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Longboarding In Kansas City: Best Spots And Events

Longboarding In Kansas City: Best Spots And Events

As I was planning a work trip to Kansas City, as usual I thought I’d do a bit of research on where the best longboarding spots are in the area. In preparation for my stay, I also went investigating Kansas City’s longboarding hangouts, merchants, and skateboarding facilities in and around the city. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

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Longboarding spots in Kansas City

The following is the list of 8 top Kansas City longboarding spots (plus one a few hours away) I’ve put together based on my research. If you think I’ve left out some obvious or important spots, please drop a comment at the bottom of this post.

1. Cliff Drive – cruising and freeride spot

Cliff Drive is a scenic drive situated in the Northeastern part of Kansas city, in the George Kessler Park. It extends 4 miles from Belmont Avenue along Gladstone Blvd to The Paseo. It’s a great place for longboarding as the area is closed to motor vehicles on weekends.

This is where Burning Spider, Kansas City’s most prominent longboarding store and community, holds its regular Stoke Clinic.

Map of Cliff Dr, Kansas City, MO

2. Blue River Road – a gnarly longboard run

A steep and potentially dangerous longboard run in Kansas City! Only go there if you’re an experienced longboarder and with adequate helmet and safety pads.

3. Prairie Village – a nice hilly Kansas City area

This town in the Southern part of the Kansas City metro area is quiet and green with many cool hills for longboarding. It’s also close to Overland Park which has a great skatepark to go shred on your longboard (see the section on skateparks below).

4. Mill Street, Kansas City – a mellow freeride longboarding spot

A nice and mellow hill for freeriding, off of Southwest Boulevard.

5. Longview Lake – easy freeride and cruising

Around Kansas City’s Longview Marina, Longview road has a nice and long drop leading down to the peer. You can longboard down the hill, around the loops, and into the marina’s parking lot. There are also scenic trails around Longview Lake for cruising on your longboard.

6. Northwest 112th Street (near Kansas City Airport)

A great downhill longboarding run is on NW 112th street and Ambassador Drive, near Kansas City International Airport:

7. Roanoke, Kansas City – a hilly area

The Roanoke area offers some pretty decent longboard runs, with the Burning Spider’s skate shop nearby. Make sure to wear a helmet at the minimum!

8. Overland Park garage “spots”

Kansas City’s Overland Park Plaza has the Sprint complex with 4 and 5 level parking garages longboarders sometimes go ride in. The garages are quiet and empty on weekends and they are lit at night. There’s an elevator as well. Skate there at your own risk though – it’s private property.

9. Mount Judea – South of Kansas City serious downhill

For serious downhill longboarders and freeriders, Sam’s Throne in Mount Judea, Arkansas, is a popular mountain longboard run. The spot is a 4.5-hour drive South from Kansas City. Frequent downhill longboard events (such as Show Me Stoked) are organized on those smooth, steep, long roads:

Longboard & skate shops in Kansas City

These are two of the most well-known and active longboard shops in Kansas City:

Burning Spider Stoke Company, Kansas City

Burning Spider is widely considered as being Kansas City’s longboarding headquarters. They carry a lot of gear and are at the center of the area’s longboarding community namely through this very lively Facebook group.

As mentioned briefly before, the Burning Spider team holds a free longboarding clinic event on a regular basis for initiating newbies all ages to the sport. Their Stoke Clinic is normally held every second Sunday of each month, typically in the Kessler Park and Cliff Drive area.

Escapist skate shop, Kansas City

Escapist focuses more on traditional skateboarding as opposed to longboarding. They also have a large following – over 25K on their Facebook page. The store carries a large number of high-end skateboard brands for decks, wheels, trucks, and accessories.

5 best skate parks for longboarding in Kansas City

In this section, I list some of the most popular skateparks in Kansas City.

1. Penn Valley Skate Park

This skatepark is also known as Kansas City Skate Plaza because of its plaza-type, street-styles skatepark configuration. The park has many transitions and a deep bowl. It’s beginner/dog/family-friendly. Skaters enjoy a great view of the city at the Scout statue. Check out their website

2. Harrison Street DIY skatepark

This Kansas City skatepark keeps expanding and improving thanks to donations and work from the skaters themselves – some even call it a work of art due to the ongoing creation and maintenance from the community. Skateboarders and longboarders feel nice and safe and enjoy the positive vibes in this park. Check out their Instagram for pictures of the park and building/maintenance work.

3. Pleasant Valley Skateboard Park

An older park in Kansas City, the Pleasant Valley skateboard park is a bit rundown and shady at night. A lot of kid with skateboards, bikes and scooters hang out there, which can sometimes get annoying for older riders including longboarders. Howeve, it has a nice big ditch-like element you can have fun carving in on your longboard.

4. Pierson Skate Park

Pierson Skate Park is a mellow and well-designed park in a beautiful location. It’s a great place for beginners and mellow longboarders to ride in, with smooth ground-to-ramp transitions and a nice mini half-pipe. Website

5. Overland Skate Park (at Switzer Park)

Overland Skate Park is a nice and clean little park in a great location (Overland Park) in the green Southern part of Kansas City. It has good beginner and intermediate elements, including quarter-pipes, stairs, rails, and ledges, and smooth transitions. It also has a nice bowl you can slash on your longboard if you’re not so much into street and freestyle. Website

Final words

Information about where to longboard in Kansas City doesn’t come easy, you have to dig in and ask around a bit to find it. When you do though, it appears Kansas City has a lively longboarding community, a bunch of cool spots around the metro area (and beyond), and lots of skateparks for riding bowls and ditches. A couple of longboarding events and clinics periodically gather a healthy longboarding crowd, both in and out of the city.

Photo credits:
Featured: “20160709 145 Kansas City Union Station” (CC BY 2.0) by davidwilson1949