Mag
Articles
The Best Places To Skateboard In Reykjavík

The Best Places To Skateboard In Reykjavík

Published July 25, 2012

I came to Iceland for the first time in 2006 specifically to skateboard. At the time, I literally knew nothing else about the country, only that I was on a mission to track down the spots I’d seen in so many magazines and old skate videos; this decision would soon inspire me to learn all I could about Reykjavík’s vibrant skate scene, to begin learning Icelandic, and to spend as much time in the country as my savings account would physically allow.
Skateboarding is blossoming in Reykjavík these days, and the host of cool street spots are every bit as diverse and eccentric as the tightly knit community of skaters who make it tick. So, if words like “kickflip tailslide” have ever exited your mouth, or if you refuse to do a Dolphin Flip out of principle, Reykjavík has everything you’ll need. I’ll begin with an old classic…
Ingólfstorg, 101 Reykjavík
Located right in the middle of 101, Ingólfstorg has been a skate destination for several decades, and is generally the meet-up place/starting point for most sessions. If you’re looking to hook up with some friends for a game of S.K.A.T.E., the terrain offers plentiful opportunities to give your challengers a letter. Aside from the smooth tile under your wheels, Ingólfstorg features two oppositely placed inclines on each side of the square, as well as the famous, beastly 8-stair set at the end. Conveniently located directly beneath the greasy sandwich bonanza, Hlöllabátar, Ingólfstorg is the perfect spot to get warmed up. Note that it is inaccessible to skaters at the moment, but surely this won’t last. 
Loftkastalinn, Reykjavík’s Indoor Park
This is Reykjavík’s largest (and really, only) indoor park, located near the far end of the harbour. Loftkastalinn’s terrain includes numerous roll-in’s and ledges, two mini-ramps, a steep bank and stair set, and the best bowl in Iceland. This is the perfect place to spend a rainy day, and you really have no excuse not to shred.
Hill-Bomb, Base Of Hallgrímskirkja
Though this technically isn’t a “spot,” it’s still one of the most fun things you can do on a skateboard in 101. The run begins in the courtyard in front of Hallgrímskirkja, continues down Skólavörðustígur and merges into Laugavegur, and concludes in front of Ingólfstorg. The whole run lasts maybe three minutes, and will build you some serious speed on the way down. As you’re passing by Prikið, time it just right, and you can blast through the intersection at the base of Laugavegur before the light changes (don’t actually do this part). Reach Ingólfstorg, and reward yourself with a hotdog!
Tækniskólinn & Surrounding Area
Since you’re already up there at Hallgrímskirkja anyways, check out the surrounding area! There are several fun spots in the parking lot directly behind the church, including a well-worn pole jam, ledges, and two massive double-sets. Walk a little further down the path towards Leifsgata, and you’ll find a sizeable grass gap with a good run-up.
Harpa, 101 Reykjavík
The property surrounding Harpa, Iceland’s concert hall, is some of the best skateboarding Reykjavík has to offer. Multiple cement ledges and water gaps grace the portico, and a series of hardwood ledges and manual pads lie waiting just to the left of the building, conveniently concealed from the harbour winds. I’m not sure if The Man minds the frequently heavy skater presence, but I’ve never had any issues, and have even had someone from the café come outside to bring me a few bottles of water. Good stuff!
These are but a fraction of the great skate spots found in Reykjavík. If you’re new to the area, grab your board and make a day of it. With a little diligence and a set of fast bearings, the hidden gems you come across will pleasantly surprise you. 



Mag
Articles
So What’s This I Keep Hearing About Everything Being Terrible in Iceland?

So What’s This I Keep Hearing About Everything Being Terrible in Iceland?

by

In Mid-November Unnar Steinn Sigtryggsson, an Icelander who goes by the username “askur,” made a comment on popular internet community Reddit. He recounted the major news events of the last few weeks in Iceland. However, unlike most bullet point lists of Icelandic news stories, this one went viral. Has the news in Iceland been unusually full of kittens licking baby turtles? More like political scandals, strikes, vermin infestations, protests, police behaving badly, and economic mismanagement. To an audience used to hearing stories about how wonderfully Iceland had dealt with the 2008 financial crisis, this was indeed newsworthy. Hold on a

Mag
Articles
Dirty Holidaze

Dirty Holidaze

by

December is by far the darkest and spookiest month. It is also the booziest, by far. The overwhelming joy one often associates with the annual Christmas frenzy increases the longing for a nightcap, the fright that correlates with mass expenditures in gifts and other holiday nonsense calls for some alcohol, and when you intend to bid farewell to the passing year you’ll want a bottle of liquor by your side. It seems there’s no avoiding dipping your toes (or your entire foot) into the tantalizing Jacuzzi of holiday vice. For this reason, behold: Grapevine’s guide to your Icelandic holiday binge

Mag
Articles
Pagan Christmas

Pagan Christmas

by

The idea of throwing a big celebration in honour of the birth of Christ is a relatively recent idea. Nobody knows exactly when he was born; guesses range from 7 to 2 BC and the date is a mystery. His date of birth was once estimated to be January 6, in an attempt to beat a competing holiday (the celebration of the virgin birth of Aion, the Hellenistic deity of eternity). In the process they borrowed the symbolism of the stables. Christianity is in the business of mergers and acquisitions. The date was later changed to December 25, partly because

Mag
Articles
The Encyclopaedia of Icelandic Holidays

The Encyclopaedia of Icelandic Holidays

by

Aðfangadagur (Ath-founga-dager) December 24, Aðfangadagur, is the day Icelanders celebrate Christmas (as opposed to December 25 in most countries). The first half of the day usually goes towards finishing off all of the last-minute preparations, making food, wrapping presents, bathing and putting on nice clothes. Children are often occupied by the television set, as most stations broadcast a non-stop programme of cartoons throughout the day. Six o’ clock marks the official start of Christmas in Iceland, marked by state radio broadcasting the traditional “ringing of the church bells.” This is when most households sit down to enjoy a pleasant holiday

Mag
Articles
WAR ON CHRISTMAS: Finally, An Icelandic Front

WAR ON CHRISTMAS: Finally, An Icelandic Front

by

Anyone who’s followed American politics, or switched to Fox News over the holidays, knows that a full blown war is raging at this very moment: The War On Christmas. On the battlefield, the godless forces of Politically Correct liberals—who want to take Christ out of Christmas and thus destroy the very fabric of American culture—fight the patriotic and pious people over at Fox. Of course nobody residing the reality-based community has ever encountered this “War on Christmas.” It exists only in the fevered imagination of loudmouths like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, who use it to fill airtime, drum up

Mag
Articles
Wanted: The Icelandic Christmas Mood

Wanted: The Icelandic Christmas Mood

by

When they stop stacking the Rjómi (heavy cream) neatly on the supermarket shelves, you know Christmas is just around the corner. The Rjómi hasn’t disappeared though. Entering the walk-in cooler (don’t forget your jacket!) you’ll see a huge container spilling over with cartons and cartons of Rjómi. Frankly, stacking it is a waste of time; soon you’ll notice the mountain getting smaller as every single person takes at least one, maybe two or maybe five. Our consumer needs are this predictable before, during and after Christmas, because almost every single Icelandic household has the exact same family traditions. This uniformity

Show Me More!