So you’re a Memphian born and raised or a transplant. And you want to skate. Or you already skate and want to find the best place to or maybe find a group to skate with.
You came to the right place (I hope) and I’ll go through to answer as many Memphis skating questions as I can think of.
Let’s get started.
Where Can I Skate in Memphis?
Memphis features a few skateparks actually. They aren’t so hard to find and you’re in luck if you live near midtown. The top three skateparks in Memphis are all centered in the Midtown area.
There are also some decent spots to skate that aren’t actual skateparks. I’ll mostly talk about places in Midtown and Downtown in this article. Sorry, East Memphians. I just don’t know that area well.
If you have a fear of skating in public check out our guide to becoming confident with skating in public.
Memphis has a grand total of five skateparks with the most recent addition being Society skatepark that is a transplant indoor park from Atlanta. Four of these skateparks are in the Midtown area. One is in East Memphis.
There are no skateparks that I am aware of downtown.
Toby Skatepark is probably the best outdoor and public skatepark that Memphis has to offer. It is situated right behind the Department of Education building and is a little hard to find at first. You need to know where to look.
The park itself consists of mostly two large concrete bowls with different depths. There are a few street-style components scattered around the park as well. This park gets crowded on nice days in the early evening or weekend. The vibe is pretty open and relaxed as well. BMX bikers show up here as well, but not so many.
The park also has a great little concrete mini ramp to help you get started with skating transition. This is where I learned to drop in.
If you come here in the morning, you likely will have the park to yourself or at most a couple of other skaters. The park is a public skatepark and free to enter.
Society Skatepark and Contact Skateshop are the cool new kids on the block. They came to Memphis in 2019 from Atlanta and have since become the hub for skateboarding culture in Memphis.
They regularly host demonstrations from pro-skaters, local concerts, and tournaments such as King of Memphis. They are a private business and you need a membership to enter. The prices were $75 per month or $600 per year as of writing this article (July, 2021).
The park also has a skate shop built-in called Contact Skateshop and a coffee shop to get a cup of Joe.
The park itself is mostly a mix of ramps and quarter pipes. It is mostly a street-style park, but has a halfpipe, and is well spaced out. It can get crowded on weekends, but if you can go early then the park will be mostly yours.
They also have skate lessons and an old person night was a thing before I moved away from Memphis in August 2019.
Al Town D.I.Y. Skatepark
No skatepark in Memphis has equal parts style and sketchiness as Al Town D.I.Y. Skatepark. This little Midtown gem is tucked away right on the border of Cooper-Young and is a unique spot to say the least.
The park is a mix of assorted quarter piped and ramps and random creations by the park users. It really isn’t uncommon to see potholes or random rocks at the bottom of the park’s obstacles.
This may seem sketchy and it is, but the park also has undeniable style as well. You should absolutely give this spot a visit, but it isn’t very beginner-friendly. The park is free to use and sometimes hosts community events and concerts.
Negro Terror played a small live show here in 2018 before Memphian and frontman Omar Higgens passed away. Check out the video here. Negro Terror has since stopped playing, but Omar’s other project Chinese Dub Embassy is still active in the local music scene.
Someone was running an Instagram for the park, but it hasn’t been active since 2019. Check it out.
View this post on Instagram
This park is a nice concrete public skatepark that is free to use. It is a bit of a drive if you don’t live in East Memphis though.
The skatepark itself is pretty lowkey with quarter pipes and small street obstacles on one side and a good-sized concrete bowl on the other. This park can get pretty crowded in the early evening on nice days and is part of a larger and quite nice little park.
It can be worth the drive if you want to change things up. Otherwise, if you live in East Memphis, then it’s probably the best choice as your primary park.
University of Memphis
The University of Memphis isn’t super-skate friendly, but there are some nice spots to skate hidden in the campus. It is hard to cruise without longboard wheels, however, and sometimes security guards will ask you to leave. There are a few parking garages I would love to carve down from the roof when they’re empty on weekends or nights. There are also quite a few nice stair sets and spots with smooth pavement.
During the semester and during the day, the university is pretty crowded and is not great to skate. At night, however, the campus gets way quieter. Check it out.
The Fairgrounds is actually a terrible place to skate in Memphis. I’m only including this here because I made this mistake when I was getting back into skating. I just wanted a nice open flatground spot for me to get comfortable on a board again and the fairgrounds is just that.
However, the Fairgrounds is still a hotspot for people selling and looking to score drugs. The is the problem with the spot. I was approached and asked for drugs directly once and had a few strange staredowns with sketchy cars with tinted windows.
The police will also watch you suspiciously here. So yeah. Just stay away.
If you’re downtown or have a car, skating downtown along one of the river parks or on Mud Island is fantastic at sunset. There aren’t a ton of big open spaces though and lots of people are walking the paths around sunset hours as well.
So, the river parks are probably best for cruising or simple flatground tricks. If you want to cruise, use a cruiser board or put longboard wheels on your skateboard. Otherwise, you’ll be pushing the entire time.
On a slightly unrelated note, Mud Island at sunset was my go-to spot to just walk and think. It has a great relaxing vibe and every Memphian should do a sunset picnic there at some point.
Overton Park is a pretty underrated spot to skate in my opinion. There are great roads and little hills to cruise on if you have bigger wheels and there are a few nice open flatground spots with stairs as well. I liked to skate on the Levitt Shell stage for a bit as well but was asked to leave. Which is fair. The Levitt Shell is a treasure and I might have damaged it.
If you live near Overton park, then give it a go. I also see other skaters at the park sometimes and there are just generally good vibes there. People are playing frisbee, walking dogs, relaxing in the sun, or going to see a concert.
I love Overton and miss it a ton.
Where Can I Buy a Skateboard in Memphis?
There are a few places to buy a skateboard in Memphis. However, due to online marketplaces starting to dominate, some skate shops are closing up.
Let’s see where we can buy a skateboard in Memphis.
If you want to know how much a skateboard should cost check out our guide to skateboard cost for completes and custom setups.
Memphis Skate Shops
Contact Skate Shop
This is a skate shop that is built into Society skatepark in Midtown. They have a strong social media and online presence and their selection is constantly updating.
I would recommend shopping here first. Like mentioned earlier, Society skate shop has become the locus of skate culture in Memphis. They’re a great community/business and should be supported.
The skate shop itself is pretty small though and doesn’t have the selection of a larger or chain-brand store.
Cheapskates is located on Getwell Road in South Memphis. It is probably the longest-running skate shop in Memphis but seems to have fallen on hard times. The owner is working two jobs and because of this, the store hours are sort of erratic.
You can see the most recent info on Facebook, but definitely check up on social media before driving there. The Google store hours are incorrect.
Zumiez is a chain store that is Germantown so it’s not quite Memphis. They have a good selection of skate gear but aren’t a local brand so I wouldn’t recommend going here unless it’s super close and convenient.
You can browse their selection online or in person.
Don’t buy from Amazon. They have enough power and influence in this world. Support local business or at least order from the company sites directly.
Just please don’t feed Amazon. I actually did a price analysis on where to buy skateboards online and Amazon often wasn’t cheaper than the company sites themselves and in some cases, Amazon was more expensive. To be fair, sometimes Amazon was cheaper, but my point still stands.
You can check out my online skateboard cost breakdown here.
If you are going to purchase your skateboard, then you should buy it directly from company sites. These can be from a board company’s site or from a skate shop’s online store such as Contact skate shop.
If you are too busy or like the convenience of ordering online, I understand. No one will give you grief below are some links to reputable company sites where you can purchase a skateboard or skateboard gear.
Are There Any Memphis Skateboarding Groups?
This is hard to answer. There definitely is a strong skateboarding community in Memphis, but there are few if any organized groups. In 2019, there was an adult skaters class offered by Society skate park, but this seems to have been discontinued.
If you want an organized group, then you might need to start one! Don’t be shy to give it a go. There’s a space in the skateboarding community for everyone and it could be fun to do.
Maybe you could make an adult beginners group with the goal of filming a street part together? Organizing groups is fun and skateboarding is a great way to connect with other people.
Where Can I Get Skate Lessons in Memphis?
If you or your daughter or son needs some help getting started, you can definitely find some skate lessons.
You can get skate lessons at Society skate park in Midtown. They regularly have group classes for kids and teenagers, and also offer one on one personal lessons. You can rent gear for the lessons and classes so it is a good way to see if skateboarding is for you without buying all the gear first.
Also, if you just go to the skatepark and are friendly, plenty of skaters will be happy to help you out. They may not be actual teachers, but sometimes there are gems of advice. You might also make some friends this way.
What is King of Memphis?
King of Memphis is a Young Dolph album. Just kidding.
King of Memphis is a skate scavenger hunt competition that happens every summer. The goal is to video the tricks or stunts and put together a small film. You can have a team of up to five skaters and the best video part wins. Each trick or stunt is worth a certain amount of points.
I would link the website, but it seems the domain has expired as of writing this article (July 2021).
So that’s all there really is to say. Memphis has some nice spots to skate and some good parks as well. Though there are always tons of hidden little spots to find and I didn’t really mention South Memphis or East Memphis.
Society skate park has been an exciting development in the Memphis skate community and has revitalized the scene in the last couple of years. Go support them.
Otherwise, that’s it. This information is constantly changing so I’ll be sure to update this article from time to time.
Thanks for reading and check out other articles from Board and Wheels.