Now that the sun has finally made an appearance, it’s time to skate outside! Yay! But where? Fortunately, Vancouver and area is full of nice chunks of asphalt perfect for roller skating. They might be miss-named as basketball courts, ball hockey rinks or lacrosse boxes, but we know what they are really for, don’t we?
Metro Vancouver’s various cities are kind enough to have searchable lists of park amenities that will help you find a place to roller skate near you. If you are lucky, you will have a nice ball hockey or lacrosse box near your house which should be big enough to contain a full roller derby track (88’ x 28”), so you can practice endurance laps.
Unfortunately, it’s not necessarily easy to tell the age or condition of these spaces from the databases. If you know of a space that is particularly new and smooth, or so cracked it’s not worth bothering with, please leave a comment.
Also, you will be fighting for space on these courts with people practicing sports other than roller derby. It’s bizarre, I know, but we do live in a free society. Each to their own, and all that. In my experience, most courts are busy at the expected times: after work on weekdays and during sunny weekends. If you are able to get to a court in the early morning, or from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, you will have the best luck getting free space to skate. If you are negotiating with other groups to get some time on the court, remember the cardinal rules: don’t be an ass-hat, and be safe. Act as an ambassador for the roller skate/roller derby community, play nice, and share space. Also, always be aware of your surroundings, wear all of your safety gear, and if you are skating near people who are playing a ball sport, be aware of flying objects coming your way.
Vancouver Parks and Recreation Places to Roller Skate Finder:
Ok, fine, you can find other sport areas here too. There is really nice search function that lets you search for the type of sport and the neighborhood you are in. Basketball, ball hockey, lacrosse, all of these should lead you to a nice chunk of asphalt for your roller skating pleasure:
New Westminster Parks Amenities:
This search isn’t quite as convenient as the Vancouver Parks Board search, but it’s still pretty nice. New Westminster has quite a few nice lacrosse boxes that are perfect for roller skating, if you can grab one away from the ball hockey types. You can search by park, to see what amenities they have, or you can search by amenity to find a park that’s close:
Burnaby Parks Amenities:
Unfortunately, though it says that Burnaby has tons of different sporting areas, they are not all listed on the website. Still, you might find some facilities here, or, if you are really determined, contact Burnaby Sports and Rec directly. While you are at it, demand a dedicated roller skate surface!:
Richmond Parks Amenities:
Here’s a searchable database, which should yield a list of roller skate-able sites:
Have an awesome summer skating! Be safe, and have fun!