Guest Column - November 2009
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Skateparks

10 Ways to Maximize Your Skatepark

By Aaron Spohn


8. Leave Areas of Open Space
Some skatepark designers are under the impression that the more obstacles you can cram into a skatepark the better. Although skaters require a certain density of obstacles, there are established minimum distances that any professional designer will establish. Skateparks are supposed to resemble the streets where skaters can flow through open space and push around from one obstacle to another. Skateparks with little room for pushing and space free from obstacles create a scenario where skaters are constantly running into an obstacle before they have collected themselves from landing a trick on a previous obstacle. Open space is also good for beginners who want learn the basics before tackling their first real skatepark obstacle.

9. Host Events
In order to tap into the full potential of your skatepark, hosting events is crucial. Events at your skatepark are a great way to draw a crowd and keep that crowd coming back on a regular basis. There are a number of programming options that can be held at your skatepark that require minimal effort. Popular events include contests, demonstrations by local or national skate teams, skate lessons and planned skateboarding sessions such as "Go Skateboarding Day." All of these activities can be easily organized with assistance from a local skateshop or skateboarding club. These events are vital because they remind skaters that there is a park in your community and can also expose new skaters to the presence of your skatepark

10. Promote Your Skatepark
To make sure your skatepark is getting its fair share of use, you have to spread the word. There are several ways to promote your skatepark that are free and extremely easy. First, gather information on your skatepark and take some photos. Post this information on the many online skatepark directories like SkateBoardPark.com. Secondly, you can easily create an online presence with a blog, MySpace or Facebook page. This will ensure maximum attendance at your skatepark, especially for the major events.

After taking the time, effort and funds to build a skatepark in your community, make sure it is getting the utmost use. With proper planning and consultation from respected skatepark construction and design firms, the complexity of a skatepark project can be handled much easier. Following these simple guidelines will reduce the likelihood of issues arising in the short term, leaving your community with a source of pride for years to come.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aaron Spohn is the founder and president of Spohn Ranch Skateparks. Spohn Ranch is a leading skatepark construction and design firm based in Industry, Calif., that has built more than 450 skateparks around the world for communities with a wide range of needs and circumstances. For more information, visit www.spohnranch.com.