Top Five Skateparks in the World
Skateboarding has changed a lot since its official start back in the 1940s. From wooden boxes with roller skate wheels attached to them and no safety gear —to boards which now offer options like lighter wheels, different board shapes, and most importantly, plenty of safety gear options like skateboard griptape, skateboard specific helmets, and various body pads and guards. Skateboarding is only going to keep growing with it being represented for the first time in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. With National Skateboarding Day taking place on June 21st, we thought this would be a good time to highlight some of the top skateparks around the world.
What exactly makes the ideal skatepark can be somewhat debatable, but the design of the park is generally the deciding factor. The skatepark design is broken into two main categories, usability and functionality. The usability of the park is just that— how the skaters are using it. This takes into items like the flow of the spaces, the visibility, difficult levels available, traffic, and speed of the area. The other category is functionality which focuses on how the space is used when the park is not being used by skaters or for the general public- things like capacity, seating, aesthetic, and operations would all fall under this. The world’s best skate parks are going to take both of these categories and execute on them (almost) flawlessly.
Here are five of the best skateparks in the world.
1. Burnside Skatepark in Portland, OR
Interesting facts: Originally created illegally by a group of skaters in 1990 that were simply looking to have a dry place to skate for the rainy days, it was sanctioned retrospectively by the city of Portland due to its popularity. This skate park is now considered a classic by skateboarding pros.
What is so great about it: It features amazing wall rides, bowls, quarter pipes, hips, and bumps. Don’t forget to get up the wall to see what Germ’s coffin drop-in looks like, but we’re not going to be trying it any time soon! If you do, make sure you have your helmet, pads and use some fresh skateboard griptape to keep your feet from slipping. Jessup has the largest range of colors available in skateboarding griptape
Don’t forget: Since its run by the city, they can choose to close the park at any time, so leave your rowdy and rude behavior at home. This park is also known to be the spot for “hardcore skaters”, so you’ll be sure you see some cool tricks!
2. Denver Skatepark in Denver, CO
Interesting facts: Boasting over 60,000 square feet of skateable concrete, this skatepark was featured as one of the main parks in the Tony Hawk gaming series, from Gameboy right up to the PlayStation 4. It’s a “can’t miss” tourist spot while you pass through Denver!
What is so great about it: Situated in just the right spot along the Platte River, this skate park gives breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. It also touts something for everyone from the novice to pro skaters, with extensive street courses, sprawling in size, and amazing bowls that are open late in the evening.
Don’t forget: The skate park is open from 5 am to 11 pm, lighting up the Rockies at night, but bring your own gear, including safety gear, because no rentals are available.
3. Vans Skatepark in Orange, CA
Interesting facts: In 1999, the famous skate shoemaker decided to create their own premium skate park. If you want to see veteran skateboarding pros, you’re likely to catch them here. Steve Salba, Jeff Grosso, and Christian Hosoi are all known to skate at this park.
What is so great about it: This SoCal skate park offers both indoor and outdoor skateboarding. The indoor arena provides high-quality wooden ramps, while the large outdoor space has continuous bowls, pools, and verts. The massive replication of the famous Upland Combi pool is a 12-foot deep concrete bowl with some of the craziest transitions we’ve ever seen.
Don’t forget: Novice skaters are welcome here too! There is a specific section for new skaters and an area of the park that offers moveable obstacles to allow skaters to find their own lines.
4. Skatepark Los Reyes in Santiago, Chile
Interesting facts: Situated on the banks of the Machopo River, this is not only the biggest skatepark in all of Chile, but one of the most scenic parks in the whole world.
What is so great about it: This skate park offers an enormous street zone and a snake-shaped bowl. The bowls will take you by surprise by progressively going from gentle to extreme vertical in some areas. The street space showcases a large bank which has a respectable handrail, a quarter with curving, a ramp to get air and a set of stairs accessible handrail.
Don’t forget: This skatepark is solely for skaters and it does get very busy, especially on weekends. The months of May through September are rainier, so make sure to pack your safety gear and skateboard grip tape to help prevent slip and fall accidents and injury.
5. Guangzhou Skatepark in Guangzhou, China
Interesting facts: We couldn’t leave out the largest skatepark in the entire world. This skatepark, situated in the Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre in Panyu District, is approximately the size of a whopping four football fields and is surrounded by ten universities.
What is so great about it: The professional designed concrete bowls go for days and offer contest level zones for street skating. Full pipes, slalom runs, pools and ramps, plus an indoor skating arena are just some of the highlights to this extreme sports complex. A BMX park and climbing wall can also be found inside the space, so be prepared to spend all day here playing.
Don’t forget: Different parts of this skatepark cater to different abilities. With something for rookies to pros, you’ll be sure to find your place here. All skaters should remember to bring their own safety gear to protect themselves while in this playground!
Quick Tips on Skateboarding Safety
With over 98,000 people treated in hospital emergency rooms after being injured while skateboarding in 2017, the conversation about skateboarding safety is still very important. Falling will always be a common part of skateboarding for both novice and pro skateboarders, but if you have the right protective gear, check your equipment and learn to properly fall, you can greatly reduce your risk of injury. Here are our quick tips on protecting yourself while taking to your board:
Protective Gear: All the pros wear it- and for good reason. Protective gear can save you from a major injury that could potentially end your boarding for good. Don’t go skateboarding without:
- Well fitting, slip-resistant closed-toe shoes
- Properly sized skateboarding helmet
- Knee and wrist pads (wrists get the brunt of the damage with sprains and fractures so make sure you don’t forget those!)
Skateboarding Equipment: It should go unsaid that your board needs to be in good working order before you head out. A few items that can easily go overlooked, but make a huge difference in your safety include:
- Adding or updating the skateboard griptape to prevent slipping
- Checking all wheels and screws to make they are working properly and tightened
- Removing any sharp edges (for metal boards)
- Replacing any loose, broken or cracked parts
Fall Like a Pro: Falling in skateboarding is an art and takes practice. When you are able to properly fall in skateboarding, you greatly reduce your risk for being seriously injured. Tips to falling gracefully include:
- Roll out of any falls is always the preferred method because it distributes the force of the blow to prevent additional injury. It is important because it will distribute the force of the fall to prevent additional injury.
- Don’t be afraid bail out of your trick if you feel a hard fall coming on. Your ego can easily repair itself, wrists, elbows, and knees will take much more time! Bailing means to jump off your board and kick it away from you to prevent landing back on your board and slipping over. Pro tip: kicking forward offers a greater chance you will land back on the board.
- Keep loose when you fall: If (when) you take a fall, don’t tense up and focus on one area to stretch out because then it will take the brunt of the blow (example: your arms). By keeping your limbs loose, they can more evenly absorb the shock of the fall and decrease the risk of breaking bones.
Skateparks continually prove themselves as helping to provide a healthy community and creating a partnership between youth, government, and local civic organizations. As a gathering place for many, especially younger generations, it offers a place to meet and share experiences. These skateparks often become a home-away-from-home for many youths looking to perfect their boarding skills or simply make friends with a common interest. Does your local skatepark deserve to be mentioned on our blog? Tweet us @JessupMfg and let us know about your favorite skatepark.