All skaters — roller, regular, penny or long — have a place on the University of Maryland campus. If you’re thinking about whether or not to bring your skates or your board to campus — or whether to get started with any skate sport at all, here’s what you should know.
Aside from electric skateboard/hoverboard being prohibited in dorms, this university can be a skateboard-friendly environment whether you choose a motorized or regular skateboard.
Can I skate to class?
Skating to class is doable, but it’s best to plan your route beforehand. The university’s campus has many hills that may make going to class difficult or even a safety hazard.
Safety gear can make a new skater more comfortable with the hilly terrain, but local skater and junior computer science major Atem Benanzea-Fontem said falling is also part of the process as a beginner. Knowing how to fall safely and not on your arms can reduce the chance of a serious injury.
Students can usually bring their skateboards into classrooms with them rather than secure them outside like bikers and e-scooter users do. But electric skateboards and hoverboards are prohibited in dorms.
Where are good places to skate on campus?
For beginners, any of the flatground parking lots on campus can be great for practicing how ride a board correctly.
Benanzea-Fontem recommends the space around Pyon-Chen dorm and outside the new dining hall, parking lot by the public health school, the Leonardtown basketball court, the Shoemaker Building and the Memorial Chapel parking lot.
I’m thinking about taking up skateboarding. What kind of board should I get?
First time skaters should likely start off using a traditional skateboard, as opposed to the larger shaped longboard or the smaller penny board, and getting softer wheels for the board can help users ride over cracks on pavement easier.
A We Skate at UMD recommended a skate shop to get all things you might need to start practicing the sport in Washington, D.C., is Crushed Skate Shop. Located at 1342 U St. NW, the store sells skateboards and mending products like griptape and other hardware, in addition to extra accessories such as skater-friendly footwear and apparel.
What do I do if I’m having a problem with my board?
Bethesda Scooters and Boards, located at 7900 Woodmont Ave. Bethesda, MD, is a Benanzea-Fontem approved repair shop. The Vigilante Coffee shop at 8200, Baltimore Ave. College Park, MD also has a limited number of skateboards and parts.
The campus bike shop does not help with traditional skateboarding repairs
What else should I know?
Both new and more advanced skaters should be wary of practicing late at night or in crowded areas so as to not injure themselves or others by running into pedestrians or cars.
Skaters of all levels are welcome to practice and learn with clubs on campus such as We Skate at UMD, UMD Skateboarding Club and Longboarding Club at UMD.