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Should A Beginner Go To A Skatepark?

Should A Beginner Go To A Skatepark?

Skateparks can be very intimidating for beginner skateboarders. Aside from learning how to skate its different features, skateparks can also get very crowded at times.

 However, you should remember that every talented skateboarder you see at the skatepark was a beginner once, just like you. 

As a beginner, you should definitely go to skateparks, which are much safer than skateboarding on the street. Skateparks encourage skateboarding, unlike many areas in the city where riding is illegal. Skateparks are also great places to practice and build your riding skills in a safe environment. 

That said, there are a few things you need to know before you go, such as what to expect, what gear you should wear, the best times to skate, and skatepark etiquette. 

See also: Where can you skateboard?

What do you learn at a skatepark?

Every skatepark feature will enable you to unlock new skateboard tricks. You can learn how to pump on transitions, carve on bowls, grind ledges, slide on rails, ollie down stair sets, and a lot more– depending on the skatepark’s features.

Although every skatepark is unique, each has a set of essential obstacles and features that will allow you to learn street or park-style skateboarding.

Most skateparks will have a street section and a bowl section. Street sections generally include:

  • Rails
  • Ledges
  • Stair sets
  • Fun boxes
  • Hubbas
  • Handrails

While transition or park sections are composed of:

  • Full bowls
  • Pools
  • Quarter pipes
  • Snake runs

In the park section, you can learn how to drop in, roll in, carve, pump, and grind the coping. 

Some skateparks are more beginner-friendly than others. So if you decide to go to a skatepark as a beginner, you will need to scope the park and check if the transitions are mellow and not too high or vertical. 

The shallow end of the bowl should not be higher than 3’ for you to learn how to drop in. Alternatively, some skateparks will include a roll-in section for beginners who cannot drop in yet. 

If you are interested in learning street tricks like ollieing up ledges or sliding on rails, beginner-friendly skateparks would have 1’ high manual pads where you can learn simpler tricks and 1’ high flat rails that are easier to slide with its wider surface. 

See also: Can You Teach Yourself to Skateboard?

How do you become confident at a skatepark?

Going to a skatepark for the first time can be intimidating. So before setting foot inside of one, you might want to learn the basics of skateboarding first. Then, you can learn how to ride and get comfortable on your skateboard in a driveway or empty parking lot.

Although most skatepark locals don’t discriminate against beginners, it is always better to get the riding basics down first. 

How do I stop being scared of skateparks?

Most beginners get scared of skateparks because they get intimidated by the obstacles, the other skaters, and the crowd. You can build up your confidence by being friendly with the other skaters and by observing how they utilize each obstacle.

If you are afraid of getting hurt when learning how to skate the obstacles and learn new tricks, it is always a good choice to wear protective gear, such as a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. 

How do you not look like a beginner at a skatepark?

Getting comfortable with riding and learning how to ollie, pivot, and manual on flat land will boost your confidence before visiting a skatepark. And it will not make you look like a total beginner. 

Another way to build your confidence is to visit a skatepark with a group of friends who also want to learn or already have experience skating at skateparks. If you don’t know anyone willing to go to a skatepark with you, you can always approach and be friendly to other skaters at the park.

What should I do my first time at a skatepark?

If it is your first time visiting a skatepark, you want to decide what tricks you want to learn first. But before diving in, you need to observe how other skaters are skating the park. 

If you want to learn street tricks, you can check out the street section. If there are small ledges and rails, you can learn how to skate them and take turns with other people using the feature. 

If you want to learn how to skate transitions, look for a small quarter pipe where you can learn how to kick turn first before trying to learn how to ride the bowl.

If it is your first time at a skatepark, you might want to learn tricks on features that not many people are using. Most skateparks have a beginner section that are hardly being used, so you can start from there. 

What should you not do at a skatepark?

There are a few unspoken rules when you visit a skatepark, such as taking turns and not snaking runs. By observing how other people share the park, you will learn the flow of things so you can avoid snaking other people’s runs. 

What does it mean to snake at a skatepark?

Snaking another person’s run at a skatepark is one of the worst things you can do at a skatepark. You need to wait for your turn when skating the different features. 

When the line you are attempting gets in the way of another person’s own line– make sure you make eye contact to let them know that it is your turn.

For example, only one person at a time can skate the bowl. Skaters will wait for their turn to ride it. If you just arrived at the skatepark, you need to wait until all the skaters who came before you do their run, until they tell you that it’s your turn. 

The same goes for any skatepark feature; you need to get in line and not disrupt the flow. Otherwise, you will be known as the skatepark “kook.”

Here are some things you should NOT do when you go to a skatepark

  • You shouldn’t get in the way of other skaters.
  • You should not “show up” other skaters or try to copy their line.
  • You should not practice flat-ground tricks next to obstacles someone else is using.

See also: Do skateboarders hate longboarders?

What should I bring to the skatepark?

What do you wear to a skatepark?

When skating at a skatepark, you want to wear clothes you are comfortable with. The best pants for skateboarding should be a little bit loose for better movement. 

Most skaters wear skate apparel as they’re specially designed for skating. They are also stylish. 

Shorts are good for skating, but they do not provide the best protection for your shin, knee, and lower body. 

As for your top, you want to wear something a little bit loose as well. This allows for better breathability and better movement when skating.

Typically, you should wear skate shoes with softer insoles to absorb impact when falling off your board and when doing tricks. Wearing performance socks can also help absorb the impact. 

Bottle of water

Skating continuously can be tiring, so you want to bring a bottle of water just in case there isn’t a drinking fountain nearby. 

Bringing a skate tool will be helpful if your skateboard’s hardware and axles get loose from skating. You can also use it for adjusting your kingpin, especially if you haven’t found the right configuration for your setup. 

Safety gear

As a beginner, you will need to wear a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards. In addition, the chances of you falling or balling bailing offon your skateboard as a beginner is high, so you will need to protect your body to avoid injuries that will stop you from skating or disrupt you from working. 

Aside from wearing a helmet and safety gear, you can protect your body by learning how to fall properly. To avoid the impact from falling, you need to learn how to roll and absorb impact, instead of slamming your body on the concrete. 

If you are wearing knee pads, you can learn how to knee slide when trying to learn how to skate bowls and transitions. 

Extra wheels?

Bringing extra wheels isn’t a requirement, especially if your skateboard is already equipped with hard 90 to 100a wheels– which are the best duros for skating concrete parks. 

However, some people prefer to change the size of their wheels when skating bigger transitions and bowls for better grip and speed. The ideal size would be 52 to 56mm when skating larger transitions.

Bring your phone

Aside from your skateboard, you may want to bring your phone so you can film clips of yourself if you want to track your progress. 

In addition, you want to dress up in wear comfortable clothes and wear safety gear– especially if the skatepark requires a helmet and has a dress code. Having an extra shirt is also ideal, so you can change into something fresh after skating. 

What NOT to bring

If you are going to bring all of these things to a skatepark, make sure you have a backpack and keep it in a safe place close to you, so you can keep an eye on it. Although most skaters will not attempt to steal your things, you will never know for sure. 

If you have a car, it is best to leave your spare skateboard parts and other valuables in your car. Here are a couple of things you probably shouldn’t bring to a skatepark:

  • Excessive cash
  • Valuables
  • Weapons and firearms
  • Illegal substances 

What are the best times for a beginner to go to a skatepark?

If you are eager to learn to skate at a skatepark, you want to avoid peak hours, which are usually 9 to 11 am and 3 to 5 pm. The best time for beginners to skate at a skatepark is usually early in the morning, from 7 to 9 am.

The skate sessions are not very heated during these times, and everyone is just there to learn and have fun. 

Outside peak hours, skateparks are usually not very crowded, which allows you to spend more time learning to skate and build up your confidence.

Spending two hours at a skatepark is more than enough for you to get started. By the time the skatepark starts getting crowded, say around 10 am, you’ll already have had time to do quite a bit of practice .  

Can I use a Penny board at a skatepark?

It is possible to use Penny boards at a skatepark. However, it is not the most typical board other people use. 

Also, the 22” long by 5” wide deck will make learning to skate the park’s features even more challenging, with lower satisfaction.

Penny boards also come with 3.125” trucks and large 59mm wheels with 83a Duro. Such a setup might be ideal for cruising and commuting, but not so much for riding skatepark features. 

If you want to maximize your time at a skatepark, a standard “popsicle-shaped” deck with 8.25” to 8.75” width, 139 to 159mm trucks, and 52 to 56mm 99a duro wheels is typically your best bet.