Skatepark Etiquette

We’re very fortunate to have six new outdoor concrete skateparks in the last two years. All of these skateparks are free and open for anyone to use, provided they follow the rules

There are rules which govern city of Calgary parks that apply to skateparks:

  • hours (5am-11pm)
  • no motorized vehicles allowed
  • don’t litter
  • no camping

However, there are a host of unwritten or informal rules which govern skateparks. This is called “skatepark etiquette”. Here are a few basic rules of skatepark etiquette that should be followed at every skatepark:

Flow
Flow refers to the directions people go in a park. Each park has a flow or “lines” comparable to traffic. You wouldn’t drive the wrong way down a one way street– don’t go against the flow. If you’re new to a park, take a few minutes to watch how people are using it so you can learn the flow.

Beginners
If you’re a beginner, we suggest going to the skatepark at non-peak hours. That means go early and avoid going in the afternoons– especially on weekends. Even better is learning how to push and balance before going to the skatepark. You’ll be able to learn the ‘basics’ of skateboarding much more safely and efficiently in your driveway or an empty parking lot.
If you’re an experienced skater, give beginners extra room and time. Respect them because we were all beginners at one point.

Sitting
Don’t sit in areas that can be used for skating. This includes ledges, stairs, rails, and coping. Most parks have designated seating. If they don’t, the grass is always a good bet. If you’re unsure, watch the “flow” (as above) or ask somebody if it’s okay to sit in a certain spot.

No snaking
Everyone needs to wait their turn at a skatepark. “Snaking” means going when it’s not your turn. Don’t do this.

No marathon runs
A marathon run is where someone just keeps going and going without taking any breaks. This is particularly problematic when skating a bowl or ramp where there is typically only one user at a time. Keep runs short and when you bail, get out of the way so the next person can skate.

Spitting
It’s gross when people spit. It’s also illegal. If you have to do it, spit on the grass, in a garbage can, or in a bottle. You wouldn’t want someone else’s spit to get on your griptape or wheels, would you?

“Board!”
If your board shoots out or away from you, you should yell “Board!” as a courtesy to other users, similar to how they yell “Fore!” in golf when they hit an errant shot.

Waxing
Everyone has different opinions and needs when it comes to waxing. Some people think it’s okay to wax rails, others don’t. There’s a good chance the park you’re skating at is waxed up as needed so if you feel the need to wax something, check with some other skaters first.

Other users
We all know that skateboarding is the best. But that doesn’t mean we have more of a right to use the skatepark than any other user group. Whether it’s BMX, inline, or scooters, please be courteous of other users and treat them with the same respect you’d expect.

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