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
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
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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