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Recreational and Aggressive Inline Skating in New Zealand

By Heather Armstrong

An introduction to recreational inline skating and aggressive inline skating in New Zealand, including places for recreational skating in Auckland, Napier, and Christchurch and what the aggressive inline skating scene is like in New Zealand.

Recreational Skating in New Zealand

Inline Skating in Auckland (North Island)
Very popular activity along Tamaki Drive where there is a kilometers-long walking/cycling/rollerblading track that winds around several bays along the waterfront with some beautiful views. Skates can be hired in Mission Bay via the Cheapskates van. If you’re okay on hills, the road that winds around One Tree Hill is also a pleasant option, although you will be sharing it with cars. Shops that carry rec skates – Cheapskates on Khyber Pass Rd, and Ferg’s Kayaks on the North Shore

Inline Skating in Napier (North Island)
A new walking path that goes for miles along the beach is great for rollerblading. Skates can be hired on Marine Parade from Pat at the rink park and he will also give you basic lessons. Some great wineries in the region too, if you’ve built up a thirst!

Inline Skating in Christchurch (South Island)
A great place for rec skating since it’s flat! Head for Hagley Park, a large park in the centre of town. Skates can be hired on the spot from the Cheapskates van or bought from the Cheapskates shop in town.

Aggressive Skating in New Zealand

Small pockets of aggressive rollerbladers can be found around the country, particularly in Auckland and Christchurch, but also in Hamilton, Napier, Masterton, Wellington and Timaru. The emphasis in New Zealand currently seems to be on park skating but many of the aggressive rollerbladers get together to skate real street as well. Most New Zealand towns have skateparks, shared by bladers, boarders and bikers. As long as you give each other some respect and space there is not usually much tension between the codes. Watch out for small children and rec skaters, who can be very random.

Almost all of the skateparks are open air and free, some in much better condition than others. If you’re used to the big American and English skateparks they will seem very small. Auckland especially has multiple skateparks, the best being Victoria Park in town, Manukau, Te Pai (Lincoln Road), Riversdale and Devonport. Auckland also has a wooden vert ramp, around 11 feet high, in Onehunga.

Like the aggressive scene worldwide, the local rollerbladers are often elusive and, when you do find them, uncommunicative, but go skate at the local skateparks and they’ll talk to you eventually. Common gathering points are Victoria Park skatepark in Auckland (Saturday around midday) and Washington skatepark in Christchurch.

There is currently only one official competition for aggressive rollerblading in New Zealand and that is X-Air, held in Wellington in January each year. There are two rollerblading sections, vert and park (although X-Air calls it street). The competition also includes skateboarding, BMX and FMX. Two well known aggressive skaters to have come out of New Zealand are Scott Bentley, who rode pro for Senate, and Brooke Howard-Smith.



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