AskDefine | Define skatepark

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A recreational area dedicated to skateboarders.

Extensive Definition

A skatepark is a purpose-built recreational environment for skateboarders, BMX riders and aggressive skaters to ride and develop their sport and technique. A skatepark may contain half-pipes, quarter pipes, handrails, trick boxes, vert ramps, pyramids, banked ramps, full pipes, stairs, and any number of other trick-oriented objects.
Skateparks may be privately owned or publicly owned. Privately owned skateparks usually have admission fees, while publicly owned skateparks generally charge no entrance fee. Many privately owned skateparks are indoors, usually in warehouses, roller rinks or buildings with tall ceilings, especially in areas of the world with snowy winters. Public skateparks are almost always outdoors.
Concrete parks, now "pretty much the industry standard", according to an editor of Transworld Skateboarding magazine, can cost three times as much to build as parks with ramps and wooden obstacles, but in the long run they require fewer repairs and little maintenance.


Skateparks first emerged in the 1970s, and were primarily private, for-profit endeavors, although several public parks were built all over the world. Parks of that time included pools, bowls, snake runs, freestyle areas, banked slalom areas, half-pipes, and full pipes. Most were built of concrete and were located outdoors, although in more extreme climates indoor parks were built, this parks, were, often made of wood.
None of the private parks of the 1970s remain, with the notable exception of Kona Skatepark in Jacksonville, Florida, United States. Many of that country's public parks remain, such as Derby Park in Santa Cruz, California. Most of the parks of that era were poorly designed and built by "get-rich-quick" business people who wanted to make money from skateboarding. The best parks, such as Upland, California's Pipeline, designed by skateboarders and carefully built, survived well into the 80's, until they were overrun by escalating land values that made their survival less profitable than if their sites were to be turned into shopping centers or condominiums. Outrageous liability insurance premiums made possible by the fears of enormous lawsuits also were a contributing factor in the decline of the original skateparks.
Modern skatepark design can be traced back to 1990, with the commencement of the Burnside Skatepark, a DIY "barge build" sited underneath one end of the Burnside Bridge, in Portland, Oregon. Skateboarders took an area that was populated primarily by what the city would call "undesirable elements" and created a skatepark there, slowly building one section at a time. That process came to be known as "design/build" (D/B), and is characteristic of nearly all the best skateparks in existence today. The design/build process makes sure that adjacent skatepark features are harmonious and rideable, allowing skateboarders to create endless "lines" to ride among the many elements extant in the design.
The modern public skatepark is a relatively new creation, made possible by legislation, such as California's 1998 law stating that skateboarding is an inherently "Hazardous Recreational Activity" (HRA), and therefore municipalities and their employees may not be held liable for claims of negligence resulting in skateboarders' injuries. Usually for persons 14 or over.
In recent years, estimates have it that a new skatepark opens somewhere every three days.


With its history of fringe social acceptance, skateboarders have only recently gained significant legitimacy. Still, there is no shortage of controversy surrounding skateboarding.
Many urban areas face widespread property damage caused by skateboarding and some have addressed the problem by creating skateparks. However, the design and materials used often leads to heated discussions within the skateboarding community.

Notable skateparks around the world

  • Auburn Hills Skate Park - Auburn Hills, MI - a small skate park with an overwhelming number of thugs.
  • Alamosa Skatepark Environment (aka West Side Skatepark) located in Albuquerque, New Mexico is a one of a kind public park that opened in 2007 and was designed by Artifex Skatepark Environments. The parkscape draws inspiration from Albuquerque's world renown arroyo system as well as site specific elements in the city that are now off-limits to skating and BMX. Various elements are incorporated in a cohesive site plan, some of the distinctive features include; the real-street arroyo segment, a brick central plaza, session-specific sculptural elements, integration of green space landscaping throughout and natural stadium seatng, colored concrete, and the world's first skylit 3/4 pipe.
  • SMP Skatepark Shanghai - Shanghai, China - The world's biggest skatepark designed by Convic skateparks runs over 150 m in length and in places up to 85 m wide, totalling over 13700 sq/m (over 147,000 square ft) of permanent ridable terrain. The park opened in October 2005 and has an annual Shanghai Showdown competition each year which attracts some of the best professional skaters, inline and BMXers from around the world.
  • Stockwell Skatepark - South London, UK
  • Louisville Extreme Park - Louisville, Kentucky
  • Livingston Skatepark, Scotland. Created at the end of the 1970s, 'Livi' was the first of a new generation of concrete parks. The brainchild of Iain Urquhart the chief architect for the local council and the chairman of the Scottish Skateboard Association, Urquhart managed to gain funding for the park by creating a multi-sport complex comprising of a fitness trail, climbing wall, kayak launching area and the skatepark. Having been to California and seen the parks there, Urquhart was able to create a revolutionary facility. Comprising a half pipe with flat bottom, a large banked area and a double bowl, the 'Rock and Roll' (because of the climbing wall and park) has outlasted its creator, who died shortly after its opening. It has been extended and coping added to the pool.
  • Paris Skatepark is a skateboarding and inline skatepark, located behind the Syl App's Arena in Paris, Ontario, Canada. The Paris skate park was hastily constructed in August of 1998, largely because of continuing antagonisms between local skateboarders, the Paris Police, and private property owners who had expressed numerous liability concerns. The Paris Skatepark is approximately 5000 square feet (470 m²) of asphalt terrain, and is complemented with both steel and wooden ramps. A large tree provides shade for the southern portion of the park during the day.
  • Missoula Skatepark - The Missoula Skatepark Association (MSA) is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt US organization of local skateboarders in Missoula, Montana who are in the process of building free, concrete, public skateparks in the Missoula area. The MSA is committed to constructing safe and positive places where skaters of all ages can build confidence and self worth. Phase 1 of the first MSA skatepark began construction on March 6, 2006. The grand opening was held September 24, 2006.
  • FDR Skatepark - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Rotary Club Skatepark Environment - Black River Falls, Wisconsin is a 9,500 sq.ft. hybrid skatepark built in 2006 creatively integrating a skate plaza, bowled entrance trail and utilizes color pigmentation and rock landscaping derived from the actual Black River. It is a free use public facility and socially inviting to viewers and riders alike. This skatepark was designed by ARTIFEX Skatepark Environments.
  • Skate Plaza A skatepark design concept that focuses on creating an urban space that also supports skateboarding. Strong examples include the world's first skateplaza; the Vancouver Skate Plaza - which was completed in October 2004 by vdz & Associates Inc. - which was followed by the UK's Milton Keynes Plaza (Designed by ex-Blueprint Skateboards pro Rob Selley) in March 2005 and then Ohio's DC plaza opening shortly after in June 2005 in Rob Dyrdek's hometown of Kettering, Ohio. The UK's Stoke Plaza (Which was design assisted by the United kingdom skateboarding association) opened for sessions in August 2005 (Although officially in October) and Prissick Plaza in November after two years of planning and development.
  • Shaw Millennium Skatepark- One the world's largest outdoor skateparks, designed by Spectrum Skateparks with Landplan associates. Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
  • The Plaza at The Forks- Covering a total area of over , This park consists of a 30,000 square foot skate plaza and an bowl complex. This park was designed by van der Zalm + associates inc. with New Line and opened on June 30, 2006. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Cairns Skatepark, Australia - The park designed and constructed by Convic Skateparksin Dec 2006. The park features two bowls and multiple skateable pathways and has already received several awards and rave reviews including a position on the "7 Wonders of the World" list in the new Australian Skatepark Guide. Integrated landscape, shelters, lighting, an amenities block and the use of coloured concrete to highlight pathways throughout the park all contribute to the overall effect and success of the park.
  • Concrete Wave Country - Nashville's first public skatepark.
  • Green Skate Lab is the only concrete park in Washington, DC and features a huge bowl built by local skaters using recycled tires salvaged from illegal dump sites around the Anacostia River, recycled steel rebar remnants, and recycled pool coping from hotel demolition sites.
  • Skatopia
  • Mei Foo Skatepark is the biggest skate park in Hong Kong. It was already built in 2003 by American Ramp Company, but it was only after a petition from local skaters that the park opened.
  • Pioneer Skatepark St Albans UK is UK's oldest indoor skatepark. It has 8 indoor ramps and an outdoor mini.
  • The No Name Skatepark Greenville, South Carolina. Opened May 9, 2006 witnessed much success being the second largest skatepark on the east coast, over of indoor skate and BMX space and featuring outdoor BMX dirt jumps.
  • Cherry Hill Skatepark, Cherry Hill Township, New Jersey
  • The Black Pearl Skate Park Grand Cayman, Cayman Island. Largest outdoor concrete park in the world.


External links

skatepark in Bulgarian: Скейт парк
skatepark in German: Skatepark
skatepark in Spanish: Skatepark
skatepark in French: Skatepark
skatepark in Hebrew: סקייטפארק
skatepark in Italian: Skatepark
skatepark in Japanese: スケートパーク
skatepark in Polish: Skatepark
skatepark in Slovenian: Poligon za rolkanje
skatepark in Turkish: Kaykay parkı
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