If you’re feeling the cold weather blues and wondering where to skateboard in the winter we’ve got 11 places you can head for RIGHT NOW to get your skating fix!
We help lots of beginners get started in skateboarding and you may have landed here because this is your first winter as a skateboarder or longboarder…so where exactly can you skateboard in the winter snow, rain & ice?
can you skateboard in the rain?
No, it’s not a good idea for several reasons. First (and most importantly) is that your skateboard wheels will not have proper grip in the rain, puddles or very wet pavement so it’s super easy to have a gnarly wipeout. In addition, some of the metal components (like steel wheel bearings or the bolts) are susceptible to corrosion (rust) when exposed to moisture that sits on the surface for an extended period of time. This will eventually lead to degradation that could cause a catastrophic failure while your riding which would be bad.
Finally, your skateboard deck is made of laminated pieces of maple or bamboo…similar to plywood you might buy at the hardware store. The layers of thin wood (usually 8+ plies) are glued together and compressed to make your deck. If your skateboard deck is missing paint/seal water can seep in and delaminate the plies of the skateboard deck or warp them. Even if all of your paint/seal is intact water can still seep into the area around the bolts quite easily and cause delamination or warp that way.
What to do if your skateboard gets wet?
Living in the very wet Pacific Northwest It’s nearly impossible to completely avoid a damp surface from time to time so this something I know a little about. I’ve had to skate on damp pavement from time to time. I skate cautiously in this environment (no deep carves, no tricks) and I’m quite religious about disassembling my board, checking my components and lubricating my metal components afterwards.
I don’t recommend ever skating in the damp or rain for beginners but just know if it happens to you that you should disassemble all your components, wipe them down with a dry rag and let them completely dry while disassembled (let everything sit out for a few days completely disassembled). Spray your bearings with a lubricant to keep them from corroding. Lubricate your axels too while you have everything disassembled. Check for corrosion and rust on all components before reassembling again.
BUT don’t worry…you don’t have to skateboard in the rain, damp or snow because we have tons of dry places you can get your winter skate fix so read on!
Where to skateboard in the winter?
Don’t let cold, rain and snow keep you from skateboarding this winter. Head for covered basketball courts, multi-story parking garages, college campuses or any of these 11 places to get your winter skateboarding fix!
Where to skateboard in the winter: Multi-story parking garages
Multi-story parking garages are fantastic places to skateboard in the winter! You’ll be able to get out of the rain, snow, wind and cold in a mostly enclosed structure (especially if we’re talking about underground parking structures). For safety reasons it’s best to hit parking garages after business hours so you won’t have to contend with moving vehicles or angry parking attendants.
Covered basketball courts at public schools
Head over to your local elementary or middle school to skate under their covered basketball courts. This is one of my favorite places to skateboard in the winter because there are two covered courts conveniently located within five minutes of my home. These covered basketball courts are fairly common installations at most elementary and middle schools around the country.
Unused warehouse or office spaces
Finding un-used warehouse or office space to use can be challenging. This may require lots of 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 skateboarders 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. 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.
highway & Roadway underpasses
If you live in (or near) a major urban center, highway or elevated roadway underpasses are a great place to get out of the rain and snow. Almost all elevated roadways have dry pavement underneath for skating. You might have to search around for the perfect, safe spot (away from moving cars) but they do exist. Be very conscience of traffic in the area and make sure that you (or your board) won’t go rolling out into traffic.
college (or community college) campuses
If you have a college or community college in your hometown, chances are they have fully covered communal spaces for outdoor dining, studying or mingling. These are great places to skateboard 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 skateboard 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 most convenient option for skateboarding in the winter. Sure, you won’t be able to cruise much but you’ll be able to practice tricks, turns and keep your skills sharp. If you’re totally new to skateboarding work on all the basics so you don’t lose all the muscle memory you built up during the good weather. You can even install compact, made for the home skatepark components like this mini rail & ramp kit which are pretty fun to play with.
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 indoor soccer arena, indoor roller hockey domes, concert venues and so on. Anything that might have a concrete floor and cover from the elements. 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 listing here.
Okay, this one is pretty obvious but if you’re new to skateboarding maybe you didn’t even know that they existed…now you do. 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 to get your fix).
I live in a small town and have to drive about 40 minutes to reach the nearest indoor skatepark. Unlike outdoor skateparks, indoor skateparks are all privately owned and maintained so you will pay an entrance fee. My opinion- it’s totally worth it. Climate controlled, good music and new skaters to meet and mingle with….what’s not to love!
So I saved this one for last because it’s one of the harder to come by places to skate in the winter BUT not impossible if you live in a decent sized town. You’ll need to look for a gym with large concrete floors. Places like 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 gym activities.
The winter months can be seriously challenging for getting your 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.
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 skateboarding then put your board down on the living room carpet and continue to work on balance (and be sure to read my article How to Start Skateboarding at any Age or Skill Level). Skateboarding 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 indoor winter skating spot? Please leave me a comment or send me a note and let me know where you go for your winter time skating fix!
Article Tags: best places to skateboard in bad weather, places to skateboard in winter, places to skateboard in the rain or snow, where to skateboard in bad weather, places for beginners to skateboard in bad weather