The Unwritten Skatepark Rules: What NOT To Do
I want you to imagine for a moment your vision of the perfect skatepark. We’re talking your ideal ramp setup with perfectly smooth transitions, surrounded by your best friends, great weather, and no injuries… This all sounds very appealing, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this perfect skatepark scenario is only available in video games. In the real world most of us are confined to local, public skateparks, mixed in with other riders, skaters and scooters.
Having proper skatepark etiquette is crucial in making sure you and all the other patrons have a safe and clean environment to ride in. However, not everyone knows these unwritten rules and you’ll likely come across a few bad apples. These are 5 of the most annoying things you’ll see at the skatepark, in no particular order. Try your best to avoid.
#1 The Marathon RunnerMarathon Runners, as we like to call them, are an interesting bunch. They present no real harm and are instead more frustrating than anything. As the name may suggests, these riders (or skaters) will start their run and just keep going, and going, and going, with no end in sight and no real consideration for others. Now, if you’re having an EPIC run with your buddies watching that’s one thing but do be considerate of others waiting their turn. Many parks have a directional flow to them and if you’re constantly taking multiple runs at once you could be ruining the experience for everyone else.
#2 Dude Who Sits On EverythingThis is one of my favorites simply because they are seemingly random. These individuals typically have nothing with them: no bike, no board, no scooter. They’re just here to hang out, relax and watch, which is totally fine. In fact, I would encourage it. The issue lies in WHERE they are watching. You don’t watch a baseball game sitting on 2nd base, do you? You watch from the stands or the sidelines, out of everyone’s way. The same can be said about the skatepark. These individuals will often be sitting on a ramp in the middle of the park, or on a grind ledge right in your path.
The “Dude Who Sits On Everything” is generally, but not always, a result from lack of public seating. Why there are so many public skateparks without a spot for spectators I’ll never know. The good news is these individuals will typically move if you ask them politely.
#3 The LittererThese people can be found everywhere and skateparks are no exception. Many cities spend hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars building these public parks for everyone to ride and enjoy. When they see trash all over the place or random, offensive graffiti, this can result in temporary closure of the park, or worse. It has happened and unfortunately continues to happen when people don’t care. So do the right thing and simply pick up your trash like your parents taught you at age 3.
#4 The Snake“The Snake” is arguably the most dangerous and annoying person at the skatepark. What’s a snake you might ask? Someone who intentionally cuts you off. This could be as you’re dropping in or mid run. No matter what skatepark you visit, if it’s a busy day there’s always a snake or two in the midst. Typically, a snake does not pay attention to anyone else around them. This can lead to accidents or an argument. Don’t be that guy.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. We’re not all mind readers and you can snake someone by accident; it happens to the best of us. If you do cut someone off simply apologize and wait until they’re done. Do your best to check your surrounding before starting a run you should be golden.
#5 The Showoff (One Upper)We all know this person, don’t we? It doesn’t matter what sport, hobby, or interest you have, there’s always someone who likes to show off or “one up” whatever you’re doing. Learning a new trick? The showoff will brag about how easily they can do it. Trying a fun, new line at the park? The showoff will do the same line with extra tricks thrown to try and make you jealous.
Sometimes you and your friends can be having a great session and intentionally one-upping each other. This can be good and often pushes you to ride harder and try new things. What I’m talking about is the true showoff type. Someone who rides solely for gratification from their peers and any spectators around, often making a scene of it. The showoff goes above and beyond trying to make themselves look better than everyone else. This often goes hand in hand with made up or exaggerated stories in the process. They may be a good rider, they may be a great rider, but that doesn’t excuse their poor attitude.
There’s no doubt you’ll see at least one, if not all, of these interesting characters at your public skatepark. All can be annoying in their own way. While some can be ignored, for others it’s our responsibility in passing along these unwritten skatepark rules.