If your child wants to skate but you’re not sure where to start, here’s a quick guide to local parks, lessons, and skate shops to get them ollieing in no time!
Where to skateboard
For a fun, free area, Tribeca Skatepark offers 8,840 square feet of skateboarding (and roller blading) space right on the waterfront in Hudson River Park (Pier 25 at North Moore Street). But if that park’s not big enough for you, the Pier 62 Skatepark (at West 22nd Street) in Chelsea boasts 15,000 square feet of fun and utilizes structural foam for the park’s features, which include beginner area called the Ollie Zone and another zone for intermediate skaters, as well as a Kinked Flat Rail and 2 Ft Wedge. You can also go historic at the Riverside Skate Park (at 108th Street), New York’s first skate park, designed by pro-skater Andy Kessler. This park is one of the few vert skating spots around and has some gnarly half-pipes and a quarter pipe. If you’re looking for a great bowl–made of two bowls joined together–head over to Owl’s Head Millenium Skatepark in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. And helmets are required there, which is always a plus. Also, don’t forget the Highbridge Skate Park under the Hamilton Bridge (at West 155th Street and Dyckman Street), which is said to be the largest skate park in all five boroughs and has plenty of cool brick banks!
Where to take lessons
Several schools are set up to teach skating to kids across the city. Of a notable few, Luiz Louie’s Skateboarding School offers individual or group lessons in several different locations across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, and he offers equipment rental too! Uptown Skate School on the Upper East Side offers private lessons wherever you want them, as well as skate tours, and even birthday parties. In Brooklyn, Homage Skate Academy’s indoor training facility can be instrumental in teaching your kids and getting them some good practice before they step out into a real park surrounded by pros and “big kids.” There are also a lot of skate shops that offer lessons as well–make sure to ask your favorite stores if they have classes for your kids.
Where to shop for gear
Got a skating star who needs gear? If you don’t feel like renting boards or if your kid is becoming a serious skater, there are a few beginner-friendly shops that will be informational and friendly. In the West Village, Uncle Funkys Boards sells boards and everything that goes along with them, and teaches lessons on the side. Another store-meets-lessons spot is Homage, which in addition to offering lessons sells apparel, accessories, and more. You could also head over to Blades, either in the Village or on the Upper West Side to stock up on all things skate–clothes, boards, accessories, and more.