The skatepark is often a haven for skaters everywhere. A safe area with obstacles and ramps you wouldn’t normally find in the street. In some areas, it’s the only place where you can try out new obstacles and really push yourself.
It can also be very intimidating and scary for new riders. You’ve probably seen those “skaters VS. …” videos on YouTube, and might have been turned away from going to the skatepark. You don’t want to get in other people’s way or crash into somebody while they’re doing their line. But by following these simple guidelines, you’ll be able to feel safe at the park and push yourself in a way you never thought was possible.
If there’s a line of people who want to ollie down the 5 stair, don’t cut in front of everybody else. This is probably the most annoying thing you’ll find other skaters doing. If you’re not sure if anybody else is going, just ask them.
Whenever you go up to a new obstacle or space in the park, just wait your turn and make sure no one else is going in that general area so you can avoid hurting yourself and others.
The skatepark is a fast moving environment. You have skateboards, bikes, scooters and everything else you can think of moving around and flying about. Always look around you before you do your line. The last thing you want is to crash into someone and hurt yourself or others. So always look around and make sure the coast is clear.
Most skateparks are meant to flow from one part of the park to another smoothly, so it’s always good to check all the possible areas that people can come in from.
One thing you’ll find is people just standing on their board on a ramp while someone else is doing their line. While this my not seem like a bad thing, you run the risk of the board dropping into the bowl while someone else is doing their line, or they may be going where you are. For a safe distance, stand a few feet back and go when the coast is clear.
If you’re practicing and learning the basics of the mini-ramp, you’ll probably spend a lot of time riding around and going in circles and trying to get used to the motions. Or, you’re trying to learn the rock to fakie and tail stall, so you spend a lot of time on it.
And that really is a good thing. Practicing this stuff really does take time. But, make sure that you’re taking your turn, and then let someone else go. One day, you’ll get a lucky and no one else is at the skatepark or practicing at the mini-ramp. When that day comes, skate it all you want.
Every once in awhile, you’ll hear someone yell “Board!” at the skatepark. This is simply to signify that their board is either shot up in the air and could fall, or it got away from them while doing a trick. If this happens to you, be sure to yell board so it doesn’t hit someone else. Taking a skateboard to the head isn’t a pleasant experience.
Communication is key at a skatepark. Not sure if someone’s going down an obstacle? Ask them. Someone’s sitting down on a bench you want to do a trick on? Kindly ask them to move. You don’t need to be snotty or mean about it. Everyone at the skatepark is there to have fun, so the nicer you ask them, they’ll be more than willing to do it.
This really should go without saying, but if you see someone who’s younger and learning, try to help them out. Don’t yell at them or make them cry just because you probably could. We all have to start somewhere, and you don’t want to be the reason why that kid quits skateboarding all together.
If they keep violating any of the other guidelines, talk to the parents if they’re there. This is a good way for the parents and kid to learn what to do and what not to do at the skatepark.
If you’ve been to the skatepark enough times, you’ve probably seen someone struggling with a trick that you can do in your sleep. If another skater is struggling doing a kickflip down the 5 stair, don’t go right after them and do it in front of them.
This shows a “I’m better than you” attitude, and displays a lack of empathy. Chances are, you didn’t do it first try. You had to work at it for awhile until you finally landed it. Let them have that same type of satisfaction. If you do it in front of them, it increases the rate of them feeling bad and wanting to give up, which is the opposite of effect we’re trying to make.
Instead, try encouraging them and giving them tips if they’re willing to receive it. Cheer them on so when they do land it, they have someone to thank.
Most skateparks have areas to sit and store your stuff. But everyone always ends up sitting on the ledges and obstacles. It’s fine, but someone may want to be skating that ledge. It’s just a good, general rule to be aware of when at the skatepark.
Skateparks can sometimes have a bad reputation in the community where all the “bad kids” hang around. This isn’t true, more often than not. If you see something illegal or something that shouldn’t be happening at the skatepark, be sure to report it and alert your local officials if it’s safe to.
The more appealing and safer the skatepark is, the more beginner skaters will want to use it. The skatepark is open to all walks of life of all ages. Let’s make sure it stays that way!
Since the skatepark is a communal spot, be sure to take all of your trash with you instead of leaving it around the park. We want the skateparks to be a healthy, fun environment so we can keep them around. When the park has trash and litter everywhere, it makes it less appealing for skaters to go there.
A good, stable rule is to leave an area cleaner than you found it. Trust me, everyone will be thanking you later!
And that’s it! If you follow these, you’ll have a great time at the skatepark. And if you violate any of them, an apology will normally do the trick. So grab your gear and head off to the skatepark!
Want to learn how to ride at the skatepark? Check out Skateboarding Made Simple. We have seven volumes that you can buy in a package, or separately. They start out teaching you the basics, and then teach you how to land harder tricks, so you’re always progressing. You can check it out here!