A skatepark, often known as a skate park, is a specially designed recreational area for skateboarding, BMX, scootering, wheelchair riding, and aggressive inline skating.
Half-pipes, handrails, funboxes, vert ramps, stair sets, quarter pipes, ledges, spine transfers, pyramids, banked ramps, full pipes, pools, bowls, snake runs, and a variety of other features can be found in a skatepark.
On September 3, 1965, Surf City, the world’s first skatepark, opened its doors at 5140 E. Speedway in Tucson, Arizona. The grand opening was attended by Patti McGee, the Women’s National Champion. Arizona Surf City Enterprises, Inc. ran the park, which had concrete ramps.
In April 1966, a half-acre lot in Kelso, Washington, USA, was transformed into a skatepark with plywood ramps for skateboarders and skaters. It was illuminated for use at night. The Carlsbad Skatepark, California’s first skatepark, debuted on March 3, 1976. On April 10, 1977, the World Skateboard Championships were held here.
It was operational until 1979 when it was buried intact behind a layer of earth for over two decades until being decommissioned in 2005. The current Carlsbad Skatepark is located elsewhere.
Ocean Bowl Skate Park, the first skatepark on the East Coast, debuted in Ocean City, Maryland, in the first week of June 1976.
The previous bowl and ramp were taken down in the fall of 1997 due to time, wear, and the modern needs of skaters, and the rebuilt park debuted in July 1998. The Sandy Hills Skate Park in Lansdowne, Maryland, is the country’s oldest continuously functioning municipal skate park.
The city of Hermosa Beach, California, built a tiny skatepark on the location of the first skateboarding competition in 1999. Dewey Weber, who owns a surf and skateboard shop across the street from the Pier Avenue Junior High School (now a City museum), arranged the competition.
The competition was sponsored by Makaha Skateboards. CT Bike, an all-wooden indoor skate park in Bristol, Connecticut, debuted in 1987 and is still going strong over 20 years later.
On his first East Coast tour, Tony Hawk made his debut at CT Bike when he was just a young lad. Despite a fire that endangered the park in 1988, the indoor skate park is still run by the same family that developed it.
Parks were developed indoors in more harsh temperatures, frequently utilizing wood or metal. Skateboarding’s popularity had diminished by the end of the 1970s, and the era’s original parks began to disappear.
The initial generation of skateparks died out due to a slump in the broader skateboard business in the 1980s, along with expensive liability insurance prices. Some second-generation parks, such as Pipeline in Upland, California, lasted into the 1980s.
With the noteworthy exception of Kona Skatepark in Jacksonville, Florida, few of the private parks from the 1970s have survived. Many public parks from that time period can still be found in Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. [requires citation]
Burnside Skatepark, a DIY “barge construction” beneath the Burnside Bridge in Portland, Oregon, is credited with inventing current skatepark designs in the Pacific Northwest. Skateboarders built a skatepark one portion at a time in an area largely frequented by the city’s “undesirable elements.”
The procedure is known as “design/build” (D/B), and it is common in today’s skateparks. Skaters may create unlimited “lines” to ride among the many features because of the design/build process, which assures that adjacent skatepark features are harmonic and rideable.
Skate parks, related obstacles/ramps, and sites created for extreme sports use have made their way into the media over time, such as the Burnside Skatepark, which was featured in the film Free Willy.
Skateboarding is an inherently “Hazardous Recreational Activity” (HRA), and thus municipalities and their employees may not be held liable for claims of negligence resulting in skateboarders’ injuries, according to legislation such as California’s 1998 law, which states that skateboarding is an inherently “Hazardous Recreational Activity” (HRA), and thus municipalities and their employees may not be held liable for claims of negligence resulting in skateboarders’ injuries.
The distinction between skateparks and street places has become increasingly blurred as a result of street skating. Some cities are beginning to install skate parks/plazas with elements that aren’t traditionally designed for skateboarding but can be legally skated by street skaters.
Street areas that were not built for skateboarding have been converted into sanctioned skate plazas in some cases.
Related: You Should Visit These World-Class Skateparks.
Skateboarding, unlike organized sports such as basketball or football, has no defined arena or rules, and skateparks have no established design blueprint.
Each skatepark is built to present its visitors with a distinct set of obstacles. Skatepark design, on the other hand, can be divided into three categories: bowl, street plaza, and flow parks.
Bowling alleys are built to mimic and improve the pool skating experience. Skaters at bowl parks can navigate the park without having to take their feet off the board.
Skaters can ride around and across bowls as well as back and forth as they would on a standard halfpipe because of the curved walls. Bowls and bowl parks come in a wide range of forms and sizes, although the majority of them are between 3′ and 12′ deep.
The vast majority of skaters choose street plaza parks, which are meant to mimic and improve upon the street skating experience. Stairs, railings, plants, and benches are among the obstacles in a street plaza that are designed to resemble natural street terrain.
In a street plaza, skaters will push off with their feet to gain momentum. The Vancouver Skate Plaza, established by New Line Skateparks in 2004, was the first public outdoor skate plaza.
Flow parks (also known as Park style) are a hybrid of bowl parks and street plazas. A skater can pump around the park’s curved walls, such as quarter pipes, pump bumps, and bowl corners, without taking their feet off to push in a well-designed flow park. They may use their speed to avoid roadway barriers like stairwells, railings, and benches.
Skateparks can be owned privately or by the government. Entry to privately owned skateparks is normally charged, whilst admission to publicly operated skateparks is usually free.
Many privately owned skateparks are located indoors, usually in warehouses, roller rinks, or high-ceilinged structures, especially in places where winters are harsh. The majority of public skateparks are located outdoors.
Prefabricated and custom-built concrete skateparks are the two main types of skatepark construction. Wood, plastic, sheet metal, and concrete can all be used to construct prefabricated parks.
The majority of these skateparks are planned and built by playground equipment manufacturers as a less expensive alternative to custom-made concrete skateparks. In actuality, prefabricated skate ramps and custom-built concrete skateparks can be quite cost-competitive.
Concrete parks are now “very much the industry standard,” according to an editor of Transworld Skateboarding magazine because they require fewer repairs and maintenance.