What is a skatepark?
A skatepark is just what it sounds like, a park specifically designed for skating.
More specifically, it’s a recreational area with specific features that facilitate skating (and biking/scootering) moves and tricks.
What is in a skatepark?
Different skateparks have different features.
Some of the features you might find at a skatepark include bowls, half-pipes, stairs, ledges, rails, vert ramps, and more.
Are only skateboards allowed at skateparks?
Not usually, no.
Most skateparks do allow other types of wheeled recreational devices, such as inline skates and roller skates.
Many skateparks also allow bicycles and scooters.
The rules vary from park to park, and are typically based on park size and features.
What should you wear to a skatepark?
If you want to avoid a lot of bumps and bruises (maybe even a broken bone or two), we recommend wearing pads and definitely a helmet to a skatepark.
(Nearly 40% of skateparks actually require helmets.)
Aside from those things, you should wear something you don’t mind getting dirty (and maybe even ripped) to a skatepark.
Even seasoned skaters take spills when practicing tricks, and skatepark surfaces are as dirty as the wheels that roll over them.
What should I know about going to a skatepark for the first time?
If you are brand new to skateparks, you should try going at a downtime when there are fewer people.
For most skateparks, downtime is in the mornings before about 10 or 11 a.m.
By going when there are fewer people, you’ll have less of a crowd to worry about sharing the park with and more time skating.
That said, by going to a skatepark when there are other skaters there, you can learn by watching, so you may want to schedule a couple of hours at the park, one with less traffic and one where you can watch good skaters skate.
The last most important thing you should know before going to a skatepark is skatepark etiquette, which basically consists of the following:
- Wait your turn for your run.
- Keep your stuff off of park features.
- Don’t sit on park features.
- Keep your runs short when other people are waiting.
- A fall is the end of your run.
If you’re not sure when you can drop in, watch the other skaters for a few minutes. It’s usually pretty easy to see the pattern to taking turns in a particular skate park.
It’s also pretty easy to see the length of a standard run and to follow suit.
And just remember, when you fall, your run is done, no matter how short the run might be.
What are appropriate ages for a skatepark?
Pediatricians recommend children not start skateboarding until at least the age of five when their heads are better formed to handle falls.
And we’re going to trust their advice.
So, appropriate ages for a skatepark are:
(That’s not to say people over 60 can’t or shouldn’t go to a skatepark, but a fall on concrete can be a hard fall, so we do advise older adults to consider their fitness levels and history with injury before jumping onto a board, bike, or pair of skates and zooming down a concrete ramp.)