Skatepark Cities - Part 1

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Skatepark Cities - Part 1

In the first of a series of posts, we’ve put together a guide to some of the sickest skateparks you can find in the country’s capital city, Ol’ London Town.

The Capital’s skate scene dates back to the 70’s when the likes of Steve Douglas were coming up. The city is buzzing with fresh talent and is a regular haunt for some of the world’s best skate crews.

1.     Bay Sixty6

Nike SB refurbished this undercover West London skatepark in 2011. The park is split into three sections: the bowl, park/street and a beginner section, so there’s something for everyone.

The bowl takes up around a quarter of the park, providing some clean transitions and doubling up as a potential mini ramp. The street section at Bay Sixty6 features ledges, big hubbas, rails, driveways, quarters and wall rides. The real highlight is the infamous vert wall, giving the park a nice flow. Bay Sixty6 is always evolving and a bank to marble bench is one of the latest additions to the park.

The park is home to plenty of events hosted by Nike SB Riders, as well as skate classes and clubs for beginners. Bay also hosts its own girls only night and old man night for skaters over 28.

You’ll find loads of facilities on-site including lockers, toilets, snack vending machines and a seating area.

  • Opening times:
    • Mon: 12pm – 9pm
    • Tues: 12pm – 10pm (BMX only 5pm – 10pm)
    • Wed: 12pm – 10pm
    • Thur: 12pm – 10pm
    • Fri: 12pm – 9pm
    • Sat: 10am – 9pm
    • Sun: 10am – 9pm
  • Charge: £8 session / £5 half session
  • Address: 65 Acklam Road, London W10 5YU (Ladbroke Grove Tube)
  • Website: http://nikesbbaysixty6.com/park/

2.  Stockwell

One of London’s oldest and best loved spots is the iconic Stockwell Skatepark. Stockwell aka Brixton Beach has had a few face lifts over the years, but a fresh layer of concrete makes the ride as smooth as silk.

Stockwell was built by Lorne Edwards way back in 1978, making it one of the oldest surviving skateparks in London. The Birdman himself is just one of the many legends to have etched their names in Stockwell’s concrete. The parks most recognisable feature is the huge snake-run that organically winds down the length of the park.

Generations of skaters have perfected their steez here, and the park sees its fair share of BMX riders too. A couple of sharp hips and ledges have been added in recent years, and with Brixton Academy just around the corner we wouldn’t be surprised if a few acts have given the park a once over.

  • Opening times: Unsupervised access 24 hours a day
  • Charge: Free
  • Address: Stockwell Road, London SW9 9TN (Brixton Tube)
  • Website: n/a

3. Undercroft aka Southbank

Our guide wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Southbank’s Undercroft.  Located by the River Thames, Southbank is often described as the ‘beating heart’ of London’s skateboarding scene. The plaza style all concrete Southbank skatepark features a variety of ledges, 7 stair set and notorious banks.

Thousands of tourists wander past this icon every day, occasionally stopping to take in some of the pure talent on display. Likelihood is they will have witnessed some of London’s greatest riders in the process.

Southbank has been the epicentre of London’s skateboard scene for over four decades. A recent attempt by the Southbank Centre to close the park down resulted in over 150,000 people signing a preservation statement, keeping the park safe for at least another 18 months.

There are no toilets on-site but there are plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby along the Southbank.

  • Opening times: Unsupervised access 24 hours a day
  • Charge: Free
  • Address: Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX (London Waterloo Tube)
  • Website: n/a

4. House of Vans

Under the arches of Waterloo Station you’ll find one of London’s newest and coolest skateparks – House of Vans.

House of Vans is a huge 3,000 square metre space which opened in August 2014 and has already become a hub for London’s skateboarding community.

With mini ramps, a half pipe and skate bowl this place is a magnet for riders of all abilities. This vast bunker is also one of London’s most exciting arts venues featuring a music venue, gallery, café and cinema as well as the park itself.

The House of Vans recently hosted the Vans Epic 50th Birthday Showdown event with a stellar line-up of stars from the world of skateboarding and music joining the celebrations.

  • Opening times:
    • Mon to Wed: closed
    • Thur and Fri: 4pm – 10pm
    • Sat: 10am – 8pm
    • Sun: 12pm – 6pm
  • Charge: Free but ticketed to limit numbers
  • Address: Arches 228-232 Station Approach Road, London SE1 8SW (Waterloo Tube)
  • Website: http://houseofvanslondon.com/

5. Rom

Head East and you’ll find the legendary Rom skatepark in Hornchurch. The park dates back to the 1978, and has become a protected heritage site in recognition of its cultural importance.

This is a real classic skatepark, ideal for vert skateboarding with a sweet slalom run and freestyle area. The Rom occupies 8,000 square metres and features a number of nifty bowls and hollows including a half-pipe, moguls and special skating pool.

It retains most of its original features and also has a sick 7ft spine ramp and a 5ft mini ramp. It’s mostly outdoors but, there is an indoor pipe too in case the weather turns. The Rom is made from shotcrete which gives the park seamless mounds and hollows that won’t catch your wheels.

Testament to the design and heritage of Rom, this is Europe’s first listed skatepark and joins the likes of Bro Bowl in Tampa, Florida in legendary status!

  • Opening times: 10am to 9pm (closed on Tuesdays)
  • Charge: £7
  • Address: Upper Rainham Road, Hornchurch, Essex RM12 4ES (Hornchurch Tube)
  • Website: http://romskatepark.com/

There are so many awesome skate spaces in London, just ripe for the taking that we could never fit them all in to one post. If we’ve missed your favourite, let us know.

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