The Glasgow skate scene is strong and vibrant, in spite of the fact that it feels as though the pavement and parks are continually soaked with rain. Due to this, it’s perhaps no surprise that when the sun comes out, parks up and down the city are packed with skaters of all ages and experience levels.
In fact, it isn’t just Glasgow that has a vibrant scene, it’s all of Scotland. Much of this is down to famous skaters from the area, such as Aberdeen born and Glasgow educated skater John Rattray. However, local groups have also helped grow the movement. Skateboard Scotland was founded to be the official governing body for skateboarding in Scotland. It’s run by skaters, for skaters.
Their aims are simple: encourage the development of world class facilities in Scotland, help community groups build local skateparks, run competitions and events for amateur skaters and attract international attention to Scotland’s skate scene. Within Glasgow, there’s also the Glasgow Society of Skateboarding, and a weekend with them looks like great fun…
So, with this in mind, let’s take a look at where to skate in Glasgow.
1. Unit 23
For the very best of Scottish skating, it’s actually worth taking a short trip outside Glasgow towards Dumbarton. It’s a long way out, but it does still technically have a Glasgow postcode!
Unit 23 skatepark claims to be the largest indoor skatepark in the UK. It officially opened in 2002 and prides itself on being owner and rider run. This means that everything is both designed by and used by people who skate there on a daily basis – what could be better?
The park itself is 56,000 sq. ft., with ramps spread over three halls to ensure skaters of all abilities have the space they need to practice and perform. There are also obstacles to suit every ability, including a replica of the legendary devil bowl and a huge foam pit. There’s even a ‘keep fit studio’ on site if you fancy hitting the gym, too.
With over 28,000 likes on Facebook, Unit 23 is incredibly popular, and it’s easy to see why.
• Opening times:
o Weekdays: 12pm-10pm
o Weekends: 12pm-8pm
o Two hours: £6
o Three hours: £7
o Four hours: £8
o Five hours: £9
o Six hours: £10
o Seven hours: £12
o Foam pit and resi ramp: £2 per half hour (free for members)
o Annual membership (which reduces these costs): £40
o Skateboard hire is also available. Prices start at £4 for 2 hours.
• Address: The Old Bond, 45-50 Castlegreen Street, Dumbarton, Scotland, G82 1JD.
• Website: http://unit23skatepark.co.uk/
2. Kelvingrove Skatepark
If you’re looking for a large outdoor skatepark, then Kelvingrove Skatepark is the perfect place. With both street and transition elements, Kelvingrove has something for every skater, regardless of preferences and ability.
The park has a double bowl on each side, and also features a speed bowl and kidney bowl. The rest of the skatepark is open, with interesting and intriguing lines. It contains flat banks, bowled edges, stair sets, staggered ledges and bowled areas. There are also rails, ledges, hips and raised levels, so there’s something for everyone.
If you’re looking for other local skateparks that are free to use, we’d also recommend Queens Park Skatepark and Corkerhill Skatepark, although they’re a bit of a drive out of the city.
Sadly, Kelvingrove is often oversubscribed and incredibly busy. Skatepark three in our series shows us the solution to this…
• Opening times: From dawn to dusk
• Charge: Free
• Address: Parkgrove Terrace, Glasgow, Glasgow City, G3 7SE
• Website: N/A
3. Glasgow Urban Sports (GUSM74)
Our third and final skatepark choice is a bit of a wildcard… because it hasn’t been built yet.
However, the plans for GUSM74 look incredible, and council funding has been approved for the project thanks to Kelvingrove’s over-subscription.
The site is owned by Transport Scotland and it will become a multi-purpose public park/ recreational space that will serve local, national and international skaters. The design is to be all-inclusive. It will be an aesthetically intriguing public space that’s creatively designed by artists to encourage radical urban sports, including skateboarding.
You can see the full plans below…
• Opening times: TBC
• Charge: TBC
• Address: Under the M74 canopy (exact postcode to be provided upon completion)
• Website: http://glasgowurbansports.co.uk/
With the UK’s largest indoor skatepark, numerous council sites and a brand new, state of the art park on the way, Glasgow is definitely one of the UK’s finest skating hubs.
Image courtesy of iStock.