A skatepark is a space designed for skateboarding, roller-skating, and riding BMX bikes and scooters. Skateparks contain various obstacles, including skate ramp radius, ramps (like large vert ramps or small mini ramps), funboxes, pyramids, quarter pipes, combinations of grind boxes/ledges, rails, and stairs, and many others.
This post will tell you what kinds of skateparks there are and what materials they are made of.
Types of Skateparks
Skate ramp radius
A skate ramp radius park includes all sorts of ramps and other obstacles, which are, basically, various slide hills. Initially, surfers used skates to recreate the surfing sensations on land, so they started skating in empty swimming pools. According to the design used for construction of the USA pools of the 1970s, the bed of the pool gradually transited into walls, allowing skaters to kind of surf in the empty swimming pools.
Today’s skatepark designers went even further: not only do their constructions imitate swimming pools (these are so-called pools or bowls), but they are also a combination of many elements — like on the image above, for instance. The design of many such skateparks allows skating virtually without foot spurning, only by gaining speed due to body movements at the right time and in the right place. Such parks may include various bowls, pools, vert sections, where surfers can practice and improve their flow and various grinds, slides, and airs.
An example of the skate ramp radius park is a pump track:
The basic example of a pump track is a concrete or asphalt road of about two or three meters wide, where the beginning is the ending, with rounded and sloped angles. A pump track consists of some large or medium-sized hills or slides that allow gaining pretty much speed due to pumping. Imagination and the budget alone are the limits to the pump track’s design. You can come across quite complicated constructions with various hillocks, from which, if you are skilled enough, you can perform airs, launch off, and keep moving.
A street park imitates street obstacles. There are various ledges, grind boxes like street coping, railings of various heights, and various tilt angles, stairs, and funboxes — all of the above combined with either bank or curved kickers/launches. There are often quarterpipes or wedge ramps on the periphery allowing skaters to develop high speed and keep skating inside the park with no need to stop.
In skateboarding, a plaza has its own meaning. In Hispanic America, a plaza is a space or an isle within a public area with benches, planters, stairs, and other street furniture or hardscape elements.
Basically, a skate plaza is an imitation of such space areas. Sometimes, a skate plaza can even be a full copy of famous street spots.
Quite often, several types of skateparks are combined in one facility, including, for instance, a pump track, a skate ramp radius, and a street park.
Materials Skatepark Construction
Concrete parks are usually smooth and nice to skate. They are quite durable, regardless of any hazardous weather conditions. They can often have quite a creative design, as concrete makes it easier to mold some complicated curved shapes.
A drawback of a concrete skatepark is the high cost of construction — this requires loads of concrete and the need to provide for a rain drainage system, which significantly increases the cost of building a concrete park. And it hurts more to fall on the concrete surface too.
For most parks built in the 90s and 2000s, wood was the most popular material. Wood is softer to fall, but complex shapes are hard to construct out of wood. So most frequently, the designers of wooden skateparks only created simple funboxes and ramps. Also, you shouldn’t expect outdoor wooden skateparks to last for years: they wear out rather quickly, especially in a wet climate. For the above reasons, wooden materials can often be found in indoor skateparks.
Metal sheets are normally used as decks to cover wooden shapes to make them stronger. Metal is more slippery, though, compared to wooden and concrete surfaces. And it is likely to heat up heavily in the sun too!
Not every location can afford to build a skatepark, so oftentimes, people take charge and start building a park on their own. Self-made skateparks are constructed of various materials and usually do not look as nice as those made by professionals. Still, this is better than nothing. And someone who has made a small skatepark can be quite proud of it, so please show respect to the locals who have put their efforts into the park where you can skate.
A skatepark is a cool thing that can be a source of fun and progress for long years! And to avoid saddening this fun, make sure you observe the rules of conduct in a skatepark.
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