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Thread: Skatepark designs and function...

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Skatepark designs and function...

    I'm putting together plans and specs for a skatepark. First skatepark I've actually put together. Does anyone have any experience with skatepark design and construction? Looking for some do's and don't's, tips... yada.. yada... and any information you might want to share. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Major don't: Don't hide the thing away. That's asking for trouble. Put it where there can be informal surveillance by members of the community other than the skaters themselves.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Major don't: Don't hide the thing away. That's asking for trouble. Put it where there can be informal surveillance by members of the community other than the skaters themselves.
    True, true, true! This was done at a neighborhood skate park in my municipality and there have been numerous complaints of illicit activity and vandalism (tagging mostly). Imagine that, vandalism, at a skate park of all places.

    If you can't afford professional designers, I would recommend getting the advise of the local skateboarding community. That is, if they're organized. Heck, as an exercise in fun, I would at least get the opinions of the youths you expect to utilize the park... At very least in matters of design.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Biscuit, what do you mean professional advisors??? I am the professional advisor! LOL Yeah, I have input from the community and the kids interested in the park, as well as the skatepark equipment providers. I feel pretty comfortable with the design just thought I'd get some input as this will the the first for the City. BKM, I agree with you 110%. If you are going to put these uses back in a corner or out of sight it will end up being an area of constant problems. This area is highly visible in a neighborhood park, within close proximity to two intersecting streets as well as surrounding houses. I'm sure if there are problems we will hear pretty fast from the surrounding residences...

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Model it after LOVE Park in Philly, and you'll be golden.

    If you dont know what LOVE Park is, you should enlist the help of other skaters, skater park designers.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    LOL, Jeff this is not in a downtown setting. Furthermore the budget would not allow for such a design. Its only $240k budget so I think that is out of the question . I think they have closed the park off to skating and installed skate stops all over the place on it? right??? I don't know it has been a little while since I have been up to Philly...

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Get the kids who would use it together to help desing it. If you don't skate, you will not be able to desing a good park. Ramp transitions, curves, angles, heights oftabletops, rrails, etc. are all extremely important to the riders. Go to one in the area and see what is there and how the kids like it, what ramps get used, what don't get used, etc. Our skatepark gets tagged all the time. We have closed it several times due to the general maintenance of it. The only thing that has worked is to do this. The result was that the regular users started to police what was going on, and the park has improved tremendously.

  8. #8

  9. #9
         
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    An orthopedic practice opened an out-patient surgery office next the the skate park in my community. I though that was a great business move on their part .

  10. #10
    Get with the skate boarding community and make them part of the process. After all, they are the ones who are going to be using it. There are some great skate boarding design groups as well!!!! Visability, access, bathrooms, lighting, placement are all things to take into consideration......
    Forechecking is overrated.

  11. #11
    We built on for under 100k, it is 75' x 150', the concrete is 4" thick. The slab alone cost about $22K if I remember correctly. I designed the concrete slab, and we bought separate pieces, it is pretty nice really. We feature several ramps, jumps, quarter pipes, grinding rails and a view of Cedar Point. It is located near (150' from) our city building and just off our bike path. It gathers lots of litter and some kids on bikes.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Check out the Louisville, KY Extreme Park which is a skate park: http://www.louisvilleextremepark.org/
    good photos under history and the park

    From their FAQ:
    I'm from another city, and I'd like to encourage my city's leaders to build
    a skatepark. Can you help me convince them?


    You can also find useful information about organizing support for public skateparks through the Skatepark Association of the United States of America or Skaters for Public Skateparks.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Thanks for the info... Ssnyderjr is that a post-tension pads I assume? I've spec'd this one @ 4" as well post-tension with 16" footing, #5 bars 24" O.C. Then putting 2" of sand as a base, hopefully that will work. We have some really poor soil conditions in the area. I'm not having any geotechnicals run but I can look at the soil and tell it has a high plasticity level. Well this park will be all modular equipment.

    JNA that website, "Skaters for Public Skateparks" is GREAT! Wish I would known of it sooner, might have helped me get some questions answered a bit quicker...

    Thanks again everyone for the info.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    I'd echo the importance of location and natural surveillance. A couple of things that have come up with a new skate park in our city are the need to be realistic about expecting and managing some level of graffiti - if you build something for young people, you have to be real about how they are going to use it. Not everyone sees graffiti as ugly vandalism. So, sometimes you can try to be a bit smart about this before the thing even opens and think about frequency of graffiti removal, whether you might allow some level of graffiti in certain parts, whether you want to get some community art done to deter tagging... and how to manage community expectations (outcry) when the first tagging shows up. The only skate parks that have no tagging are the ones that clean it off every day, AFAIK.

    Also, part of the consent conditions for our new skate park specified that the lights are turned off at 22:00 to deter use after this time.... however, in practice, the nearby street lights provide enough light to allow people to remain there after the lights go out - and it is after 22:00 that we've had some issues with a different group moving in and drinking there and smashing glass.

    It's great that you are even asking for help & advice - so many of these skate parks seem to get put in with minimal thought, and then people wonder why they get run down and are not used very much! Well d'uh, if you put them in the wrong place and don't consult with skaters & the wider community or be creative with the design, then what do you expect?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    Thanks for the info... Ssnyderjr is that a post-tension pads I assume? I've spec'd this one @ 4" as well post-tension with 16" footing, #5 bars 24" O.C. Then putting 2" of sand as a base, hopefully that will work. We have some really poor soil conditions in the area. I'm not having any geotechnicals run but I can look at the soil and tell it has a high plasticity level. Well this park will be all modular equipment.
    No reinforcement needed (its only holding kids), but use 4" of 1" and smaller aggregate for good compaction/drainage as a base. Make sure you seal the saw cuts (joints) to prevent weed growth and minimize water and freeze/thaw damage. If at all possible (depending on your site), make the whole slab graded to one side/corner, soas to not require basins within the park. If possible do it all in one pour with a "power screed" this will speed up construction and eliminate lots of forms/expansion joints (we have no expansion joints, just saw cut joints every 10x10. Very Light broom finish, NOT smooth, or dew or light rain will make it slippery and dangerous. Make sure you are on site to witness the finish so it is as you want it. The skaters may complain that it is rough or that can't go as fast as on a smooth surface, but it allows more skate time after/during rain and early in the mornings.
    Our street Dept. did all the site prep - scraped away top soil with a grader, rough grading and stone placement to help us save money too.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Also make sure that it can be used for BMX and jump bikes.

    Can't for the life of me remember his name, but at the City of Vancouver there is a manager or maybe even director of planning that is an avid skater and may be able to provide advice through a phone call or 2.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Ssnyderjr no cuts will be made this will be a post-tension slab. all smooth sailing no bumps or cuts . I have been contemplating the finish... A light broom finish is what I am thinking, I don't want them going too fast... (ahh, just re-read your post, exactly what I was thinking about the slick surface) Well I think a little friction will be good for the grip. About like a tennis court finish???

    JNL this park will close at dusk, like many or our parks. Its hard to believe this will be are first skatepark. Does anyone know of a major metro city with a skatepark? Specifically designed for skating? I know many burbs have them but was looking into it a bit and haven't found much in larger cities... NYC, DC, LA, etc...

  18. #18
    Cyburbian eightiesfan's avatar
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    I grew up skating and still do today, over 15 years now closing in on 20! I feel like I could write forever on this subject. I have a love/hate relationship with skateparks. I never touched one for the 1st 10 years that skated, there was no need. Part of what makes skating fun is that the city IS a skatepark. The other problem with having a public park is that the cops now have somewhere to tell you to go which makes it much easier for sities to outlaw skating, not a good thing IMHO. But skating has changed a lot. At the local park here where I currently live you see families hanging out while there kids roll around, lots of soccer moms lurking, it's more like baseball practice. Part of the creative aspect of skating has died.

    My advice to you is to model the park after real city terrain, don't get too caught up in fancy transitions and designs, keep it simple. Whoever suggested Lovepark was spot on, that place was so much fun and dead simple. The Louisville park loks great and is fun to ride if you grew up skating skateparsk, kids who haven't take a long time to get used to it.If this is your cities 1st park I suggerst something a little more beginner friendly (and less expensive in case it flops). Use a good quality material and do good surface finishing, make sure all the ledges/blocks have metal coping, (concrete chips/cracks very quicky). If you plan on letting BMX bikes in your park will be destroyed 10 times faster than if it was skateboards only.

    How big is the park going to be? What is your budget? Take a look at the following sites for some ideas and PM me with any ?'s, glad to help out.

    http://www.concretedisciples.com/

    http://www.sitedesigngroup.com/

    My favorite park in the USA
    http://www.concretedisciples.com/ska...ay.php?id=1838
    Regrets, I've had a few; But then again, too many to mention.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Hey 80's fan this park is under $300k, it will be 100% modular equipment Skatewave, Rhino, etc. At this point the City mentality is not to the point to create a large park venue solely for skating. This will be place on an 85' x 105' pad. Sure its not the most creative from that stand point and I understand exactly what you are saying about skating in the city. I used to bike quite a bit and finding new jumps and cutting new rides was always fun. But you have to remember skateboards are damaging to some furnishings and that is why some people get upset. I'd like to eventually create a skatepark with concrete and mix in some modular items such as tables, etc... Right now though this is 100% modular. I think the "Skatepark" can create negative thoughts at times with more intermediate to advanced skaters. But hey this is a start. Baby steps first and go from there. Are you aware of any major metro cities that have a "skatepark"? LA, NYC, etc...

  20. #20
    [QUOTE=Vlaude]Ssnyderjr no cuts will be made this will be a post-tension slab. all smooth sailing no bumps or cuts . I have been contemplating the finish... A light broom finish is what I am thinking, I don't want them going too fast... (ahh, just re-read your post, exactly what I was thinking about the slick surface) Well I think a little friction will be good for the grip. About like a tennis court finish???[QUOTE]

    WARNING: No joints = cracks, especially with freeze/thaws in midwest. The reinforcement will only delay the cracks, but they will come. Our 1/4" saw cuts filled with joint sealer don't hinder the ride. Not to mention a major deduct in price by omitting the steel.
    Yes, similar to a tennis court finish (except most of them are asphalt, which is a totally different material - aggregate on surface). I have seen older abandoned tennis courts turned into nice skate parks if anyone is looking at a modification/change of use for an old under-utilized tennis court. There is one in Angola, IN. I wish I could send you pics of our park, it turned out really nice. Email me and I can send you a powerpoint of the construction and part of the finished product. Here's a link to one small pic of our park - http://www.ci.sandusky.oh.us/recreation/skatepark.htm
    OH, our is skateboards only too. Bikes tear up the ramps too bad. To accomodate the bikes simply make some jumps out of some fill dirt and make a track. Your public works/street dept. should be able to do that in-house. Ours is still in the works.
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  21. #21
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by ssnyderjr
    WARNING: No joints = cracks, especially with freeze/thaws in midwest. The reinforcement will only delay the cracks, but they will come.
    I agree. Concrete will crack, it is best to control where it cracks. Just make sure the cracks don't get overfilled with sealer and it spills out of the crack onto the surface. Spell out the method to be used in your specifications.

    I've seen to many contractors fill joints with tar out of a bent coffee can. While the joint is sealed, there is five times as much tar

  22. #22
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    Does anyone know of a major metro city with a skatepark?
    I posted this about our new skate park recently: http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=24193 Images are not showing but you can see them in the gallery - they are the ones labelled Waitangi Park. Feedback is that skaters like the design. I could get more pics if you'd like.
    Last edited by JNL; 18 Jun 2006 at 9:48 PM.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    Are you aware of any major metro cities that have a "skatepark"? LA, NYC, etc...
    For New York:
    http://www.skatecity.com/nyc/where/parks.html
    http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_thing...kate_park.html

    Another source of information:
    SkateboardParks.com has THE LARGEST up-to-date, VERIFIED collection of Skate Parks on the internet. 532 and counting! We have contacted and verified all of the US Skate Parks we have listed to provide you with accurate & current information.
    http://www.skateboardparks.com/index.html
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  24. #24
    I have been a skateboard for years and I still skate. I am also a City Planner. The right way to do a skate park is not to make it a skate park. Kind of follow the Love Park direction. The new cool thing is Skate Plaza's. You can incorporate it into an urban setting and make it look nice and it will be the best park ever! Talk to the Skateboarders prior to set the park up the correct way. Here is a link to some of the DC skate Plaza's http://www.skateplaza.com/plaza_main.asp

  25. #25
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    I can give you any info you need on the pitfalls of skatepark design and construction. These parks are serving a valuable need in our communities and I have done extensive research on their finer nuances. I'd be happy to share any info you need. I have been an avid skateboarder for nearly 30 years, and have seen the best and the worst of these parks. Anyone needing skatepark info is welcome to contact me and I can guide you to great un-biased (non-sales related) info, reputable vendors, or I can just answer your questions myself. I am currently on our Counties Recreation Steering Committee, and we are installing an 11,000 sq ft concrete skatepark. The complex will also include an indoor comp. pool outdoor rec. pool, comp. running track, and nature trails. Not a bad project for a rural county of only 26,000.

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