Planning a Successful Skateboard Trip
There is nothing more fun than packing up your things and heading off on an adventure with your family and/or friends to discover new places to explore and grind some rails. The act of taking a skateboarding road trip should be a fun activity for everyone involved; you experience nature, meet new people and eat great food.
You need to make sure that you are properly prepared to ensure that you do not experience any hiccups on the trip. It will be a bad experience to get to your destination only to find out that you forgot something back home that you need.
Discover the right place for your skateboarding road trip
Discovering the right place for your skateboarding road trip can be a challenge. This is because most cities around the world have rules and regulations about skateboarding in certain public areas such as libraries and other government properties.
To make sure that you find a great skating location, ensure that you research the government regulation at any location before adding it to your route. Most cities have websites that you can visit to discover this information. If this is not the case, you can always place a call to the local government representative or a police station to find out if there are any rules regarding skating in that location.
These days many larger cities have constructed free public skate parks that you can check out. These skate parks are approved spots for skaters to practice their tricks and learn to skate. You don't have to worry about crashing into pedestrians and there are no risks of accidents by bumping into vehicles. The city-approved skate parks are great places to meet other skateboarders who you can hang out with and who can give you some tips on how to skate.
The public skate park might not be ideal for beginners who are just learning how to balance on a skateboard. New skateboarders need to learn how to balance on a skateboard while riding on flat surfaces. More experienced skateboarders can be intimidating to new skaters which can cause them to try too hard and can lead them to get injured.
One of the easiest ways to discover cool skate spots near you is to take a ride around your community and take note of areas with concrete, handrails, and ramps. You should keep track of these places, perform your research on these places to determine their suitability for skateboarding, and come during periods when the location is not so crowded such as during the weekends.
If you have a local skate community in your area, you should join them and make friends. There will be a lot of folks that have discovered some cool secret skating locations. If you are of the legal drinking age in your location, you can check out the local skate bars. These folks have valuable on where to find some cool skate spots. If this is not an option, there are various skater groups on Facebook that you might want to check out.
Skate apps help you discover cool places for your skateboarding road trip. The point of these apps is that they have a map that shows you places that have been discovered by other skateboarders. You need to vet the places before adding them to your route to ensure that they are safe and legal.
The apps are good because they help you to discover new skate spots. To check them out, just go to google and search for "skate spot apps". Some examples are Sk8Spots, Own the spot, findhills.com, etc.
If you would like to skate in some of the best skate parks in the world, you might want to set out a budget and plan on what to bring along with you on the trip.
What to bring along on a skateboarding road trip
Packing your things for a skateboarding road trip is different from packing for other trips. The start with, you need clothes that'll be comfortable to wear in the car for a long-distance and clothes that are suitable for the destination in which you are headed. I like to wear flip-flops in the car, but I have hiking pants and hiking boots for outdoor adventure.
Pack clothes with you to match your destination, the activities you want to perform, and the weather.
The clothes you choose should feel good to wear and should be multipurpose. This means that you should be able to wear them multiple times without needing to replace them. Packing clothes like these enable you to mix and match them, keeping your luggage light.
Must have items for your skateboard road trip
- A skateboard: Going on a skateboard road trip without your skateboard is like going to fish without your fishing pole or net. It is ideal to bring more than one deck to avoid getting stranded if one of your decks fails. You don't want to be the dude that waits around the skate park doing nothing but looking at your broken skateboard. I wrote an article on the best type of backpacks for your skateboard decks and gear here. Longboards are good if you are going for a cruising road trip but not that longboards are not quite good for performing tricks and will not work well at a skatepark. If the skate road trip is to visit a couple of skateparks, you will need a regular skateboard.
- A road map: Having Google maps is a good idea, every successful skateboard road trip should include a paper map. Smartphone apps are great, but when you are taking a trip, you will get to areas with poor cellular networks, this will prevent the apps from working. This means that the step-by-step directions will stop working and without an alternative, you will be stranded. The apps are necessary but having a good old paper map comes in handy.
- First aid kit: This is obvious, but very important. It is interesting to see how many people forget this. Falling and getting injured while skateboarding is common occurrence. Failing to have a first aid kit means that in the case of an injury the trip can be prematurely canceled.
- Portable Charger: Having a portable charger in your possession ensures that all of your gadgets are always fully charged and ready to go. These work with a USB cord and an AC outlet.
- Toilet paper: A handy tool to have when on the road and you need to go.
- Bug spray: There is nothing worse than getting bit by a bug while stretching your legs outside. Get yourself some bug spray and socks to keep the bugs and mosquitoes away.
- Hand Sanitizers/Napkins/Body wipes: While in commute, you need to ensure that you maintain your hygiene. You handle a lot of different things with your hands, so it is a good idea to wash and sanitize your hands regularly. If you are on a long trip having a pair of body wipes will be good to keep the stink away.
- Umbrella: Always keep an umbrella with you at all times when heading out on a skateboarding road trip. A skateboard tends to spoil when exposed to moisture such as water from rainfall. I wrote an article on how skateboards are affected by moisture here. You can't be sure how the weather is going to change at your destination, therefore having an umbrella is going to be a lifesaver.
- Duct tape/hand knife: These supplies are for unexpected eventualities. A duct tape is a handy tool that can be used to temporarily fix anything and a hand knife is a multipurpose tool for many applications.
Vehicles for a skateboarding trip
In general, you want to pack light and avoid packing too much stuff. You have a lot of choices for the way to go on your skateboarding adventure. You can come along with your friends and/or family and travel along on a plane, rail, or automobile.
Commuting on a plane is possible. It is fast and not especially convenient. There is the risk of losing your skateboard if you are using an external skateboard backpack. It most especially depends on the airline. If you are asked about the content of your backpack you can say that you are carrying sports equipment. The agent at the gate might check your luggage just to be safe for free or at a low fee.
Most international flights usually allow at least one bag for free while domestic flights might charge a fee. In general, it is advisable to check your airlines' policy on luggage and carry-ons before booking your trip. I usually fly with Virgin because they usually allow me to carry two bags without charging any fees. I take a hardcover book, some audiobooks, and a headset because there is a lot of waiting involved.
Trains are very convenient, you can carry as much luggage as you like as you watch the city roll past. Train trip one-way tickets usually start as low as $150. What's more, travelers over 65 are eligible for a 10 percent discount on most routes. The Amtrak Vacations 12-day "Great American Majestic Landscapes" trip starts at $2,900 for travel, accommodation, and tours. Multi-day routes from New York City to the Bay area via Chicago start at under $400 for coach sitting. En route, you will see plains, mountains, wildlife, and other major urban areas.
To enjoy a skateboard road trip you need the right vehicle. Small travel trailers are all the rage these days. They are around 20 feet long and weigh about 5000 pounds when fully loaded. This makes it easy for it to be pulled by a mid-size SUV. The price of these trailers typically ranges between $8,000 - $23,000. Because of their size, the trailers can be parked at your driveway and makes it convenient when it comes time to fill it up with your gear and get on the road much faster.
They have all the amenities that you can need such as entertainment, bathrooms, kitchens, dining, and private bedrooms. They are luxurious and can be customized to suit your preference.
When using a car for your skateboard road trip whether your car or a rental car don't leave for your trip without the following
- Driver's license
- Extra car key
- Spare tire
- A car jack, a wrench, spark plug, flashlight
- Car registration and insurance documents,
- An air compressor
- Portable gas container
- Container for coolant
Many skateboard road trippers have successful adventures without any vehicle or roadside incidents without issues. Having a roadside emergency kit with you can be a lifesaver in a situation where something unfortunate happens.
For a winter trip, you will need to add the following
- A shovel
- Ice scraper
- Tire chains
Lodging for a Skateboarding road trip
If you will be traveling on a camper trailer you can cuddle in bed with silk sheets in your van and don't have to worry about the outside world. This is similar to other commuting such as planes and trains. If you will be traveling in your car or a rented car, you can lodge in the following ways.
- Don't worry about wasting money on hotels. A camp/tent/hammock can be a great alternative in the right climate. In a cold, whether you can use a sleeping bag while not exactly comfortable, it keeps you safe for the night and protects you from the elements. If you are doing it right, you don't need to pay $30 to lay a tent in a field close to barking dogs or screaming kids plus, you get access to a pit toilet.
- If you are lucky enough, you will be able to crash with the locals, this is preferable to crashing outside. This has the advantage of fewer bugs plus you get access to a decent toilet.
- If you are a stranger in a big city you can book an Airbnb crib. You will be able to find a decent place in a friendly neighborhood at a decent price.
- Cheap hotels are a good option. They are a fraction of the price of normal hotels if you split the cost between your traveling companions and you are lucky, you might meet some other skateboard road trip travelers and make some friends along the way.
- If there is no safe place to lay your head. You can always crash in your car and continue the trip the next day, or take turns driving with your trip companions.
Taking a skateboarding road trip enables you to build memories that will last a lifetime. The joy of such adventure helps you to discover things about yourself that you never would have known.
The trip allows you the opportunity for self-reflection. What this does is that it makes you calm and brings you to a place where you are at peace with yourself. This is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There is nothing quite it. There is nothing like taking a trip to clear the mind.
Being in an unfamiliar environment and taking a refreshing looking at a natural waterfall at the end of a day of skateboarding would bring a sense of contentedness. In its simplicity, you will find your biggest inspiration. There are lots of ways to manage your stress level. Taking a skateboarding road trip is one of the best ways I have found to do this.
During my travels, I met like-minded individuals and struck up relationships that have blossomed into friendships that persist today. When we travel, we end up finding and connecting with like-minded souls. What better way to feed your spirit than to be inspired by the tales of free-spirited travelers who are on their journey?
We all have relatives who are renowned for telling the best travel stories. You don't have to sit on the fence anymore. The most memorable tales are the ones that you live through because you were there. The best tales usually revolve around funny encounters with people or hilarious anecdotes of times you had to push yourself to the limit as a traveler. You will own these stories and experiences; and you will be able to share them for years to come, enriching your own life and those around you. If you have a travel camera to capture these moments, the better it is.
Traveling around opens your eyes to the diversity of the world in which we live. You're bound to discover cultures and ways of life along the way and experience a deeper sense of gratitude. It's healthy to take time to give thanks for the positive elements of your life.
Along the way, in addition to self-reflection, you get to know your skateboarding companions a lot better. Whether you are traveling with a friend, a family companion, or as part of a group, spending time together enables you to appreciate each other and the roles they play in your life.
Taking a skateboarding road trip is a great opportunity to relax, unwind and recharge. To be your best, you need to feel your best and discover the unexpected. These unexpected treasures of going on a skateboarding road trip are one of the most fulfilling reasons to take the trip.
So, what are you waiting for? Your next adventure awaits.