Thursday, May 12, 2016

The 10 Skateparks & Skate Scene of Nicaragua

surf ranch skatepark
The skateboard scene in Nicaragua is rather new, which really started to take off around 2009 with the help of Chico Brenes who opened the first and only skate shop in Nicaragua called Central Skate Shop.  2 or 3 times per year, Chico Brenes brings professional skateboarders on tour with the Central Skate Camp at the Surf Ranch Resort.  Every year we see more and more kids show up, and even from neighboring countries such as Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

With the popularity of skateboarding in Nicaragua growing, it's only natural for skateboard parks to follow.  We have listed below the 10 skateparks in Nicaragua. 4 of them are privately owned but available to use for the public.  The other 6 are built by the government, and you will notice the government built parks as they are unfortunately poorly designed and painted bright colors usually with Sandinista propaganda.  

Nicaragua is a great place to choose for a skate vacation as you have a lot of options for skate parks, as well as unlimited surfing.  Below you will find the 10 skateboard parks located around Nicaragua.

Surf Ranch Skatepark (San Juan Del Sur)
surf ranch skateparkThe Surf Ranch Skatepark is located at the Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua.  It is one of the larger skateparks in Nicaragua and is free to use for everyone.  The Surf Ranch skatepark has areas for beginners, intermediate and pros, with everything from flat bars and manual boxes to hubbas, quarter pipes and handrails.  The park has lights to skate at night and there is a swimming pool, bar and restaurant, just 15 feet away.  For more information click here

Finca las Nubes Skatepark (San Juan Del Sur)
finca las nubes skatepark nicaragua
The Finca las Nubes skatepark is located on the main road when driving into San Juan Del Sur.  You will see the sign on your right hand side.  You can stop by anytime, ask the guard to skate and he will let you.  The park consists of a sick bowl, a small table top, curved flat ledges, a small stair set with a handrail and ledges, as well as a few banks and a bank to rail.

Rivas Skate Park (Rivas)
rivas skatepark nicaragua
This skateboard park in Rivas has lights which makes it fun to skate at night when it is cooler.  It is one of the first designed skateparks by the government, who do not skate so you will find many obstacles with weird angles and no run up, and as with all government skateparks below, they are all painted bright colors.  Fun park to skate when you are Rivas and we recommend to check it out.

Jinotega Skatepark (Jinotega) Photo by: Mario Collado
jinotega skatepark nicaragua
This skateboard park in Jinotega is government built, with the same copied features as all of the government built skateparks,  It is small and fun to skate, but watch our for the cracks, no coping, steep quarter pipers and a small run up for the ledge and stair set.

Matagalpa Skatepark (Matagalpa) Photo by: Mario Collado
matagalpa skatepark nicaragua
The skatepark in Matagalpa was built by the government, so you will find most of the obstacles at weird angles or heights.  For instance, in the photo above, the handrail is very small at only a few inches high.  Matagalpa is located higher in the mountains and has a cooler climate.  The park is still fun and we recommend to skate it if you are in the area.

Managua Skatepark (Managua)
managua skatepark nicaragua



This skatepark is located on the road heading down to Lake Managua, towards the old downtown.  It is a fairly large skatepark and fun to skate.  There are some weird things set up here such as 2 flat bars at the landing of the stair set and 2 huge quarter pipes around 15 feet high.  We recommend to skate it when you are in Managua.


Juigalpa Skatepark (Juigalpa)
juigalpa skatepark nicaragua

The skatepark in Juigalpa is pretty large, also government built.  It's a fun park and most of the angles they got right.  The ledges do have coping on them which is great.  There is a table top section with ledge and rail going across and down, various quarter pipes, a stair set with no run up, kicker to rail and more.  Check it out if you are in the area.

Apoyo Lodge Skatepark (Laguna de Apoyo)
apoyo lodge skatepark nicaraguaThis is a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) skate park built by a Canadian skateboarder, located at the Apoyo Lodge in Laguna de Apoyo.   It is private so you will need to contact them before you go, and you may have to stay there to skate it.  The lodge is located on the waters edge of Laguna de Apoyo which is a crater lake with clear water.  A great place to stop by and skate on your vacation.

Chinandega Skatepark (Chinandega) Photo by: Mario Collado
chinandega skatepark nicaragua
The Chinandega skatepark is also government, so you will find steep banks, ledges with no coping and weird angles.  There is a decent hand rail but with not much run up and the stair set as you can see in the photo above is only 2 ft wide with a narrow landing.  The skatepark is around 2000 sq ft and free to use. Only skate it if you are already in the area.

Masaya Skatepark (Masaya) Photo by: Mario Collado
masaya skatepark nicaragua































The Masaya skatepark is one of the first government built skate parks in Nicaragua, making it the model that all the other towns copy unfortunately.  Although the banks have weird angles and no run up for the stair set and a tiny hand rail, it's actually surprisingly fun and mostly skateable.  The tabletop and ledge, flat bar, boxes, and manual pad are pretty fun to skate.  The park is covered with paint which sometimes makes it a little slippier.  It is located in Masaya near the highway.
  
Bonus...

Buena Onda Ramp (Buena Onda Resort in Tola)
buena onda skatepark nicaragua
This concrete mini ramp is located right on the beach at the Buena Onda Resort in Tola, Nicaragua. You can stop by and skate it without being a guest, but you will need to contact the resort first.  The resort also has a pool and restaurant to chill at after skating the mini ramp, as it does get hot!  We recommend checking this out.

Coming Soon...

Surf Ranch Popoyo Skatepark (Popoyo)
surf ranch popoyo skatepark nicaragua




The Surf Ranch Popoyo skatepark is set to be the largest in Central America and is located at the Surf Ranch Resort in Popoyo which is currently under construction. The exact design is still being worked on. It will also be one of the largest skate parks in the world. The skatepark will be blended into the jungle. The park will have a full street plaza and street park section, along with a huge bowl and transfer section. This park will be unlike any skateboard park in the world.  See more details here.

The government is also building another skatepark park in Esteli, which is currently under construction and the designs show that it will be the same as all of the other government built skateparks.  There is also talks of a private and professionally designed skatepark being built at a resort near Nandaime, and maybe one day in the near future, a skatepark in Leon.

The skate scene in Nicaragua is only growing and growing.  Not as big as surfing yet, but it will get there as most people who surf, also skateboard and bring their skateboards with them.  What are you waiting for? Book your skate vacation to Nicaragua now.

Which skateboard parks have you skated in Nicaragua?  Let us know in the comments below.