The Ultimate Guide to Skatepark Etiquette
Skateparks often have plenty of space for riding around, and you don't usually need to wait for your turn to perform an ollie.
However, a skatepark is a place where skateboarders are inevitably forced to share limited areas and structures with people they don't necessarily know.
Skateboard etiquette is a set of rules universally followed at skateparks to avoid chaos and prevent injuries.
It's an informal code of conduct that is widely accepted and adopted by skaters that minimizes heated discussions and, in some cases, prevents physical aggression.
Generally speaking, skateboarders are incredibly supportive, and comradery prevails, but the following directives help ensure safety and a healthy flow within the skatepark.
Skatepark etiquette is all about expected behaviors in limited areas that can sometimes be extremely crowded.
If you're new to skateboarding, here are a few tips and guidelines you should take into consideration before hitting your local skatepark.
1. If You're Not Skating, Stay away
It's dangerous to stand in the middle of the action. It is also annoying to have someone blocking riders' tricks and maneuvers. If you're a spectator, keep a safe distance.
2. Beginners: Plan Your Visit to the Skatepark
Although it is an inclusive structure, a skatepark is an area where intermediate and experienced riders practice complex and advanced tricks. So, if you're new to the sport, avoid learning the basics during peak times.
3. Avoid Crashes - Watch Where You're Going
There could be dozens, if not hundreds of skateboarders in a skatepark, simultaneously enjoying their time on the concrete floor. Make sure you pay attention to your surroundings. Play it safe.
5. Snaking Is Not Tolerated
If a fellow skater is performing a run or dropping into a pool, don't cut his line. Wait for your turn.
6. Get Up Fast
If you have accidentally fallen off your board or were unable to land a maneuver, get up as fast as you can. There are other riders passing by. If you're injured, call for help.
7. Respect Failure
If someone is practicing a maneuver or trick and fails to complete it, be positive, and encourage him or her. Skateboarding is all about experimentation and learning from failure - respect other's frustration. Falling is part of the game.
8. Don't Wax Obstacles Without Permission
If you're into practicing your skills on rails or other obstacles, ask others for permission before waxing the surfaces. A waxed rail could add unwanted and unexpected additional speed and potentially injure someone.
9. Don't Ride the Bowl's Flat Ground
The pool's flat ground is not a skating ground. Make room for those who are dropping in and riding the entire bowl.
10. Filmmakers - Stay Out of the Way
If you're shooting a skateboard video, make sure you're aware of where you are moving or standing.
11. No Comping
Beginner skateboarders tend to follow experienced riders around and try to copy their maneuvers and tricks. Deliberately comping skateboarders is disrespectful.
12. Plan Your Lines
Skatepark design often has a logic. There's a natural riding flow between features, so try to perform your runs smoothly without unnatural or drastic course changes.
13. Don't Rest on the Coping
Ramps, half-pipes, and bowls are speed zones. Avoid resting or standing on the coping while someone is doing their run.
14. Yell: "Board!"
Falling and wiping out is part of skateboarding. If your board is shot up in the sky while you're trying to land a trick, warn others. Otherwise, it might hit someone on the head.
15. Respect Kids and Beginner Skateboarders
Don't be rude to youngsters, even if they've made something wrong. Talk to them or their parents, if needed. If you yell at a kid, he might leave the sport forever. And beginners are learning - everyone has to start somewhere. Cut them a slack.
16. BMX and Scooters: Respect Skaters
Most skateparks are open to skateboards only. However, if you're on a BMX or scooter enjoying the concrete lines, remember to respect the rules of the structure.
17. Avoid Marathon Runs
Lengthy runs may be acceptable if everyone's doing them, and the skatepark is large enough. Otherwise, please keep it simple and respect your fellow skaters, especially during busy times. They're waiting for their turn.
18. Keep the Skatepark Clean
Have you brought a bottle of water and a snack inside your pockets? Enjoy it. But don't drop your litter on the floor. Keep the skatepark clean and free from flying plastics and trash.
19. Don't ask skaters to perform tricks
It's not good etiquette to ask riders to do a kickflip. It can be uncomfortable for those who can't pull it off or put unnecessary pressure on your fellow skaters. Just enjoy your time in the skatepark. Do your thing and forget about others.
If, for any reason, you hurt, snake, or show any kind of excessive behavior, assume it and apologize for your actions. Blaming doesn't lead to solutions and results. It is only going to make things worse.