Skate Park

Skate parks are safe places where your skater can practice slides and grinds...much safer than the street with its cars, pedestrians and pebbles!

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The parks are designed to encourage the beginning skater while also challenging the more skilled skater. Many parks have supervisors and some even provide lessons.

Most skate parks are built to accomodate the two styles of skating: vert and street.

Vert skaters will find plenty of ramps, bowls, ledges and other structures to practice on – all within a safe, closed environment.

Skate parks are also designed with street skaters in mind. Even though street skaters might not be inclined to use a skate park, jumping stairs at a park is much safer and more legal than using the stairs of the local high school.

Great-Kids-Parks can help you and the skater in your family find the best skate park. Now get out there and do some ollies and heelflips!

Skateboarding Culture

Skateboarding evolved from surfing – that's why the laid back counterculture nature found in the two sports makes sense.

The big difference is that surfing is now accepted by society and skateboarding is still struggling for mainstream acceptance. The youth culture and mindset has a lot to do with this.

This overall lack of acceptance has led to a gradual decline in the popularity of the sport: many skate parks sit empty, unused. Why?

  • The sport of skateboarding itself is in a period of decline
  • Skateboarders typically refuse to be fenced in - they don't want to be told what to do
  • The parks are sometimes poorly designed
  • The parks may be inaccessible to the youth who typically ride skateboards – I know of one city's skate park that is on an abandoned Navy Base, far from most neighborhoods

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons skateboarding as a sport is still struggling for acceptance is the destruction of public property that tends to go along with street skating.

This is where the beauty of skate parks comes in. The parks are all concrete and metal and thus are designed to withstand constant shredding and grinding!

Benefits of Skateboarding

kid on scooter

Skateboarding is great exercise. Physically, the balance and coordination involved are tremendous. Skaters definitely need to be fit to perform most of the tricks. Every time a kid hops on a board they begin to burn calories.

Mentally, skaters need to be fearless and persistent. They need to be willing to work to improve their skills and constantly weigh the consequences versus the rewards. I think we can all agree that these qualities are so important in our kids' characters.

Most other sports do not carry such a great possibility of getting injured when practicing. Bragging rights aside, most kids do not want to get hurt and so will make good decisions. They know their limits.

Skateboarding Lingo

Skateboarding has its very own language just like every other sport - there is no one source that can accurately define all the words used.

Besides, the language is continually evolving with the creation of new tricks. Some of the vernacular is not reprintable here, but there are many other websites which can give you a brief tutorial.

Most of the lingo consists of the tricks and the adjectives used to describe them. Categories of tricks include flip tricks, aerials, slides and grinds, lip tricks, and freestyle tricks.

Many types of tricks can be combined together or varied based on the way they are performed. For example, the No-Comply trick has many variations, including 180, 360, Varials, Flips, Fingerflips, Impossibles, etc.

Finding new combinations and variations is often the reason that skateboarding keeps its appeal amongst its followers.

Specific trick names include the Ollie, Casperflip, Darkslide, Cess Slide, 180, 360, Powerslide, Benihana, Mute Air, Madonna, Axel Stall, 50-50, Nose Blunt, and Heelflip, to name just a few.

Who knows? Your kid may just create a new trick to add to the dictionary of terms already out there!

Commonly used adjectives in skateboarding include:

  • Badoogal - very good trick
  • Gnarlitude - basic measurement of gnarly
  • Steezy - a term for stylish tricks
  • Thrashin - to have a great time skateboarding
  • Slam -a very hard fall
  • Shizznit - someone who lands every trick
  • Beast - an awesome thing

Keep in mind that this vernacular is always changing - use them carefully in front of your kids or they may look at you funny.

Skateboarding and Safety

kid on skateboard

It is highly recommended and often mandatory at skate parks that skaters wear protective equipment. Number one among protective gear is a helmet !! Brain injuries are serious and can not only keep a kid out of commission from skateboarding, but possibly out of commission for life.

Other necessary equipment includes knee pads and elbow pads and wrist guards . When bad falls occur, these joints can become badly bruised and - worst case scenario - broken.

Always make sure that your kids are aware of their limits when practicing. Encourage them to push their limits just enough to improve their skills.

Be sure to talk with them about dealing with and deflecting peer pressure. There is no worse feeling than being goaded into doing something that makes them feel uneasy.

Always be their biggest cheerleader, albeit sometimes a silent cheerleader. The feeling of accomplishment when mastering a difficult trick is something every kid should be able to experience.

Skate Parks and YOU

Most skate parks are designed with only active participants in mind – a limited number have viewing areas or bleachers off to the side.

Some allow Razor Scooters and more than once I've seen bicyclists using the ramps. Skaters new to the sport or those on scooters should be careful not to get in the way of more experienced skaters.

Keep in mind that the rules of the skate parks are there to help ensure your kid's safety. However, posted rules or even a skate park supervisor do not replace your watchful eye and your kid's common sense.

Great-Kids-Parks encourages you to get your kids moving! Skate parks provide a safe environment to give an AWESOME SPORT a try. Who knows? You may be raising the next Tony Hawk or Elissa Steamer!

Find a Park

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