Ireland is known for being super welcoming and friendly and Dublin couldn’t be any different. In addition to being a popular destination for people to learn English, over the past decade several Tech companies have established their headquarters here, and, as a consequence, there was a boom in its immigrant population.
It is now a melting pot of cultures, with people of all countries, ages and backgrounds arriving every day to study, work or both.
As a foreigner myself, one of the things I love the most about this city is people’s openness. I moved here about a year and half ago completely by myself – I knew a few people from work but I certainly didn’t know any longboarders.
I was stoked when my friend @valeriakechichian invited me to be the Irish Ambassador for Longboard Girls Crew as it was the perfect opportunity to meet others passionate about skating. However, on the day of our first official meetup, I must confess I was terrified no one would show up. But to my surprise, about 15 people turned up after just seeing our event on our newly created Facebook page!
We had people who had never set foot on a board show up just out of that openness to learn something new and have fun. Since then, things really took off and I’m still shocked every week when handfuls of people show up to skate together.
I hope you enjoy this guide as much as I enjoy Dublin and its welcoming, open people – and just a disclaimer: I still consider myself a n00b in this city so I might be missing a few things.
If you’re part of a crew that is not mentioned here or want to add anything at all, just add a comment or DM me on Instagram.
Dublin Overall Score: 3
- Riding through the City: 3
- Specific Spots for longboard dancing: 3
- Longboard community: 3.5
- Longboard dancing equipment availability: 2
Riding through the city of Dublin
Dublin is a relatively flat city with plenty of bike paths and smooth sidewalks.
If you can avoid cruising during rush hour, even better – you can be lucky to have a whole lane to yourself to be able to enjoy the view.
It’s especially nice to cruise along the coast of Sandymount overlooking the beach, though the canal between Portobello and Rathmines, and up north at the long coastal stretches of Clontarf. The main thing that lowered the score in this category is, of course, the Dublin weather – it rains ALL YEAR LONG and it’s that annoying type of misty, horizontal drizzle that gives you the illusion of a nice clear day when, in fact, it’s actually wet outside.
Another con here is the quality of the asphalt – there are LOTS of pebbles/gravel so watch out for getting your wheels locked.
In terms of parks, Phoenix Park and Blackrock Park are the best spots. Phoenix Park is a bit further away so it’s usually chosen as a weekend spot, while Blackrock has frequent meetups from People on Wheels. Other nice parks are St. Anne’s and Fairview Park (which also has a skate park).
Best Spots for Longboard Dancing in Dublin
Grand Canal Dock would be the perfect place to practice dancing if it wasn’t for the longboard-intolerant security guards in the area.
It’s one of the corporate hubs in Dublin and although it’s common to see people commuting to work on bikes or boards, if you hang around too long you’ll probably be kicked out by a guard. Weekends tend to be emptier and therefore, guard-free.
The best spot we’ve found which became our regular go-to, is right behind the Aviva Stadium in D4. It’s a wide-ish closed off road literally behind the stadium, which is great as the stadium lights stay on till quite late (which is really helpful in the winter when the sun sets before 4pm).
We keep the location somewhat secret to prevent it from getting busted by guards, but just message @lgcireland if you wanna find it.
LGC Ireland is constantly on the lookout for new spots and we keep in touch through a WhatsApp group, which we also use to set up our weekly meetups (Irish weather is so unpredictable that we literally check the forecast day by day when planning skate sessions).
If you want to be added to be looped in, message us on @lgcireland.
Dublin Longboard Community
The longboard community in general in Dublin is relatively small, so the longboard dancing one specifically is even tinier. That being said, it’s super welcoming and inclusive nonetheless, and growing every day. These are the main longboard crews:
- Longboard Girls Crew Ireland: open to everyone; all genders, ages, levels, nationalities – literally anyone interested in getting together to longboard, learn and empower each other, and just have fun. We’ve only started the Irish chapter in September 2019 and have grown a lot since then – almost 1k people follow us on Facebook and as mentioned before, we have a WhatsApp group with 60+ active members joining meetups every week (when the weather allows).
- Dublin Longboard Crew: mostly focused on downhill, this is the veteran crew of Dublin and has been established for several years. Pearse D’Arcy, professional downhill longboarder, is one of the admins of the group on Facebook.
- People on Wheels: started out as a “Longboard Beginners” group on the Meetup platform where its founder Gabriel organized weekly get togethers at Blackrock Park. Currently they are migrating to a standalone website called People on Wheels and they keep hosting regular meetups in Blackrock.
Getting Proper Equipment in Dublin
We mostly rely on buying online, the main physical stores in the city are very focused on skateboarding and have very little, if any, quality longboard equipment. Skatepro.ie, Gosk8.ie and Amazon would be the best online shops.
Summing it up Sláinte stylie
Dublin is an eclectic city, and saying it has lots to offer would be a dramatic understatement. Our longboard scene is young and thriving, and we would love to show you around!
So come hit us up, we’d love to get to know you in the Irish Capital 🙂