If you’ve been on social media recently, chances are, you’ve seen people flock to parking lots or skate parks. Here, you’ll see skaters swerving in and out, dodging obstacles and tackling ramps on the latest phenomenon that’s taken Bangkok by storm: surfskates.
Born out of a need to enrich the urban lifestyle, surfskates provide ample opportunity for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies alike to get their fix. Even complete newbies have found themselves stepping up to the challenge, fully embracing and becoming engrossed in this new trend. If you’re one of the few people that haven’t yet jumped on the surfskate bandwagon (or board), here’s all you need to know.
SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS SURFSKATE?
To the untrained eye, surfskates appear to just be skateboards, albeit, with a slightly different shape; but the moment you ride one, the differences become apparent. In reality, the mechanics are much more similar to surfing and snowboarding (the board was afterall invented by surfers and snowboarders for entertainment during a flat ocean day and during the summer).
Unlike a skateboard where you kick off the ground to generate and maintain speed, the surfskate relies on ‘pumping.’ With ‘pumping’, you throw your shoulders from left to right, relying on your upper body to generate momentum. If done correctly, your board will propel itself forward in a zigzag motion where you can go on indefinitely barring any obstacles or slopes. If we think of ‘pumping’ as the forward motion, ‘carving’ is the turning motion. With ‘carving’, you throw your body into the turn, swinging your shoulders and tipping the board into the direction you want to take.
WHERE CAN YOU RIDE?
The beauty of the surfskate is that you can ride it anywhere. But Bangkok—the city as it is—has embraced the trend in a somewhat over-the-top manner, as if overcompensating for the lack of love it’s shown the skateboarding community in recent years. Skate parks are popping up at an absurdly fast rate and we’ve even seen parking lots temporarily converted.
Siam Discovery is the latest victim to fall to the surfskate craze. The skate park is open to all, but reservations are required with a limit of only 15 people per session. You can opt for either the ‘freestyle session’ for THB 150 per hour or the ‘class session’ for THB 450 per hour. For both sessions, you’ll receive a free sticker pack, demo board, and even a professional photographer to capture that moment you plummet face first into the concrete. Composed of mostly flat surfaces, the park is ideal for beginners. Reservations can be made through Eventpop. Open from 10AM to 10PM only until May 2, 2021.
Mega Bangna (Parking Lot)
This parking-lot-turned-skate-park is the largest location on our list at over 9,000 square meters. With such a wide space, this makeshift park allows the surfskate to do exactly what it was meant to: shred some serious concrete. By the end of the day, you would have worked up a hearty appetite, enough to indulge in the patented IKEA meatballs (we’re only half kidding). Open from 4PM to 10PM.
ESC Space Pumper
Located next to a wake park, this newly opened skate park has already attracted many skaters. ESC Space Pumper has an exciting mix of terrains: from a sloping track to a flat surface area and even a skate bowl, this park has it all, making it perfect for both advanced and beginner skaters. Open Monday to Thursday from 3PM to 10PM; Friday from 3PM to 12AM; and Saturday and Sunday from 9AM to 12AM.
- The Promenade Shopping Mall (Parking Lot)
- Fortune Tower (Parking Lot)
- Sanam Luang
WHICH BOARD SHOULD YOU GO FOR?
Carver Skateboards (@carver_thailand)
We can’t mention surfskates without mentioning Carver Skateboards. The original surfskate (since 1996) from California has kept up with the times with its innovative designs that deliver speed, power and flow.
Penny Skateboards (@pennyskateboardsth)
Penny Skateboards are quickly selling out and may require pre-orders. If you’re looking to get into surfskates, these boards will make for some gnarly carving.
YOW Surf (@yowsurf_thailand)
The YOW (Your Own Wave) surfskates are known to be great for carving due to their precise pivoting mechanics. Aside from that, their trendy and modern designs bring intrinsic aesthetic value.
One of the go to choices for many skaters, the high-performance SwellTech surfskates operate on a design that helps with lateral movement, increasing your range of motion.
Writer: Noah Sumayao (@noahsumayao)
A digital marketer by day, Noah Sumayao graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Law, and since returning home after graduation, has been living the #agencylife. He enjoys bingeing animal documentaries, playing sports, getting aggressively competitive at board games and testing out new pasta recipes on the weekend. When not busy optimizing Facebook campaigns, you can find him writing for Bitesize’s Lifestyle section on cultural trends, and food and beverage.