City Skate Tours is the brainchild of Joburg-born Ayanda Mnyandu and his partner-in-crime Daniel Monegi. Self-confessed 'skater boys' Mnyandu and Monegi fell in love with skateboarding at a tender age, and first conceptualised the tour after showing their friends around the inner-city on skateboards.
The tour kicks off outside Curiocity African Design Hostel in Maboneng with a short beginner's course on how to skateboard, before you are then shuttled to Harrison Street in the heart of the City Centre to practice your new-found skills.
Travelling down quiet, flat streets, the tour rolls its way past Beyers Naude Square and the Library Gardens, a popular hangout spot for the Joburg skater crowd, also stopping at the historic members-only Rand Club, Joburg’s first Stock Exchange, Marco Cianfanelli's monument to the young Nelson Mandela Shadow Boxing and at the Johannesburg Central Magistrate Court (the site of a 1987 bombing by the ANC’s armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe). A self-taught tour guide, Mnyandu is also a major history buff and the tour is filled with interesting anecdotes and did-you-knows about the early history of Joburg.
A major highlight is the halfway stop at a building in the heart of the Main Street Mining District where you can skateboard on the rooftop while taking in an incredible view of the downtown skyline. You'll also get to discover downtown Joburg's many hidden skateboarding hotspots along the way such as Fox Street, cheekily termed the 'Road of Life' by skaters due to its lack of traffic. The tour ends at Henry Nxumalo Street in Newtown, an area that is renowned for its ever-changing display of colourful graffiti and street art, from where the shuttle bus will pick you up to transport you back to Maboneng.
The tour lasts three hours and skateboards are provided (tours are for persons aged over 18 only). To book contact Mnyandu on +27 79 839 8833, email firstname.lastname@example.org or book at the desk at Curiocity African Design Hostels. Tours from R300 per person (including skateboard rental). Tours on Sat, Sun, start at 10:00 and 14:00.
We recommend bringing a backpack with you (as opposed to a handbag for example) and a bottle of water to keep hydrated on route.
It doesn’t get much fresher than this youthful spot in the former premises of a printing company deep in the inner city. From the street it looks like a motel you would find in a Wild West movie, complete with a balcony from which to survey the skyline.