(DGIwire) If you happen to believe that skateboarders are lawless scoundrels with no manners or rules, you’ve never met a real skateboarder and have never really observed the awesome organized chaos of a skate park.
Whether you skateboard, wish you could skateboard or simply like to watch: Read this article before stepping into a skate park. There are rules of skateparks – whether posted or not. Here are a few of the big ones.
- Stay out of the park if you’re a spectator. It’s dangerous for you and dangerous and annoying to the skateboarders if you’re standing around where people are trying to skate. The rails are not for hands and the stairs are not seats!
- If you’re a beginner, plan your park visits during non-peak hours. It’s a supportive environment—but skate parks have limited real estate and those that skate want to maximize their time in the park practicing their own tricks. You don’t have to stay away during peak times—just use this time to watch and learn
- Keep your head up and watch where others are. It’s like driving a car: You’re going to crash and get hurt yourself and/or others if you aren’t watching where you are in relation to other skaters.
- Continuing that driving analogy: Don’t stop short! You might have another skater coming up behind you. Fluidly skate out of your tricks. Short stops cause crashes.
- “No Snaking!” says Brett Conti, of Fortune Skateboards. This goes back to elementary school rules: If someone is about to do a move, don’t cut the line. Let them do it and wait your turn. Parks are for sharing.
- If you fall—get up and out of the way as soon as possible.
- “Respect the try,” says Michael Cohen of SHUT Skateboards. Every skater is trying to do their personal best. Keep your comments positive and encouraging. Nobody needs a chimer.
- Along those lines, pro skater Danny Fuenzalita who founded SkateFree at Lot 11 in Miami says, “Don’t ‘show up’ people.” In other words, if you see someone working on a move, respect that they’re trying and possibly getting pretty damn frustrated and sore in the process. Don’t try to smoke them with your hotshot skills by “showing up” and doing the move right in their face. If you really need to do that same move, chill yourself out or find another area in the park to do it.
- If you’re a more advanced skater working rails—no waxing park obstacles without asking others for permission first. This can hurt someone not expecting that extra speed of a newly waxed rail. Instead, just wax your board and trucks.
- The flat ground in the bowl is not for skating unless you’re already skating tranny into that pool. Drop in, skate and get out of the pool to make room for the next skater waiting to drop in.
- Only posers don’t fall. IF you are a skateboarder, you fall…a lot! All those amazing clips that can be viewed on YouTube were preceded by real falls that hurt. So, since falling is a part of skateboarding, when you fall and your board shoots out, it’s time to yell, “Board!” Nobody wants to get hit by your flying board.
- Lastly, for this list but not least: IF you’re trying to help out another skateboarder by filming their amazing moves – Be aware of where you are standing or moving and stay out of the way of the other skateboarders. Everyone will appreciate that you’re trying to get some cool footage, but it doesn’t change the fact that nobody wants to get hurt and everybody in the park is there to master their moves.
Learn the rules, follow them and…wait…did we mention: Wear a helmet?!