How is it to skate in one of the coldest countries in the world? The answer is: mostly awesome! The winter season makes things quite challenging, but here we are anyway, skating all year long!
Helsinki Overall Score: 3.5
- Riding through the City: 3
- Specific Spots for longboard dancing: 5
- Longboard community: 5
- Longboard dancing equipment availability: 1
Riding through the city of Helsinki
In general, the streets are in a great condition and skating to our ultimate spot (Oodi) from many central locations is easy.
Even though there are some slight inclines in the city center, it’s quite effortless to get around via longboard. If you’re interested in cruising, I personally love the short scenic route going next to Töölönlahti.
You can reach the ocean very quickly via a beautiful park and enjoy the fresh sea air. But of course, during the winter season it’s impossible to ride almost anywhere due to the sand and ice on the streets… But that’s a whole different story.
We have many experienced long-distance cruisers in our group who can help you to find the best routes!
Best Spots for Longboard Dancing in Helsinki
To be honest, skating is not necessarily great at these latitudes during the wintertime: After being kicked out from several parking halls countless times, the options become very limited.
Fortunately, there’s a weekly longboard shift at the biggest skating hall in Finland, which means a total longboarding frenzy of 3 hours. Even though there’s not really space for long and relaxed dance lines, we really appreciate the possibility to grind tricks inside where it is warm, good facilities are present, and the people are nice. And most importantly, you don’t have to be continuously afraid of being shooed away!
Nevertheless, skating only once per week is definitely not enough! In order to keep your skating frequency at desired levels also during the winter, you need to be somewhat cold-tolerant to enjoy your beloved hobby in near zero conditions. And now it’s the perfect timing to present the ultimately best skating spot in Helsinki!
Oodi is the new central library of Helsinki that was chosen as the best new library in 2019. It’s an open place for everyone and luckily it includes also us longboarders!
The best feature of Oodi is “Lippa”, which is a is a huge awning-like structure providing a shelter from rain and snow. It covers a relatively large area so there’s space for our whole crew to satisfy our dancing needs. In addition to excellent skating conditions, you can always go inside the library to charge your phone, warm up, get snacks from the cafeteria and use the toilets for free.
During the less icy seasons, we have even better options. There’s a square in front of Oodi and it’s flat, there’s lighting and it’s huge!
Also, there’s a lovely park around the square which makes it a lovely place to hang out and drink beer with the crew in warm summer nights after skating.
It’s very popular among non-skaters too, so it’s a great opportunity to lure new people into longboard dancing. There are no words to describe how awesome the place is, we simply love it.
Helsinki Longboard Community
Helsinki is the home of HELdance, the first and only longboard dancing organization in Finland.
Even though the whole scene started from the scratch in 2018, we have managed to build a thriving community that is continuously attracting more and more skaters.
We welcome everyone to join our sessions no matter the level – we are more than happy to help anyone who’s interested in longboard dancing! It’s important to us that everyone can skate in an open and supportive environment.
Our crew is very active throughout the year despite the challenging weather conditions. During summer you can always find someone skating at the Oodi square.
Regarding winter, we are doing our best to provide the crew with proper indoor spots. Besides casual skate sessions, we organize workshops, contests and special events like movie nights, theme sessions and so on.
You can read Shawn’s blog post about the first international longboard dancing event in Finland here. All in all, we are a close group of good friends and we are more than happy to have more people in our community!
So, don’t be scared to join our sessions or say hi if you see us skating somewhere!
Getting Proper Equipment in Helsinki
At time of writing this, there is no official longboard dancing supply shop in Helsinki, so we order most of our stuff online. Nevertheless, there are some regular skate shops if you are in a desperate need of a new skate tool or so. A lot of riders in our crew rock decks from Simple Longboards, and we’re very happy with them! 🙂
Summing it up nordic stylie
If you can handle the cold, and a language that is near impossible to learn for non-natives (don’t worry the level of English in Helsinki is well above average haha), then you’ll love it up here with us.
I’d dare to say, we have one of the best skate spots in Northern Europe, and as already mentioned, we’ve got a great crew that is eager to learn and progress together, and will welcome any rider with open arms.
So come visit us soon, we’d love to jam with you!