If you just unboxed your brand new roller skates and you’re wondering where are the best places to practice roller skating – we’ve got 13 places you can head to RIGHT NOW to get your roller skating fix!
We help lots of beginners get started in roller skating and you may have landed here because this is your first set of roller skates…or maybe it’s been a long time since you last roller skated & you need a little practice.
Maybe you want to find a relatively quiet place to practice roller skating so as not to draw too much attention to your “newness”. We’ve all been there and I totally get it!
What You Need to KNow About Skating Outdoors
If you are a new skater you may not know this but it is safe to roller skate on concrete, asphalt and pavement. Just make sure that you have all your skating safety gear on and you have outdoor roller skate wheels on your skates.
Outdoor roller skate wheels and indoor roller skate wheels are actually quite different. Outdoor wheels are softer to absorb the shock from lumps, bumps, cracks and gravel as you skate on concrete, asphalt and pavement. They also have more grip than indoor roller skate wheels. Never skate on wheels that were used outdoors to a place like a roller rink as this can cause you to slip or have very little grip on a rink.
I personally use Atom Pulse Outdoor Wheels because you can’t beat the performance at this price point (and they have EVERY color of the rainbow for customizing your skate). You can also check out my entire list of the Best Outdoor roller skate wheels to help you make a decision.
We have lots of ideas for places to practice roller skating & chances are there are a least a few that will apply to you no matter where you live. We’ve got ideas for skating indoors when the weather is bad and, outdoor ideas for when the weather is good and probably lots of places you haven’t even thought of so scroll the whole list!
Best Places to Practice Roller Skating
Best places to practice roller skating: Multi-story parking garages
Multi-story parking garages are fantastic places to roller skate – especially when the weather (like snow, rain, wind or temperature is a factor). You’ll be able to get out of the elements in a mostly enclosed structure (especially if we’re talking about underground parking structures).
For safety reasons it’s best to hit parking garages before or after business hours so you won’t have to contend with moving vehicles or angry parking attendants. I personally seek out garages like the one pictured- those smooth concrete floors make for an amazing make shift skating rink.
Best places to practice roller skating: Church Parking Lots
Church parking lots are great places to practice roller skating because they are only used sparingly throughout the week so you can pick up your roller skates just about whenever you please and head over for a practice session. Often these church parking are coated with super smooth black asphalt (like our photo above) which is a nice bonus so look for those.
Covered basketball courts at public schools
Head over to your local elementary or middle school to practice roller skating under their covered basketball courts. This is one of my favorite places to practice roller skating because there are two covered courts conveniently located within five minutes of my home at the local schools.
These covered basketball courts are fairly common installations at most elementary and middle schools around the country. Many times the floors are smooth concrete which makes them perfect for practicing roller skating. These are also great for getting in the shade on a hot, sunny summer day or out of the rain and snow in the winter.
Covered basketball courts at public schools
Most communities, high schools & college campuses have one (or several) tennis courts that are open to the public. The surfaces on tennis courts can really vary and some are better than others for roller skating. Some are very rubbery/grippy (not ideal but will work in a pinch) while others are just smooth concrete which is perfect to practice roller skating. If you don’t have something in your town try checking out the next town over. Try and hit tennis courts during off hours & don’t get in the way of other tennis players.
Group picnic shelters
This is one of my favorite undercover skate spots. Group picnic shelters can be found at local county parks and skate parks across the U.S. Most of the time these covered and paved shelters and are completely empty (avoid sunny summer weekends as they may be rented out). Push the picnic tables out of the way so you can have a rain and snow free space to work on your skating skills.
To find covered picnic shelters in your area do a google search for “group picnic shelters in (insert your city)”. You should get city or county park listings that will show you where all the group picnic shelters are located in your area. If you have a few skate friends to join in then you might consider renting a shelter for the day and making a party out of it.
Unused warehouse, Airplane Hangar or office spaces
Finding un-used warehouse or office space to use can be a tad challenging I will admit. This may require some phone calls or knowing someone…or knowing someone who knows someone to find a space. Many landlords just aren’t willing to take on the liability of roller skaters potentially being injured on their property. Be willing to sign a release and pay some rental fees.
One winter I was able to rent a space with several other skaters and we shared the cost of the rental. When the split was done it was about the cost of a gym membership which was MORE than worth it to me to have a place to roller skate all winter out of the elements. We also signed a full release of liability to the owner which stated we wouldn’t sue him if we were injured on his property. Unfortunately, the following winter the space had been rented out to a long term tenant and we couldn’t rent it again.
college (or community college) campuses
If you have a college or community college in your hometown, chances are they have fully covered walkways, communal spaces for outdoor dining, studying or mingling. These are fantastic places to practice roller skating and you’ll probably blend in with the crowd. My first stop on a scouting trip would be the dining areas but if there isn’t anything there keep searching…chances are pretty good that you’ll be able to find covered or partially enclosed spaces somewhere on campus.
Subway & subway stations
If you live in a major metropolitan area, subway stations can be a great place to roller skate LATE, OFF HOURS or on the weekends when throngs of commuters aren’t present. Check the local rules, look for signage but don’t be surprised if an attendant tells you to get out. This is definitely an option for getting your fix but be very mindful of the timing for your trip.
Home garage, Barn or unfinished basement
If you have a tidy home garage or unfinished basement this may be the easiest place to get some practice in . Sure, you won’t be able to cruise much but you’ll be able to practice turns, transitions, balance, simple tricks, and keep your skills sharp without the prying eyes of the neighborhood (AND you can play your music as loud as you want!). If you’re totally new to roller skating this really is the the best place to practice all the beginner basics.
WHERE TO SKATEBOARD IN THE WINTER: indoor arenas
Indoor arenas is a bit of a broad term but think about any public venue that has an enclosed space such as a soccer arena, roller hockey domes, velodromes, public concert venues and so on. Anything that might have a smooth concrete floor. If I’m being honest, I’ve seen more indoor arenas in Europe than I have in the U.S. but you might have something in your area that works so it’s worth mentioning here.
Local skateboard parks are a great place to hone your skills and learn new ones. Some skateboard parks are pretty vast with plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the smooth concrete. With ramps, pools & obstacles it’s a pretty fun overall for experienced skaters. Beginning skaters should try and find a quiet place that’s not too busy for practice (you can also try off hours when kids are in school).
You’ll find skateboarders, scooter riders & BMXers to name a few so it’s not a place that is exclusively for skateboarding. Skateparks are pretty common even in small towns so do a google search and find some local ones to check out. The best part is that they are built by counties and local municipalities so they are free for everyone to use.
the Local skating Rink
Okay, this one is pretty obvious but if you’re a complete roller skating beginner maybe you didn’t even know that they existed (or still exist)…now you do! I wouldn’t call the local skating rink the most private area to practice but you’ll find lots of folks just like you (clinging to the side rails) trying to roller skate so it’ll be easy to blend in.
If you live in a small town chances are this won’t be an option for you (but keep this in mind if you’re traveling to a bigger city or are willing to travel to a bigger city nearby).
I live in a small town and have to drive about 30 minutes to reach the nearest skating rink. Unlike outdoor skateparks, indoor skating rinks are all privately owned and maintained so you will pay an entrance fee.
My opinion- it’s totally worth it to head to the local roller rink ANY chance you get. It’s climate controlled, good music, fun environment and new skaters to meet and mingle with….what’s not to love!
WHERE TO SKATEBOARD IN THE WINTER: Indoor Skate Parks
If you’re new to roller skating you may not know that indoor skateparks existed or are an option for roller skaters. Technically, they are mostly used by skateboarders but there are plenty of roller skaters who love to skate ramps and bowls. These skaters often frequent indoor skate parks during the winter months.
Indoor skate parks are usually located in bigger cities so you’ll have to do a Google search and see if you have one nearby. I live in a small town and have to drive about 40 minutes to reach the nearest indoor skatepark.
Unlike outdoor skateparks which are FREE to use, indoor skateparks are all privately owned and maintained so you will pay an entrance fee. It’s totally worth it in my opinion to enjoy climate controlled comfort, good music and meet fellow skaters for good conversation.
Paved Trail Systems
Many towns have some sort of paved trail system that you can skate or cruise on. Paved trails are perfect for getting comfortable skating forwards, practicing turns and transitions on pavement. They’re also great for cruising for miles and miles uninterrupted for your daily exercise routine (in case you didn’t know roller skating is a fantastic, calorie incinerating workout).
I highly recommend you check out the Rails to Trails Conservancy Website to find paved trails near you. You can also download the All Trails App on your phone to find paved trails within range of your home base.
Ahhh….the beach boardwalk. It’s the siren song of the quad roller skater and inline skater. If you live in coastal areas chances are you have a paved beach boardwalk that you can skate on. The boardwalk is also a great place to meet fellow skaters and learn from more advanced skaters. To find them in your local area you can start with the All Trails App or try doing a Google maps search.
So I saved this one for last because it’s one of the harder to come by BUT not impossible if you live in a decent sized town. You’ll need to look for a gym with large concrete or wooden floors.
Places like the YMCA basketball court, crossfit gyms, bootcamp gyms, boxing gyms, MMA gyms & fitness studios where private personal training happens. Occasionally a yoga studio fits the task. Be prepared to pay a fee and potentially skate at very early or later hours so you don’t interfere with normal gym activities.
Where to Roller Skate In The Winter?
The winter months can be seriously challenging for getting your roller skating fix (especially if you live in a small town). If nothing on our list is an option then use this time to cross train and keep your legs in shape.
In the winter months I spend a LOT of time at my local roller skating rink which is probably your best option. Sometimes I bundle up and head to some of the covered areas we talked about in this article like covered picnic shelters, covered basketball courts and covered parking garages.
You can also skate around your kitchen floor working on skills like turns, transitions, skating backwards & dance moves that don’t require a lot of floor space.
If this isn’t an option for you then focus on keeping your legs strong by running, doing lunges or getting on a stationary bike. Hit those leg weight machines at the gym for a change (I mean nobody is ever on them soooo…no wait). If you’re so inclined you can also do tons of FREE Barre Workouts on Youtube (these are amazing for leg days).
If you’re still really new to roller skating then put your roller skates on in the living room (on the carpet) and continue to work on balance. Roller skating is very much about muscle memory and you don’t want your legs to get out of shape when the nice weather rolls around again!
Did I miss a totally righteous skating spot? Please leave me a comment or send me a note and let me know where you go for your roller skating fix! When you’re done reading today check out some of our other roller skating articles like 23+ Totally Rad Gifts Roller Skaters Will Love.
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Article Tags: best places to practice roller skating, best places to roller skate in bad weather, places to roller skate in winter, where to skate in bad weather, places to roller skate in the rain or snow, where to roller skate in bad weather, places for beginners to roller skate in bad weather
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