Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re thinking about bringing your longboard to South Korea, and I’m telling you that’s a good decision. The scene here is alive, well, and growing. While there isn’t too much downhill skating going on, the dancing scene is very popular among both Koreans and foreigners.
With an abundance of mountains, you’ll find no shortage of roads and paths to skate on if you’re into the downhill scene. The only thing to keep an eye on is the traffic which will likely be much more erratic, unpredictable, and dangerous than you’re used to. It’s for this reason that I stay off almost all roads when I skate Seoul – I’ve seen too many people almost (and actually) get hit. So, you’re convinced – you should bring your board to seoul. But how will you get it here? Pack it!
How did I pack my board?
I simply packed my longboard in my suitcase to get it here. I brought with me a duffle-bag-on-wheels, so I ended up duct taping the board to the bottom, and wrapping it up with old T-shirts to protect it. It wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done. I also had a friend who regularly carried hers onto the plane as a part of her hand luggage – that’s also a possibility, but check with the airline before hand.
While I was here, I also picked up another board. Wanting to do a bit of backpacking after leaving Korea, and not wanting to drag two longboards with me, I decided to ship them both to Canada. I took them to the post office, got a custom-made box, and got them both shipped home all for about 50 dollars – not too bad, I’d say.
How do I meet other people?
This one is easy. There are a few different resources you can use to meet other skaters all over Korea. If you’re in Seoul – that’s your best chance for finding English speakers who skate. A lot of the Koreans I met who have boards tend to speak at least some English, and if not, you don’t need to speak a common tongue to appreciate a good shuvit.
Meetup is a great resource for meeting people. One of my good friends runs the Seoul Skating meetup – so I would definitely check there first.
Another way to meet people is to just head down to popular skating areas (like Banpo and Yeouido in Seoul) and say hello to others skating. Grab a beer and some fried chicken from the 7/11 with your new friends, and you’re all set for a great evening.
What’s the scene like?
I wrote a post on what the longboarding scene is like here. It’s basically a lot of dancing and tricks, and a lot less downhill. I wasn’t able to find any slide gloves while I was here – so make sure to pack them, or be prepared to spend a bunch of money getting them shipped here. If you’re interested in how much time I got to skate, check out this post here about an average day as an English teacher. If you have any other questions – leave them in the comments and I’ll be sure to get back to you.