New York skateboarders are proud of their city. There are plenty of places to ride, especially within a community that extends to all five boroughs. Whether you’re looking for a spot to learn how to skate or want a new locale to practice some old tricks, these are some of the best places to skate in New York City.
All downtown Manhattan skaters eventually end up here. The LES Skatepark – also called the Chinatown Skatepark or Coleman, depending on who you ask – is where you’re most likely to spot skate legends whizzing in and out of pipes. Plus, there are $1 dumplings right down the street, so everybody tends to congregate for mid-skate-session snacks.
Astoria Skate Plaza is a perfect option for Queens skaters who don’t want to go too deep into the borough. There are plenty of open spaces, which means skaters of all skill levels can go at their own speeds without worrying about colliding into one another. There are also plenty of surfaces (stairs, rails, banks and ledges) to practice tricks on.
One of the city’s newest skateparks lies out in East Williamsburg. Trendy skaters from all over Brooklyn tend to visit Cooper Park to test out the ledges, ramps and rails. But everybody’s favorite tidbit about this skatepark is that it was reportedly named after Peter Cooper, the American philanthropist and inventor of a forerunner of Jell-O.
Skaters who love ramps and halfpipes flock to Pier 62, but everybody tends to swing through at least once to appreciate the fact that New York City has a giant skatepark (15,000 square feet, or almost 1,400 square meters) at the end of a pier overlooking the Hudson River.
Highbridge Skatepark is the largest skatepark in New York City. Opened in 2014, it was deliberately built on a downward slope to help skaters achieve maximum momentum. The park sits directly underneath Hamilton Bridge, so it may be a bit tricky to find at first.
The plaza of Flushing Meadows may not technically be a skatepark, but that doesn’t stop skaters from taking it over every day. The area’s got plenty of stairs, ramps and euro gaps for those who enjoy more street-style boarding. Plus, it’s super close to the famous Unisphere fountain – a great place to take pictures or cool off in the summer.
Head deep into Brooklyn to discover one of the city’s most open skateparks; it rarely feels overcrowded. Located in Bay Ridge, Owl’s Head Millennium Skatepark sits right on the water’s edge and features a large bowl, which is actually two separate bowls joined together at their shallow ends.
Skaters who appreciate a bit of history will love Mullaly. Up until about the mid-1990s, this was one of the few proper skateparks in New York City. People used to sneak in before the park officially opened so they could take advantage of the halfpipe before the entire city’s skating population would flood in for the day.
Skaters who don’t mind trekking up to the Bronx will find plenty of flat, even surfaces for street-style skating at River Avenue. Skaters tend to come here to shoot videos, as the backdrop (underneath an elevated train track) can make for some pretty stunning shots.
5050 Skatepark is New York City’s only indoor skatepark. Located in the Stapleton neighborhood of Staten Island, the 8,000-square-foot (743 square meters) facility is one mile (1.6 kilometers) from the Staten Island Ferry and around the corner from the Stapleton train station. It is open year-round to all alternative sports including skateboarding, in-line skating, freestyle scootering, BMX and more.