Feature Article - February 2008
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Ride the New Wave

Skatepark Terrain for the 21st Century

By Kate Bongiovanni



Skater Speak/Board Talk

Street style versus transitional. Snakerun bowls versus rails. These are just a few of the terrain options skateboarders, inline skaters and BMX bikers look for:

Bank: an elevated surface that's a more urban form of a ramp

Bowl: similar to a swimming pool in terms of shape and sometimes size but leave out the water; a half sphere with a diameter of 8 to 9 feet

Cradle: can be helmet-shaped where skaters can attempt a 180; a quarter sphere dome inverted

Empty space: pertaining mostly to street-style parks to have some flat open space for the skateboarder to express creativity and use it wisely

Flat rail: a low steel beam that's built into a flat concrete surface at a specific height, also known as grind rail

Full-pipe: typically constructed of wood or cement, this ramp is shaped like a large pipe

Funbox: this artificial street platform features banked sides with either a ledge or handrail; combines features of a pyramid, hubba ledge, ledge and rail into one structure

Half-pipe: this half of a full-pipe features a flat piece at the bottom and the top sides of both ramps have metal pipes attached

Handrail: take a flat rail and make it more advanced by making it steeper and setting it next to a set of stairs

Hip: set two ramps next to each other at a specific angle

Hubba: this wider ledge looks like a concrete banister at an entrance to a building and is a popular street obstacle

Kicker: this wooden plate has one side set higher than the other

Ledges: these blocks on concrete are typically straight, flat and long but can ascend or descend and have curves

Manual pad: a simple slab of concrete found in almost every skatepark; can extend over declines or stairs, or have rails attached; very versatile

Quarter-pipe: this quarter of a full-pipe is found in street skateboarding; its bottom includes a metal piece to make it smoother and its top has metal pipes attached

Pool: think swimming pool all the way down to shape, size, varying depth and décor; it's the place for advanced skaters to tear it up

Pyramid: can be approached from any direction, height can vary depending on the space and speed available; this versatile structure with a flat top requires opposing flat banks to build speed

Ramp: designed to skate on and can be made of cement or wood

Snakerun: banked sides run along a downhill path

Spine: construct by putting two ramps together with facing back sides

Stairsets: typically found next to a ledge, hubba ledge or rails and can have three stairs, five stairs or more to create advanced tricks

Street: contains objects skateboarders typically find on the street like curbs, kickers and grindrails

Wallride: taking a skateboard onto a vertical wall

SOURCE: www.how2skate.com and Skaters for Public Skateparks, www.skatersforpublicskateparks.org