Skatepark: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Skatepark in Davis, California, U.S.

A skatepark is a purpose-built recreational environment for skateboarders, rollerbladers and BMX riders to ride and develop their technique. A skatepark may contain half-pipes, quarter pipes, handrails, funboxes, vert ramps, pyramids, banked ramps, full pipes, stairsets, and any number of other objects.

Skateparks were originally designed for skateboarding, but have evolved to support mainly roller bladers and BMX riders. Skateboarding and BMX riding have been known to create safety issues if done at the same time, leading some skateparks to ban BMX riding. There are many skateparks that are an exception to that rule and even several exclusively "bikes only" parks have been built. An example would be Espee Bike Park in Chandler, AZ.

Skateparks may be privately or publicly owned. Privately owned skateparks usually have admission fees, while publicly owned skateparks are generally free. Many privately owned skateparks are indoors, usually in warehouses, roller rinks or buildings with high ceilings, especially in areas with snowy winters. Public skateparks are usually 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 less maintenance.[1]

Contents

History

BMX rider in Ontario, Canada

Skateparks first emerged in the 1970s, and were primarily private, for-profit endeavors, although several public parks were built globally. Parks then included pools, bowls, snake runs, freestyle areas, banked slalom areas, half-pipes, and full pipes. Most were concrete and were outdoors. In more extreme climates parks were built indoors, often 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 that era's parks were poorly designed, being built by business people seeking a quick profit. Better parks, such as Upland, California's Pipeline, designed by skateboarders and carefully built, survived into the 80's, until escalating land values made their sites vulnerable to development. Exorbitant liability insurance premiums also contributed to the demise of the original skateparks.

Modern skatepark design can be traced back to 1990, with the commencement of the Burnside Skatepark, a DIY "barge build" beneath the Burnside Bridge, in Portland, Oregon. Skateboarders used an area populated primarily by the city's "undesirable elements" to create a skatepark, building one section at a time. The process is called "design/build" (D/B), and is a characteristic of nearly all the best skateparks today. The design/build process ensures that adjacent skatepark features are harmonious and rideable, allowing skateboarders to create endless "lines" to ride among the many features.

The modern public skatepark is relatively new, 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. Parks are usually for persons 14 or over.

Burnside Skatepark in Portland, Oregon

In recent years, estimates have it that a new skatepark opens somewhere every three days.

Controversy

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 poor design and materials used often used lead to heated discussions within the skateboarding community.

Common obstacles

  • Quarter pipes – Literally, quarter of a pipe - riders air from it and perform tricks in the air or on a platform above the ramp or drop in on it to gain speed.
  • Spines – Two quarter pipes back to back.
  • Flat banks – These can vary in angle but are simply an angled wall for which to ride on.
  • Wall rides/vert walls – A vertical wall above either quarter pipes or flat banks..
  • Mini ramps– Two small quarter pipes facing one another, like a halfpipe, but with a short flat area between.
  • Hips – Essentially two quarter pipes or flat banks, each with one edge at a right angle or a more aggressive angle to the other.
  • Funboxes – A steep quarter pipe like lip with a deck extending to a landing often less steep than the lip.
  • Pyramids – A four way wedge or transition box.
  • Launches – A curved ramp that launches the rider into the air, like a quarter pipe, but less steep.
  • Roll-ins – A long sloping ramp used to gain speed
  • Euro – A ramp where the platform drops like a step to a flat ramp.
  • Halfpipe - Two Quarter Pipes joined together (half of a pipe).
  • Bowl - A ramp that is the shape of a bowl .
  • Pool - Usually a typical pool used for swimming, only unfilled by water. Pools usually tend to have tiles.

Notable skateparks

Pedlow Skate Park, San Fernando Valley, CA
Louisville Extreme Park, Kentucky

*Double Decker Skatepark-Fayetteville,N.C.,U.S.-47,831 sq.ft. under roof-- see myspace.com/doubledeckerskatepark

References

  1. ^ Porstner, Donna, "Curve appeal / Area's new skate park opens", news article in The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, July 13, 2007, pp 1, A6

External links

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