Guest Column - November 2009
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Skateparks

10 Ways to Maximize Your Skatepark

By Aaron Spohn


4. Provide Site Amenities
Skaters don't expect lavish facilities, but failing to equip your skatepark with the basic site amenities increases maintenance costs. Outfitting the skatepark with restrooms and trash cans will naturally maintain the cleanliness of your skatepark. A water fountain hydrates users while reducing the waste caused by empty water and soda bottles. Equipping the park with lights propels your skatepark to the next level, by giving access to older skaters who may work during typical park hours. These older skaters have a stabilizing effect on the park, discouraging juvenile vandalism and misbehavior.

5. Perform Maintenance
Performing regular maintenance helps avoid long-term issues that will require completely redoing the park. Periodically removing debris and inspecting damage before it becomes a bigger problem has a solid return on investment. If maintenance is overlooked, small problems such as a broken piece of coping often lead to serious safety issues. Many parks provide on-site brooms and squeegees to let skaters clean the park themselves.

6. Make Space for Spectators
Skateboarding is a highly athletic and acrobatic activity that is fun to watch. Failing to include space for spectators though, isolates skateparks and discourages non-skaters from visiting the park. In addition, parents feel more comfortable taking their kids to the skatepark when there is room for them to sit and passively supervise. This space is also essential for anyone taking a break from skating, so they are not forced to rest in areas of oncoming traffic.

7. Create a Diversity of Obstacles and Terrain
Skateparks are always a huge hit with the skaters within the first few months of the grand opening, but what happens after that? Many times the skaters become bored with their skatepark and they return to the streets to find new opportunities. Designing a skatepark with a diversity of obstacles and terrain will ensure that skaters can find an infinite number of different lines throughout the park, without the skating becoming mundane. The skatepark should also be designed for a wide range of skill levels. This guarantees that novices won't be discouraged because the course is too difficult while the advanced skaters will be continuously challenged.