You want a straightaway. A long one. Maybe a few gentle curves to keep it interesting and challenging. You want something to look at -- tropical vegetation, a seascape, a glimpse of sand and waves. Mostly, you want a clear path so you can get a little momentum going. There's a Zen-like rhythm to distance skating. You don't want to be colliding with window-shopping tourists or nannies pushing baby strollers. So where do you go? North Beach Broadwalk -- north of Hayes Street. It's out of the tourist loop, which includes most of the rest of the Broadwalk. It's not a favorite with pedestrians (though watch out for bikers). It has a smooth surface and sea breezes. For the skater, it's freakin' paradise.