Skatepark Etiquette: What Not to Do
Although skateboarding is traditionally a very individualist sport, skateparks tend to have some unspoken rules that aren’t apparent if you’re used to street skating. This is mostly due to the fact that it’s a public space specifically designed for skating, but it also is affected by the roller skaters, BMX riders and kids on scooters that have just as much a right to be there. Check out this list of unspoken etiquette before you hit the skatepark for the first time.
Don’t be a snake. You might be used to fighting to claim your stake on the street, but at the skatepark, you share the territory. Be respectful of other skaters and wait your turn before you start a run. Most skateparks will have a regular pattern; if you’re not sure how it works, sit back and watch the other skaters so you get a feel for the routine. Don’t be afraid to ask others around you if you’re unsure.
No monster runs. Once it’s your turn, keep it short and sweet. 60 seconds is a pretty acceptable maximum, but if you fall, your run is over. Don’t waste others’ time by trying to set up for a second run — be courteous of their time and wait for another turn.
Get up when you fall. You are going to fall; it's the nature of the sport. But don't sit there rolling around in the way of another skater's path. If and when you do fall, get up quickly and step out of the way. Groaning in the middle of everything is a danger to you and to others at the park, so brush yourself off and do your part to keep the park safe.
Give a fair warning. When you do fall, it’s unlikely that your board stays nearby. You’ll probably lose it as it drops into a bowl or rolls into someone else’s path, and when it does, it’s common courtesy to give others a fair warning in case it’s headed their way. The easiest way to do this is to simply yell “board!” when you lose it, or when you see it heading in someone’s direction.
Don’t be a one-upper. Everyone is at a different stage of skating — some have been skating for years while others are still learning how to kickflip. If you see someone trying to land a trick, don’t go rubbing it in by landing it right in front of them. In the same way that you don’t want to hear your buddy bragging about a raise right after you got fired, use your manners when it comes to others’ skill level.
Nix the wax. This one’s pretty simple — wax might be okay to use on ledges on the street, but in a park, it could cause injury to others. Skip this all together and do what you can on the rails and ledges without it.
Don’t sit on the ledges. This might look like a good spot to sit and check your text messages, but you can bet that if it’s within the boundaries of the park, some skater is eyeing it. Unless you want to get hurt, don’t park yourself anywhere that others might try to use.
Be cool to the kids. We get it, kids can be kind of obtuse, and new skaters left unattended by their parents can be even more oblivious. But they’ve only been in the world for a handful of years, so give them a break. Be kind to kids who are still learning the ropes, and give them props when they do well.
Follow the rules. Skateparks really don’t get a lot of funding, especially in smaller towns. The rules are there to make sure that everyone is safe and that the park stays in good shape so people can continue skating it for years to come. Be respectful of what they provide to the community by following their rules.
Apologize. We all make mistakes — it’s inevitable. But own up when you accidentally snake a run or collide with someone else, and be more observant the next time around.
- Outdoors Staff