Skate Park Etiquette
By. Chris Gorski
A trip to the skate park is meant to be fun whether you are Rollerblading, skateboarding, biking or any other activity. But what if someone or something starts killing your good vibes? Vibe killers do exist at skate parks but you don’t have to be one or contribute to the problem. This general skate park etiquette article will go over some of the best practices for being a well adjusted member of the skate park community. Skaters are often given the stereotype of rule breakers which sometimes is not far off but we do have rules! We’re not savages and the rules we follow are there for the safety of our fellow skaters and to help give the entire park a better flow.
The first rule of skating a skate park; NO SNAKING!
You may have heard of this term before and if you have not, well, you probably have done it. Snaking someone occurs when you cut them off in the middle of their run. This can occur quite easily if you are not paying attention which also means snaking someone can be completely avoided by paying attention. Nobody likes to be snaked and it is so embarrassing to be the “snakee” and if you are a multiple time offender you will be like the plague to other skaters at the park.
No smoking at the skate park!
So you’re old enough to make terrible decisions, great. You are also old enough to influence those that don’t need to make the same terrible decisions as you. So, please keep the smoking away from the skate park. I mean, can you really skate that well after puffing a cig? Take it to the parking lot and take a break.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Respect can go a long way at the skate park
Respect the skate park, the people skating and the people working there. Respect can get you far when it comes to skating and will also be safer for skating as you will be more aware of those around you and your surroundings.
Know your place
Don’t spend all day skating an obstacle that you can’t even jump up to. Not only do you look foolish but this is a good way to get hurt while also being in everyone’s way while doing so. There is a learning curve with skating and just like you need to walk before you run you need to learn to soul grind a low box before trying to bust a fishbrain down a hubba or handrail.
Not landing the trick you are attempting over and over can be very frustrating but you have to remember you are not the only one at the skate park. Most that go to the skate park can handle their aggression well and will take a breather if a trick is giving them a hard time but there are also those that do not handle their anger very well. Those that cuss, throw things or get overly upset are bad news for other people at the park. So, keep a cool head and don’t let any trick, obstacle or other issue get the best of you.
Session like someone is waiting
You want to see if you can link together a 5 minute run through the park? Good for you, but, wait for the park to be clear and empty. You don’t want to take a huge run and make it so other people have to wait when the park is busting at the seams. When the park is full it is best to skate a couple of obstacles breaking in between to make sure others can skate too. Not everyone is going to want to stop what they are doing and watch you play X-Games, so wait until the park is empty and then take a solid run.
Follow the rules
Simple as that; skate parks have rules and these rules need to be enforced so that the park can safely stay open. You might not like wearing pads or a helmet but the skate park may require them not only for safety reasons but for insurance reasons. So, don’t be a rule-breaker at the skate park and respect the skate park rules because you want it to stay up and running.
Don’t fuel the fire between Rollerbladers and skateboarders
Yes, there is a stigma between skateboarders and Rollerbladers but you don’t have to be part of it. There are plenty of people I hang around that skateboard and I aggressive skate and we have a great time together. But sometimes you will get people that just want to start something with someone of the other skate type but just leave it alone and kill them with kindness.
Don’t forget why you are at the skate park in the first place; to skate. And why do you skate? Because it is FUN! Don’t take skating too serious to the point where you are getting stressed or angry. Have a good time while skating and if you feel yourself getting frustrated just take a break.
No sitting on any obstacles
At many skate parks there are sets of benches complete with a coping edge and although these still function as benches to sit on, please don’t. There are many skate features that could be used to pop a squat on but that is not the purpose of these and they should not be used for this. It is so frustrating waiting to hit a feature at a skate park and having someone just sitting on it right in your way so find a place to sit outside the actual skate park.
Now you know the ropes of skate park etiquette and can hopefully handle yourself at your local skate park. If you are looking for more information regarding skate parks check out our What makes a good skate park article.