Monday, November 23, 2009

What To Look For In A Great Skate Park


1 A good variety of obstacles, keeping all abilities in mind. (Remember, this will be used by your local kids).
2 A good flow pattern throughout the skate park from obstacle to obstacle shall be applied.
3 A skate park design that offers both ramp and street skating obstacles.

4 Ensure proper, safe distances from obstacle to obstacle. Too much room between obstacles wears the kids out. Not enough room can be unsafe and too congested. Taller obstacles require more approach than shorter ones. Some obstacles require more landing room than others. Knowledge of how the obstacles are skated is very important.
5 Quality, durability and warranty of equipment offered. (Do your homework.) The equipment receives a tremendous amount of use. For your protection, use qualified contractors & materials that will stand up to Mother Nature and riders. Know what type of warranties are offered, exactly what they cover and how long they are valid. See if the warranty is pro-rated – ours isn’t!
6 A skate park should be designed for the majority of the community and not just for expert skateboarders. (Not all kids are Tony Hawk!). Don’t design for pros, design for your town’s skaters. Remember your kids.
7 Facility can and should be designed for use by: inline skaters, bikers, scooters and skateboarders.
8 Complete safety rails to be on all equipment 3’ or higher, when the safety rails do not interfere with the intended use of the obstacle. Skateboards can and will strike others below, if safety rails are not applied.
9 Approximately 200-250-square feet per skater is acceptable for most parks.
10 Ladders or steps on taller obstacles should not be allowed within any open park facility. If the skater can’t pump, feel and learn the balance from flat to vertical first they should not ride the pieces of equipment.
11 In an open park facility, be careful of the heights of obstacles. Equipment which is too high can create extra liability and some insurance companies will not cover a park that has very extreme, large equipment.
12 Signage is an important release in liability. Listing the requirements for safety pads and helmets, along with the other rules of the park is important for decreased liability. We can help you with our custom signage capabilities.
13 Purchase the park from a reputable company with many years of experience. Ask questions and get references. Are they insured? Can they be bonded? Ask about warranty. How many parks have they done? Are their parks still in use? How have they held up? Call their references. Like any other industry, “Buyer Beware!” Don’t waste money; buy durable the first time around! Professional manufacturers have quality equipment and spend many hours and many dollars researching and developing their products. (Go with the Pros).
14 Concrete pads are recommended and are much better than asphalt pads. Asphalt gets hot in the sun and gets soft. Puddles can be apparent. Asphalt does not have the structural integrity like concrete. Concrete can be finished smoother, accepts the equipment and is easier to mechanically fasten to.
15 Make sure the obstacles are securely anchored in place to reduce liability on the city.
16 Proper maintenance on a routine schedule by those responsible for the park must be practiced. (Checking siding screws and keeping painted). We provide you with a maintenance schedule checklist to help with this important task.
17 Proper installation of equipment shall include but not be limited to the following:
Make sure the obstacles have no sharp corners.

Make sure panels line up within an obstacle.

Make sure copings are not set too high. 3/8” max is recommended.

Make sure there is no puckering across obstacle seams, which can happen with bolt-through designs.

Absolutely no screws to be allowed anywhere on the skating surfaces. As wood swells, screw heads can snap off and can injure riders.

Properly designed structural under-framing (minimum of TS 2”x 2”) shall be used for proper weight structure of kids upon the decks of the obstacles.

18 We feel that the biggest skate park around is not the answer - but that more skate parks in and around neighborhoods are. You don’t have only one basketball or tennis court for the entire town to share. So, why expect to share only one skate park for the whole city? 

See also:  

What To Look For In A Great Skate Park
Manufacturing Design Standards & Recommendations for Public Skate Parks
Skate Project Outline Sample

Skate Park Association of the United States of America
Skaters For Public Skate Parks  
Some companies/organizations that may offer funding for skate park construction

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