GANGWON: Ramp up in Chuncheon

Gangwon skateboarding park IMG_2422

Ramp up in Chuncheon

words and shots by Sergey Vaynshenk

A small city with a large skatepark.

From its inception by Californian surfers in the 1950s, skateboarding has spread around the globe as a favorite sport for millions. Created in the off season, skateboarding erupted as a means for people to surf the pavement, hone their skills and originally mainly focused on freestyle downhill racing and slalom. On top of that, the skateboards of the 50s were little more than boxes and boards nailed to roller skates. In the early 70s the sport took a new turn. The invention of urethane skateboard wheels make skateboards more stable and easier to control. This advance in technology allowed professional skateboarders to go faster and lower to the ground and enabled them to perform more advanced tricks. Also the evolution of the board itself to the layered wood construction that is common today allowed it to take more impact and thereby let skateboarders perform their sport in new environments.

Skateboarding can be done almost anywhere but the smoothest ride and the best equipment can be found at a skatepark. However, when on the road, or in a strange place, it is sometimes hard to find a good place to skate. Luckily, there is a phenomenal park only an hour and a half outside of Seoul, in Chuncheon.

Even though Chuncheon is a relatively small city by Korean standards, it boasts one of the best skateparks on the peninsula. Located at the Songam Leisure Sports Town, the park is equipped with a full X-games setup. This includes large banks, quarter pipes, rails, fun boxes, a vert ramp, a half pipe, and two ramps that you can use to launch yourself from into foam pits.The park can easily accommodate inline skates, skateboards, and BMX bikes. However, it is important to note that there is no rental option for riding equipment at the park so you must bring your own. Basic equipment may be purchased at Emart, Home Plus and Lotte Mart. There are also many specialty suppliers in Korea, such as the Timber Skate Shop, where you can purchase everything you could possibly need.

Getting there: Songam Leisure Sports Town X-game Park, Songam-dong 700-3, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do, Korea