Should I take a skateboard to: Amsterdam?
You already know what this city is famous for but this third installment by Brad Melin (@bradmelin) is about skateboarding and whether you should take a skateboard when you next visit Amsterdam. The answer is always yes, of course but read on to see what you have to look forward to.
Amsterdam is a flat city, most of which actually lies below sea level (insert tasteless joke about dikes). It's got some of the friendliest locals around, there's world-famous cheese everywhere, and the Dutch know how to do non-motorised transport properly.
I'm going to be rating Amsterdam a little differently in terms of skateboarding – it's totally unsuited to downhill, but I guess if you're into longboard dancing you could do that there (or anywhere). If you're amped on getting around, a cruiser with big wheels is seriously worth investing in.
Commute: 7/10.While Amsterdam isn't that good a place to go fast, it is an amazing city to skate through – bikes are well-catered for and easy enough to find, but I always feel that you miss a lot of scenery while cycling. Skating around here is mostly easy (the bike lanes are everywhere), and since it's got so much to offer, walking kinda sucks. Although of course walking is shit everywhere in the world, not just Amsterdam.
Skate parks: 7/10.I can't really be trusted to rate this properly – I made an effort to find some skate parks in Amsterdam, but kept hitting dead ends. FYI, there's no skate park at NDSM Wharf.
As soon as I stopped looking, though, things started materialising. There's a sweet double ramp with a bit of a hump near the IAMSTERDAM sign, and more than a few shitty neighbourhood parks. And then, as I was about to leave, I found what has got to be one of the best bowls I'd ever seen. Which is another thing worth mentioning – everything skateable is free. No session cash, no limits on what's allowed into the park. Just pure public property and sweet graffiti.
Overall score: 7/10.Taking a board with you will make your Amsterdam experience a lot more rewarding than if you didn't, but you shouldn't go here on a downhill skate holiday. For maximum fun / utility, I'd take a big street deck (think LY Loco 33) with some extra wheels in your bag for cruising (65mm, slightly softer).
I dropped the ball a bit in Amsterdam with photo-taking (you can guess why), but I did photograph that amazing bowl a bit. Yeew.
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