Skateboarding was once considered a reckless, antisocial sport. Its rebellious reputation has since been smoothed by generous sponsorships, dedicated skateboarding parks and televised events. You'll also find plenty of places where you can haul out your board for some hectic downhill rides.

Did you know?

A number of former water catchment dams in South Africa are now popular skateboarding arenas.

Skateboarding and longboarding in South Africa are becoming increasingly popular as more skateboarding parks are opened to the public.

Longboarding is becoming particularly popular in the Eastern Cape, with events such as the Donkin Downhill Dash, creating awareness about this activity, which involves slightly different equipment, designed more for ground speed than aerial manouvers.

While Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town have been established skateboarding cities for some time, Kimberley, in the Northern Cape, now also boasts superb skateboarding facilities, put in place for the Maloof Money Cup, the world's biggest skateboarding competition that was held for the first time in South Africa at the end of September 2011.

Like surfing, skateboarding has become a slick multi-billion dollar sport merchandising industry – and a lot more sophisticated than the old days of planks on wheels.

The Wave House Skatepark in Umhlanga Ridge near Durban is one of South Africa's most popular skateboarding venues. It was designed by legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk, who visits regularly to show off his amazing skills.

Wave House Skatepark is 4 000m² in size, the largest in Africa, and features a 55m-long snake ride, the best mini ramp in the country and the only kidney bowl in Southern Africa, plus a street course.

The vert ramp is the biggest in South Africa at 12-foot high and acclaimed by big skateboarding names such as Bob Burnquist, Tony Hawk, Andy Macdonald and Jesse Fritsch.

Coaching and skate lessons are available for beginners and established skaters looking to refine their moves.

Indigo Skate Camp runs the Vodacom Winterslam at the Durban Beachfront skatepark in July, and the lineup of performers is heaven on wheels for skateboarding enthusiasts. In Gauteng, skateboarding venues include Boogaloos and the Germiston Ramp.

In Cape Town, one of the main skating venues is Sentinel Boardriders Youth Lifestyle Centre and Skate Park in Hout Bay.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Wave House Skate Park
Tel: +27 (0)31 584 9400
Fax: +27 (0)31 584 9401

What will it cost

Some skateboarding parks have no entry fee, while more established venues charge around R50 for half a day of skateboarding.

What to pack

Your skateboarding equipment. Alternatively, you can hire boards and protective gear at most of the skateboarding parks in South Africa.