The rise in the number of skaters in the United States has seen a bigger demand for safe places for people to skate. However, skate park design can be an intimidating process.
Most people charged with building public, or sometimes even private, skate parks often do not have experience in designing and constructing these structures. Unfortunately, this ends up in open public places that go unused and neglected because they weren’t able to serve their purpose.
Below are the most common design mistakes that skaters have to contend with in poorly designed skate parks and how to deal with them.
1. The skate park is too small.
If you think small skate parks are for beginners, think again. Skate parks that are too small pose more hazards for skaters, especially for amateurs, because it leaves little room for everyone to move around. With bigger skate parks, you have more gradual slopes instead of sudden, sharp inclines.
2. There are too many structures haphazardly placed.
Ramps, grind boxes, half pipes, and other skate park structures with no plan in mind are the perfect recipe for a collision. Skate parks must be designed to keep their flow. Street courses must begin and end with ramps, and bowls must end into street areas.
3. The designer doesn’t have enough skate park experience.
It doesn’t matter how well-intentioned a designer is if they have no idea how skate parks are best used. Designers must have skating experience or, at the very least, consult with the local skaters in the area to assist you in creating a design that is usable and safe to use.
4. The designer doesn’t understand the value of the skate park.
Just because you have seen skaters making do on public streets and drainage canals doesn’t mean you can design a skate park that will eventually go neglected by the skating community. Skaters want a clean, safe skating haven where they can practice their skills and enjoy their hobby.
To help you avoid the pitfalls of bad skate park design, it is important that you communicate with the people who will use it. By listening to the skaters’ needs, you will be able to adequately provide them as you create the design for the skate park.