Olympiaplein Skatepark: Amsterdam’s skateboarding community
Olympiaplein is one of the Netherlands’ most popular skateboarding plazas, primarily due to its large, open area and its diverse selection of ramps and rails suitable for skaters of all levels – beginners and experts alike. Just like everywhere in the Netherlands, there’s a lot of flat ground. The park has a super-smooth surface too, which is perfect for getting a trick’s fundamentals down before taking it to the park’s gnarly death box.
There’s an undeniable community vibe at Olympiaplein; you can often see skaters of all ages and backgrounds skating together, learning from one another and generally having a good time – it’s what skateboarding is all about. Skateboarding is one of the most communal and welcoming sports, and Olympiaplein’s atmosphere embodies this sentiment perfectly.
Olympiaplein, 1076 Amsterdam
House of Urban Sports: staying ahead of the weather
House of Urban Sports makes a great addition to the Amsterdam skating scene. This indoor park will let you keep on skating regardless of what the Dutch weather throws at you. This space has a smooth wooden surface perfect for inline skaters, skateboarders, BMX’ers and stunt steppers. Whatever your speed or skill, there’s lots of opportunity for smooth transitions between the launch and street areas and onto the mini ramp. While there’s not a crazy amount of room, there’s plenty to do here on the half-pipe and the two-quarter pipes, the grind box and rail. There’s a super sesh happening every Thursday with the sport rotating each week, and you’ll find inline skating classes as well. Tired? Grab some fuel in the next door cafeteria to keep you going!
Willinklaan 5, 1067 SL Amsterdam
Nelson Mandelapark: a park for skaters of all styles
The skatepark at Nelson Mandelapark (formerly known as Bijlmerpark) is one of the largest in the Amsterdam Area. The main attractions of the park are its two brightly coloured pools; the smaller pool is 5’9 (1.8m) high, and the larger one has a coping that slopes between 5’9 (1.8m) and 7’9 (2.4m). The pools are right next to each other, so you sometimes see the bolder skaters – and more commonly, the BMXers – transferring between them. Nelson Mandelapark also features a street-skating section of sorts, including a variety of banks, hubbas and rails that are low enough for newbies and veterans to hone their skills. This mini street section breaks up the park nicely, providing a little relief for those street-only skaters. It’s worth noting that there are a couple of stair sets with handrails at the park’s entrance, but these are far too large for your average skater – they’re more akin to the kind of obstacle you’d see Luan Oliveira throwing himself down in a Street League Super Crown.
Nelson Mandelapark, 1102 BX Amsterdam
Skatepark NOORD: a rare gem for street skateboarders
Skatepark NOORD is undoubtedly one of the city’s favourite hangouts. Unlike other parks that aim for a wider audience, this one is truly a skateboard oriented park, with lots of open space that captures that street feel. It’s an indoor park with smooth but not slippery concrete. Real street elements are used for obstacles, and they’re authentic down to the materials. For example, the park borrows heavily from iconic urban designs such as Philly’s LOVE Park trashcans and the MACBA ledges in Barcelona.
Thanks to the park’s attention to detail, the flow is by far superior. The many ledges, rails, stairs and mini ramps offer plenty of opportunities for tricks. What’s extra special is that the wheelie table and ledge are adjustable in height, guaranteeing the sort of personally tailored experience that is rare to find. Skate on the recreated Miami “synagogue rails” and pop into the next-door pizza shop for a break. The skatepark arranges special evenings for BMX on occasion as well.
Skatepark NOORD, Aambeeldstraat 12, 1021 KB Amsterdam
CONS Project Amsterdam: the Dutch yellow-brick road of skateboarding
With CONS Project Amsterdam, Converse gave the local Amsterdam creative community, including skateboarders, artists and photographers, the opportunity to create a unique skatepark in the Amsterdam Noord area – DIY style. Boy, they delivered: the park, inspired by Holland’s back gardens and ‘The Wizard of Oz’, is a gorgeously crafted concrete path filled with an array of kickers, quarter pipes and transfers. Many of the ramps and gaps are great for learners, but there are also gnarlier obstacles for more experienced skaters.
The kicker gap that has a busted-up car between the kickers is reminiscent of something you’d see in the opening levels of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series back in its prime. It doesn’t end there, though: there are several DIY-style obstacles that give this park a decadent feel, such as a shipping container that only the brave dare to stall on and a garage-like shelter for those showery Amsterdam days. All in all, this park has something for everyone. Even for those who aren’t into skateboarding or extreme sports, it’s worth a visit just to see what Amsterdam’s local creative community is capable of – both artistically and in terms of their skateboarding skills.
CONS project, Noorderpark, Amsterdam
Urban Sport Zone Skatepark Zeeburgereiland: the largest skatepark of the Netherlands
Step into Skatepark Urban Sport Zone, the largest outdoor skate park in the Netherlands, and one of the biggest in Europe. There’s 3100 square meters of concrete to let loose in, with plenty of zones that are perfect for bowl skaters. The terrain is great for both beginners and advanced skaters, but watch out for children on scooters who can present an unexpected obstruction. There’s also a street zone, which is comparatively smaller and might prove insufficient if you’re not into pools. The raised platforms offer the chance to take smooth transitions from the street to the flow and pool sections of the park. The park was intended for skateboarders, BMXers and inline skaters and was initiated by Stan Postmus and designed by the Danish agency Glifberg+Lykke.
Urban Sport Zone, Eef Kamerbeekstraat 43, Amsterdam
SkateCafe: a skateboarders' oasis in Amsterdam Noord
So you've been tearing up the city's skate spots all day, but now you just want to relax a bit. Don't worry: SkateCafe in Noord is the perfect pit stop for skaters. SkateCafe ticks all the right skate-friendly boxes. Awesome craft beer? Check. Food to recharge your batteries? Check. The best punk, hip-hop and rock tunes? Check. No dance music? Double-check. A massive half-pipe? Check. You can't get a much better chill spot for skaters.
SkateCafe, Gedempt Hamerkanaal 42