This VR game for Meta Quest 3 makes me feel like a teenager again

This VR game for Meta Quest 3 makes me feel like a teenager again

In VR Skater SL, I skate over ramps and rails like my 16-year-old self on a VR skateboard — only this time without the bruises.

For many adults, skateboards are a relic of their youth, a reminder of that one summer they will never forget. For me, too. Around the turn of the millennium, I experienced many firsts as a teenager — my first party, my first beer, my first live concert, my first kiss — all unforgettable moments, and I had my skateboard with me at all times.

Unfortunately, I always lacked the talent and dedication to ride really well, which led to more bruises than I would have liked. So at some point I swapped my battered deck for a virtual one and chased Rodney Mullen, Buckey Lasek, Eric Koston and company down rails and half pipes in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater.

For all of you who, like me, gave up skating at an early age, but would still like to take one more (injury-free) lap around the fun park, there is now a remedy: VR Skater SL gives you the nostalgic feeling of Tony Hawk Pro Skater in virtual reality. I tried it out on Meta Quest 3. Spoiler: It feels good!

Just like Tony Hawk

VR Skater SL offers a gameplay experience similar to the classic skating games of old master Tony Hawk. You skate through various skate parks, modeled after real-life championship parks, trying to score as many points as possible with clever moves and combinations.

With the XP you earn, you can later upgrade your skateboard in the store and customize the grip tape, deck or wheels. Collectibles, such as the letters S-K-A-T-E, are also available during timed rounds.

Of course, the matching soundtrack is also a must. Even though there are no licensed original songs by Goldfinger, Suicidal Tendencies or the Dead Kennedys coming out of the speakers, the lively guitars make for a good atmosphere.

Smooth skating without motion sickness

If you think Skate VR SL is just about riding a skateboard in a first-person perspective and performing tricks at the touch of a button, think again. The skateboard controls are excellent and are modeled after the movements of real skateboarding — only with your hands. However, you will have to memorize some moves to collect points and break the high score lists.


At the beginning, I choose whether I want to ride regular or goofy, that is, whether I want to stand on the skateboard with my right or left foot in front of me. If I swing my right arm back and forth (regular), I gain speed and use the right trigger to brake. By holding down the left trigger and moving my hand to the left or right, I control the direction. The continuous arm movements prevent motion sickness during the ride, at least for me.

If you want to score points, you have to learn some tricks

For ollies and nollies, the standard jumps in skateboarding, I hold A or X to get on my knees and let go to jump. For kickflips and shove-its, turning the skateboard around its own axis lengthwise or sideways, it gets a little more complicated.

If I squat down with A for an ollie and let go, I have to swipe my left arm from left to right or vice versa. To stand the trick, I press A again just before landing. The faster I swipe with my free arm, the more spins I get.

For grinds and slides, I have to press and hold a combination of buttons to land safely on the rail. A slight movement of the head in the right direction is enough to jump sideways from rail to rail. To get the basics down, you should definitely play the excellent tutorial before you start chasing high scores.

My verdict on VR Skater SL

VR Skater SL is a lot of fun. The controls are superbly implemented and transfer the actual foot movements almost seamlessly to the hands. During my first VR ollies I was so gripped that I jumped into the air as if I had a real skateboard under my feet again. Once you've mastered the moves and are comfortable with the feeling of riding in virtual reality, VR Skater SL is a VR game that brings the fun of skateboarding into your own four walls — without the bruises and broken bones.