Skateboarding in Newcastle Gateshead

Do you become an armchair sporting expert each time the Olympics comes around? With 33 sports and 46 disciplines to get your head around - it really is quite exhausting work watching the athletes compete! 

In 2021 - the return of the Olympics provided another dose of high drama, tense competition and eager toting up of medals. However, the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo (which took place in summer 2021!) had some exciting changes when five new sports debuted. Sports climbing, karate, surfing, skateboarding and baseball/softball were introduced to the iconic, international competition this year. While BMX racing has been part of the summer Olympic programme since it was first introduced in 2008 at Beijing, it also felt quite new and made a real impact in 2021 when Team GB won two historic medals - one gold and one silver. 

If you were inspired by the Olympians winning medals and achieving greatness, then ride that sporty wave and have a go yourself in NewcastleGateshead! Whether you just fancy trying your hand at a new sport, would like to find a new community by joining a team or you want to revive old hobbies - there are lots of ways to try some of the sports featured in this year's Olympics here in Newcastle and Gateshead. 

Read on to find our guide to how to try five Olympic sports and activities in NewcastleGateshead.... and we'll be sure to cheer you on in Paris 2024! 

Skateboarding

Over the past few years, there has been a revival of the retro activities skateboarding and roller skating which has zipped through the North East and the rest of the UK! 

Keen skaters can have a go at skateboarding in the North East by visiting designated skate parks in Newcastle. You will find a popular spot at the entrance to Exhibition Park in Newcastle city centre as well as a small skate park in coastal town, Whitley Bay. Both skate parks have ramps to try out your skills and space to practice your tricks. 

If it's skateboarding lessons that you're looking for, then whizz over the river to Override Indoor Skatepark in Jarrow, South Shields. This is a great place for beginners to try out skateboarding as they have ramps suitable for all abilities. Book a lesson or stick around to see the professionals in action! There is also a top skater shop on site which has all the kit you could possibly need so you can at least be dressed like a pro-skater even if you are still a little wobbly on your board! 

Whitley Bay Skate Club is another shop where you can buy your roller skates, skateboard, skate helmet and other clobber to make you look the part! 

    Those who feel the need for speed on eight wheels should check out roller derby in Newcastle. The city has its very own Roller Derby team! Cheer on The Canny Belters, Whippin' Hinnies and The North Cs as a spectator as they whip around the track in this high-octane and boisterous sport.  There are seemingly limited opportunities to take part yourself but that's not to say you can't have a go! There are three teams crossing all levels so keep an eye out for announcements about new skater intakes. In the meantime, you really need to come up with your punchy, roller derby name! 

    Climbing

    Sports climbing was also added to the Olympics in 2021 and there are plenty of places to try out a spot of climbing and have fun, build strength and make friends in Newcastle. 

    The Climb in Newcastle has a couple of great sites where all ages and abilities can take to the bouldering walls and climb! There are a number of coaching sessions and induction courses too for beginners as well as children who want to learn how to climb.  Whether you're a first time climber or a pro - there are a range of simple and increasingly challenging walls to have conquer. In previous years - the climbing centre have also hosted competitive events as well as holiday clubs and group sessions. 

    Surfing

    Newcastle is perhaps not automatically the place you would associate with a surfing mecca but the nearby coastal towns of Whitley Bay and Tynemouth are quickly gaining reputation as must-visit surf spots where keen surfers flock to catch the waves.

    During the 2020 Olympics, you may have caught the coverage from the waves of Japan where the surfing competition took place for the first time as an Olympic sport. If you're inspired to have a go then check out a number of excellent and friendly surf schools and communities including Tynemouth Surf Co., Longsands Surf School and Yonder Girls Surf Club, where you will find regular classes, courses and holiday clubs. There are also options to hire wet suits and other kit for those who have their own board or perhaps are more confident in the water already.

    Also check out CBK Adventures for an award-winning range of activities from stand up paddle boarding to kayaking, coasteering, lessons and private hire. 

    ... and let's be honest - it's not always about the taking part, but more about embracing the culture! Grab a beer, warming cup of coffee or a hearty burger and sit back, watch the hard work happen in the surf and enjoy some good vibes at Tynemouth Surf Cafe.

    BMX riding

    On your bike and off to Chopwell Woods to get your adrenaline pumping on their custom-built Pump Track. Chopwell Woods is about a 30-minute drive south of Newcastle city centre and has two options for BMX riders - one pump track suitable for children and another, longer track that has more challenging terrain, more jumps and more corners! 

    Dressage

    Arguably the stand out performance of any summer Olympics is the Dancing Horses! If you're looking for answers or want to see if you have what it takes to partner up with a hip-hop horse, then why not try dressage? Stepney Bank Stables is an excellent equestrian centre with a community feel in the midst of urban Newcastle. Found in Ouseburn, the riding stables excels in technical riding and has gifted (patient!) instructors as well as responsive and intelligent horses and ponies who are suitable for a range of abilities and ages. The equestrian centre's timetable of lessons - both group and private - mean there are plenty of opportunities to improve existing skills or learn something new. Stepney Bank Stables is great for kids to get a grounding in riding and have fun as well as being brilliant for adults who want to have a go or brush up on skills they may have previously learnt. 

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