmiamibeach.com.
Tropical Park, with its lush, verdant canopy of trees, is perfect to get your outdoor skate on in the shade. Grab your rollerskates, rollerblades, skateboard, or what have you, and skate for miles on end on its paved pathways. 7900 40th St., Miami, 305-226-8316, miamidade.gov.
Now on with the skateboarding. This 7,200 sq. foot park might be small, but it's well-equipped. The park has a two-box setup with a kicker, flat rail, two 5-foot adjacent quarter pipes, a fun box with hubba and jersey barrier, and a wallride that bridges the gap between two big banks. There are also plenty of stair space, hand rails, and benches to jump off of and slide down on. Just don't tell the officials we told you so, okay?
28401 SW 167th Ave, Homestead.
5. Town Center Skate Park
Town Center is one of four Sugar Drop Shops Action Sports skateparks in Miami and was designed and built by Team Pain Skate Parks and West Construction of West Palm Beach. This 7,200 square foot concrete street plaza satiates beach-based skaters with a safe place to skate. The park's street environment was specifically designed for beginners and provides challenging obstacles for more professional level skaters. Features like a double set of stairs, handrails, hubbas, granite manual pads, granite benches, and a quarter pipe provide hours upon hours of practice. 17200 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach, sugarsdropshops.com.
In association with One Cool World, the Grove skatepark is Miami's only non-profit skatepark and aims at providing youngsters with step-by-step skate practice regardless of ability. Located in Peacock Park, the 10,000 square foot, indoor-outdoor facility features street courses and obstacles for novices and advanced skaters alike. Non-equipped skaters can rent everything from boards to protective gear to BMX bikes. Grove skatepark takes the negative views on skateboarding out of an equation of fitness and fun. Isn't it nice to have kids detached from their computers and out in the fresh-open air for a change? 2820 McFarland Road Coconut Grove, 786-290-5150, onecoolworld.com.
This 9,000 square foot outdoor concrete park is open to skateboarders, inline skaters, and BMX-ers alike. It combines skate park flow and street plaza obstacles and features two six-foot quarter pipes, rails, launch ramp, bank ramps, manual pad, fun box, stairs, and several different sized hubbas. The two coolest features are the skate-able picnic table and the bank to bench obstacle. Oy. Don't try those tricks at home, kids. 6550 NW 188 Terrace, Miami, 305-622-2594, sugarsdropshop.com
Built by skatepark experts Spohn Ranch, Westwind Lakes' is one of the latest additions to the skateboarding community. The 10,000 square foot outdoor park offers some of the smoothest skating in Miami. You'll be "stoked" to jump off a volcano-shaped obstacle at the center of the park or the UFO bank ramp, two of the parks coolest features. The six-foot quarter-pipes are also good enough for pros like Tony Hawk
6805 SW 152 Ave. Kendall, FL 33193, 305-388-4771, sugarsdropshop.com
This skatepark is as gnarly as gnarly can get. This 14,000 square foot plaza was inspired by iconic skateboarding meccas such as Philadelphia's Love Park and San Francisco's Embarcadero. The plaza not only recreates the types of features skaters are already riding "in the streets" with several different sized rail, stairs, launch ramp, and hubba combinations, but also features a few of the classic skate park features like the bank ramp, vert wall, and a new rendition of the mini-ramp. 11395 SW 79th St., Miami, 305-596-9324, sugarsdropshop.com.
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