What do you do when the sun is already setting but you're itching to skate? You can just say "not today" but you're no quitter. The truth is skateboarding at night can be one of the best times to skateboard – as long as you're properly prepared.
I'll take you through a quick journey of why you should consider skateboarding at night and then give you tips for how to stay safe while skating at night.
So, why should you start skating at night?
Once the sun starts going down, people head home and there are less cars on the road. For the night skater, this is perfect.
After dusk is when you'll be able to gently cruise down some of the best streets near you without the threat of a car running you over (as long you're prepared – see below!).
Personally, I always find night skating to be very peaceful and theraperapeutic. There's something about the streets being empty and being the only one skating around that is very relaxing to me.
If you're riding with your crew, it can feel like you guys are the only ones out there.
For some people, this isn't an issue but if you have classes all day, sometimes skating at night is the only time you can get out on the streets. Skating at night is perfect because you can go for a quick 1 to 2 hour session then come home and fall asleep.
It can be sometimes be nervewracking trying to nail a new trick and failing in front of a lot of people.
If you get nervous easily, go at night where there will be less people around - giving you much more space to practice.
Some skaters want to start skating at night but aren't quite sure where to go. So let's go over some of the best places to skateboard at night.
An absolute classic. Nothing beats a good garage run. Take the elevator all the way to the top and then skateboard or longboard all the way down.
Just remember to watch out for those sharp corners and prepare for them well in advance.
Parking garages are probably the most popular places to skateboard at night because that's the time when they are the least occupied. At night, you don't have to worry about cars suddenly backing up and hitting you. The garage should be empty.
Although it depends on your local skatepark hours, many skateparks will stay open after sunset and are great places to skate at night.
Most skateparks have a multitude of lights meaning that they're well lit and protected places to skate. At night, most skateparks are also less crowded than during the day giving you more chances to practice that hard trick you've been having difficulty landing.
While you may not be able to go near these places during the daytime due to the number of cars and people on them, you'll be able to skate these in peace at night.
There's nothing quite like the feeling of gliding down an empty city street on your skateboard. If you decide to go this route though, make sure you're adequately prepared and visible to those around you.
Parking lots can be one of the safest and best places to skateboard at night. While, during the day, they'll be filled with cars, at night they should be empty giving you plenty of space to skate around and practice your skills.
I still remember one of my fondest memories of skating in college was the empty stadium parking lot. The parking lot was on a big hill and at night time, it was absolutely empty.
We would go down there after dinner and skate around for hours.
For more of the best places to skateboard at night, see our article here.
To make sure you're visible to cars, you should be adequately prepared before you go skateboarding at night.
Your specific choice of gear and necessary equipment for skateboarding at night can be different depending on where you're planning to go. That said, here's some of the basics:
I get it. Your favorite color is black and you like dark washed jeans. However, in a black t-shirt and jeans, you will be invisible at night. Cars won't be able to see you until they're right about to hit you.
Many cities and counties have strict requirements about this but the core of it is: wear reflective clothing. If you don't want to wear one of those dorky safety vests (I mean, who does?), then try to wear bright colors like white, yellow, or even bright red.
Whenever you get on a skateboard, you should be wearing a skateboard helmet and skateboarding at night is no exception. If anything, wearing a helmet while skateboarding at night is even more important than it is during the day!
I don't think I need to go this into this too much because every skater should know this by now: wear a helmet.
You've got on your reflective clothing and a helmet and you think you're ready to skate. Not quite! How will you even see the road in front of you? If you're not skating in a very well-lit area (and even if you are), you need skateboard lights for night skating.
I may be a little biased but I love using Board Blazers skateboard lights for skating at night. These lights are small and easily attach right underneath your trucks. They produce an underglow effect that will draw attention to your board and help keep you visible at night.
Just look at the difference between skating at night without Board Blazers and with them installed
One important piece of equipment that many skaters forget until they're out there is a proper headlamp! While your skateboard lights will help light the way in front of you, a headlamp is the cheapest, easiest, and most effective way to light up the road.
With the right headlamp, you'll be able to see and avoid potholes and easily navigate through dark alleys and streets.
For skateboarding, make sure to choose a headlamp that can attach to your helmet. While there are some specifically designed for skateboarding, you can actually find much cheaper alternatives if you look for them.
I'm particularly fond of this headlamp style from GearLight which is available on Amazon for less than $20.
These type of lights are multipurpose so they can easily be used for skateboarding at night, camping, or other outdoor activities.
Once the sun goes down, the fun really starts. At least, that's what I think.
It's simple really.
And that's it. Any questions? Let's hear from you in the comments!
Where do you like to skateboard at night? And how do you make sure you're visible to others around you?