What NOT to do at a skatepark

Jun 9, 2010 at 18:22
by Willy Sinclair  

Source: Fat Tony from RideBMX

Just a short list, ten things, to not do at a skatepark, this goes for everyone at every park in every city across every state/province in every country.

10 items inside,


Every skatepark is kind of like its own tiny little country. Most parks have their own rules and their own culture, but almost all follow the same basic etiquette. Here are ten things that you always want to avoid when sessioning a skatepark.

1. Don’t Be A Snake
In simple terms, this means, “Wait your damn turn!” If someone else just dropped in, you have no idea where he’s going. He may transfer back and forth across the park for a solid 45 seconds, or he may hit one quarter and pop out back on deck. But if you drop in while he’s riding he also may smash right into you. So pay attention when other people are riding and don’t be a snake.

2. Don’t Take Marathon Runs
I know you are only 12 and have the stamina of a frickin’ wildebeest, but buddy, you gotta know when your time is up. If you are actually good enough to do a lot of lines, transfers, and tricks, then occasionally it’s all right to take a lengthy run. But if you are pedaling across the park, carving halfway up a six-foot quarter, then cranking up the mellow bank before popping a wheelie, then you have to keep your runs short and sweet so other people can get in there and shred.

3. Don’t Ask A Million Questions
You may want to know if that good kid who just did a Nathan-Williams-inspired no-hander is sponsored, if he can do a backflip, what kind of frame he is riding, what kind of frame he thinks you should buy, and where he got his skinny jeans and shoestring belt, but those kinds of questions can get really annoying when he’s trying to have a chill session. If you must ask a question, make it a good one - one being the key word. It may make it easier on you too if you compliment him first, and thank him after he answers. (Example: Hey man, that no-hander was rad to the power of sick! What kind of frame do you ride? Oh, cool. Thanks. See ya later…)

4. Don’t Use The Flat Bottom To Learn 180s
Basic tricks like flat ground 180s and manuals should be learned in a place where you have absolutely no chance of getting in someone’s way. You know, like your driveway or something. Not at a crowded park.

5. Don’t Be A Jerk To The Young Kids
Everyone has to start somewhere, and even though it may be frustrating that there is a six-year-old with a huge, bulbous helmet learning to pedal up a wedge while you are trying to land your first flyout tailwhip, if you are a complete jackass to the lil’ chap he may decide to pick up a scooter and leave his bike in the garage. Then by the time you are pro, that’s one less shredder Timmy out there watching your Vimeo video and buying your signature grips. Be patient with the kids and try to help them on occasion. And if their parents are around, maybe give them some advice, too, on how their kid can safely ride the park with everyone else. It’ll help the parents, it’ll help the little kid, and it’ll help you get in your runs without having to be worried about bicycular manslaughter.

6. Don’t Be A One-Upper
If you see someone trying a trick over and over again, don’t go do it right in front of him just to show him how easy it is for you. That’s like a slap in the face. If you know how to do the trick, you can offer to help him out. Or if you want to try the trick, too, you can ask him if he minds if you try to learn it together. Then you can both learn from each others’ mistakes, and by the time you both pull it you have a made new friend to add on Facebook and poke the next time you are going to the park.

7. Don’t Disrespect The Locals
This one covers a lot of ground and includes things like not leaving trash at the park, not messing up the ramps or ledges, and understanding how the park runs itself. If you show up to a park for the first time, chances are you are riding into someone else’s home away from home, so you need to treat that place with respect. You may never go back there again, and you may not care if the ledge gets chipped when you try your 180 to backwards feeble, but the people who ride there every day of the week want to keep their spot in tip-top shape for as long as possible. The vibe of the place and watching how the locals treat the park and each other will give you a pretty good idea of how you should act there.

8. Don’t Sit On The Ledges
No, those are not benches for you to post up for the afternoon and eat your Lunchables. People actually use the concrete rectangles for riding. In some instances it may be okay to sit on a ledge, and sometimes it may be okay to chill on the deck of a ramp, but before you get comfy, look around to make sure no one is eying up whatever it is you are sitting on. You’ll eventually develop a sixth sense for where riders are going and where the safest place to rest is, but until you fully understand it, stay far off to the sidelines when you aren’t riding.

9. Don’t Vibe The Skaters
One of the most annoying things a skateboarder can do to a bike rider is stand on the coping with is board propped up on the tail, waiting to drop in. While this may make you want to air out and kick their board right out from under them, you have to understand that skateboarders ride differently than us, and to them, that’s perfectly acceptable. If you need that coping or deck space they are taking up, just give them a quick heads up that you are coming their way and they will probably move for you. Respecting everyone in the park, including skateboarders is always important. The more bike riders and skateboarders can get along at a park, the more parks bikes will be allowed to ride. Now, as for rollerbladers and scooter kids…you are on your own there.

10. Don’t Be Afraid To Apologize
If you slip up and break one of the rules above, don’t be afraid to apologize to people when you realize it. If you get plowed over because you were in the way, dust yourself off, make sure the other rider is all right, and tell him you are sorry for not looking out. He’ll be pissed that he crashed, but a simple apology goes a long way to fanning the flames of a hot head.

-Fat Tony from RideBMX (bmx.transworld.net/1000090234/features/10-things-not-to-do-at-a-skatepark/)
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149 Comments

  • + 199
 This article was rad to the power of sick!
  • + 9
 lols ur damn right it was
  • + 12
 i say these things everyday to people. i like to kepp the park chill and fun for everyone. hate it when people just like to cause problems
  • + 11
 brush your tires quickly of small rocks so as to not jam skater's wheels.
  • + 50
 Don't trash the place- I know you're cool and 16 and smoking and drinking monster but pick up after yourself- your mom isn't going to clean up the bowl
  • + 13
 damn beat kids with their smoking and their monsters
  • + 4
 littering is really annoying it should be no. 11 or in with respecting the locals
  • + 8
 i think some of the kids in st albert should read this
  • + 54
 i would shsow this to some of the people at my local skatepark... but im not to sure they would be able to read it...
  • + 12
 No.11 Watch out for needles lying around the quarter and in the bowl... This applies to a suprising amount of parks I've been to Eek
  • + 3
 its amazing the way this actually does apply to most skateparks Smile
  • + 45
 what if i accidentally litter? what if someone runs into me? what if i can't wait my turn? what if i'm not good at complimenting people? can i still ask them a question? what if my lunchable meat spills on the quarter i'm sitting on and leaves a sticky residue? what if i can't read?..... how many rules was that?
  • + 6
 Skatepark etiquette haha I like this should be posted at all of the skateparks
  • + 2
 my neighboor needs to read this
  • + 1
 keepin' the love in the skate parks (Y)
  • + 5
 Number 3 is by FAR the most annoying. Every freakin time I go to the dirtjumps, all the kids on BMX bikes have to come up to me and ask me who I'm sponsored by, what bike I ride (not like it says on the frame Razz ), what bars they should get, what psi I run, how many tricks can I do...It's cool that they're interested, but please, I may kill you if I don't get to ride my bike.
  • + 8
 it worst when they ask you what what parts or pressures you're running then tell you that its rubbish, or that one of there - friends- cousins -brothers- dads sons once snapped that particular part
  • + 8
 no what i hate is the cocky skaters that you ask to move and they dont, they just sit there and ignore you.
  • + 9
 kids talking about parts is the worst...theres a guy that rides at our park with his seat friggen damn well near two feet above the top tube and its a 200 dollar eastern and hes trying to say its a good bike, like sure at one point it was a good bike, like if that bike was in antarctica where there are no other bmx bikes then yes its a good bike, but even norco bmx's are better then 200 dollar easterns
  • + 2
 before today i would say you are wrong but i have an eastern traildigger and i liked it until i was trying backflips and crashed. the whole rear triangle bent to one side. so yeah, youre right
  • + 6
 skater and BMXers have never gotten along. they wont move, unless you make them.
  • + 8
 I think #7 is my favourite, it's the biggest piss off when some skaters show up to your local park where you and all the skaters are friends and don't care what you ride and some idiot rolls up and mutters "no bikes in the park". I mean What The F*ck, stop being an a*shole everyone is just trying to have fun. Good Article and I hope alot of kids take notice.
  • + 2
 Yeah but some skaters are just always a prick no matter what the situation but for the most part it seems like most riders/skaters etc at my local park just give a head nod and respect eachother. Acknowledge that everyone has the right to ride the park, everyone gets their turn and with a bit of mutual respect you'll be fine. I sure wish this list was posted at all parks though!
  • + 8
 the only thing i get is "how much did that cost ya?"
  • + 12
 i was at the park with my lid on and some boy come up to me and was like why are you wearing a helmet its not like your doing BACKFLIPS its gay. and i was just like tbh its cooler biking home than being air lifted to A&E due to a cracked skull
  • + 3
 Ya, wish the skateboarders followed that rule too, I was at my local skatepark the other day and they starte throwing golf balls at us when we were in the bowl.
  • + 8
 Oops, was that you? :Evil: haha.
  • + 7
 "While this may make you want to air out and kick their board right out from under them" this sounds like a plan or new name for a trick!
  • + 4
 raddd list you got going on there .....

but honestly of all the pictures of dude rippin at skateparks
that was the best one to post ?
  • + 4
 I would also add : Full pipes were not called that because they are full of shade. If your looking for a cool spot to sit on hot days don't do it in the full pipe.

Oh and if you just gotta chief out, be modest there are little kids in the parks where I live and parents don't exactly appreciate you packing bowls in open view and blowing smoke on their kids, thats method #1 of giving parks a bad name.
  • + 2
 its a pic of me so yea it was the best one lol...and as for smoking weed i kno at my park they atleast go to they're car to do it
  • + 3
 General weed rule: When families arent about, the J for sure comes out...
  • + 2
 Haha lol,
  • + 6
 really the rule shud be, if ur in a public place don't be a fucking tool, like really its retarded theres no need to get high at the park, get high at home then come to the park
  • + 2
 i wouldnt wanna be stoned when riding anyway:S id fall off big time
  • + 7
 thats what separates the boys from the men
  • + 0
 Haha +1
  • + 1
 haha i like the "just push there boards out from underneath of them when there airing out. we should call it the "fck you skater" haha.
  • + 1
 this shit should be posted at every park!
  • + 1
 the skaters at my park are trying to get bikers banned...f*cking twats its not gunna happen and if it does ill still go use it
  • + 12
 First time at my local park I showed up at the start of "bike hours" and they kicked like a dozen skaters out of the park; I felt like I was going to get shannked, but then I had the whole park to myself but I still feel shitty about it. Can't we all just get along?
  • + 11
 You could've credited the author: Fat Tony from RideBMX (bmx.transworld.net/1000090234/features/10-things-not-to-do-at-a-skatepark)

All in all, great article.
  • + 0
 yup, i was about to say this was exactly the same as the ride one
  • + 1
 i had that part in there but i accidently edited it out cause it was stuck in some photo code at the bottom of the article and didn't realize till now, but yes definitely credit to him
  • + 8
 this should be sent to every 10-12 year old on pb. its good for kids to learn these things before being put in the park. i know from experience that the park is an intimidating place for a little guy and some kids are dicks to kids. so learning how to act in a park atmosphere is good.
  • + 1
 and adults its not just kids you no
  • + 1
 yea sure the kids get in the way but the older riders think they're pro so they don't care about etiquette either
  • + 8
 Article of the month!

I would add that even a talented guy like Mike Aitkin still had to almost lose his life before he realised helmets were vital (and I chose that word based on its etymology). WEAR A HELMET!
  • + 7
 they Left out dont smoke stuff and blow it at riders faces and dont get drunk and piss everyone of by being a retard and pissing on stuff
  • + 4
 i very much agree with this...i hate people that get drunk then fucking start smashing bottles and stuff
  • + 1
 I did not see this but posted the same thing above. For the most part I have never seen older riders toast a bowl in open view when little kids are around but for some reason alot of teenagers think it is cool to openly torch and then blow in peoples faces. That is why parents in my area all call these parks drug zones. Be modest because many of those parents are the taxpaying voters that get these parks built.
  • + 7
 "Respecting everyone in the park, including skateboarders is always important"

nah Razz anyone but the boad pushers Razz
  • + 4
 I run a skate park in California and we don't allow bikes at the moment. I'm in the process of writing a proposal to start allowing BMX bikes and mountain bikes. There are tons of parks within 20 miles of my park and only 2 of them legally allow bikes. AND, one of those doesn't allow mountain bikes, only BMX. Rule number 11 should be respect the staff of the park you are privileged to ride at. Most of the staff members are kids that don't necessarily enjoy yelling at you about helmets but like their paycheck. And there's always someone like me that is going to bat for all of us to be able to ride the park. Being able to ride a pristine skate park is a privilege and we should all be stoked to have it and respect all that are involved with the operations of the park. Give respect, get respect.
  • + 1
 see we don't have that problem in england (bmx not allowed in parks)
but because of that they take it for granted and the place is always a mess Frown
thtas why i stick to street now days Big Grin
  • + 4
 I think all the chavs, pikeys and junkies that clog up and ruin so many of the uk skateparks really need to read some of these rules!! especially #5 and #8, the skatepark is for riding and not a place to meet up, get lary, vandalise stuff and shout abuse at people who want to use it for what it was originally intended!
  • + 1
 god, tell me about it, i spent loads of time laying concrete in my village, up by the dirt jumps to make a small park, the skate ramps we put there are from a nearby town, now the dicks have all emerged from our village and just shout abuse at you for things such as 'not backflipping my dh bike over a jump box' when they're 13, smoking fags and cant actually clear any of the jumps whatsoever. I had a bike from one of them in the shop the other day to 'remove the front brake' cos thats soo hard, what a bunch of idiots, chavdom often makes me ashamed to be in the same species and i'll be happy when they get bored of the *ag smoking bmx chav image and go home [please note i like bmx'ers normally Smile ]. rant ends
  • + 1
 rant is very very true! ... when i come to power chavs shall be banned from skateparks for good! .. props for making your own park though, wish my village had one as there is nothing else to ride :/
  • + 1
 Russsel1994 make it a bit better than banned from skateparks, banned altogether?
  • + 1
 now that xxirocxx is a very very good idea! Big Grin
  • + 3
 The last time I seshed the skate park I was written up in our local newspaper (small town) and it was made very clear that bikes are NOT ALLOWED in the skate park.... Hmmm still no fcuking bike park in Jasper though. Of course the person who complained didn't have the balls to come over and say something to me.
  • + 3
 hmm for me, i snaked sumone when they were about 5 foot in the air doing a transfer, he landed right on his face, after like 3 mins i went and apologised... it really didnt go along way
  • + 5
 Well said. Every park rider should read this!
  • + 4
 Wow, did this ever make the homepage. Ye Will.
  • + 1
 I`ve been skating (in a serious way) for over 18years....and I had my issued with bikers (even more with rollers), skaters are very respectfull between them, but I guess that since you`re a skater and your mates are only skaters and when you`re biker your mates are bikes....it`s 100 understandable they dont play well together...now that I`m a biker...I realize how different the all thing is..
  • + 1
 this is amazing, i was laughing with the question's one.. so many little kids always as me SO many questions about my bike, and my riding, i don't think iv'e been to a park where a kid is like "how much was that bike" Razz
  • + 0
 ask**
  • + 2
 Anybody asks my how much my bike was i tell them 300hrs which is how much i had to work to pay for it.
  • + 1
 Word. It doesnt matter who came up with this list in the first place, ALL those things are so true and all ppl who's using a skatepark in one way or another should have this in the back of their mind.
  • + 0
 Good list. The thing I'd add is to really watch out for the boarders. They're basically stuck going in a straight line and can't stop or turn away nearly as quickly as bikers or even bladers can. This means that if you see yourself heading for a collision it's up to YOU to try and avoid it. The best they can do it jump off and usually send the board careening into a bowl. Actually that reminds me, people appreciate being warned if there's a board loose.

What I'd put as No1 on that list should be the very first thing you do arriving at a new park; leave your wheels in the car and walk around the edges of the park and try to work out the invisible boundaries between the 'areas'. At my local park there's parts that tend to be used almost exclusively by bikers or boarders. There's an unwritten rule that boarders should stay out of certain parts on their runs. If they want to come through I'll certainly give them a run, it's not like I own the place, but nothing is more frustrating that being halfway through a run and having a boarder come screaming in out of nowhere, oblivious to the fact that you're in the middle of your run.
  • + 0
 ya know, there was a time when all these "rules" were just common courtesy, the way we interacted with each other, but now, we seem to be so self-centered that this kind of proper behavior is now the exception and not the norm.
  • + 3
 Salute i smell a great blog wait i just read it Razz nice write up
  • + 1
 This was a much needed post.Something like this will help out so much at all the parks if people read it and understand the park etiquette. Great one Tw3ak
  • + 5
 i really wish like instead of the stupid rules parks post, like ride within ur skill level and always wear pads, they would post this instead cause really this is far more important than wearing ur helmet or not trying hard shit
  • + 1
 completely. no one will not try something, kids r dumb and try shit all the time. if they knew this maybe they wouldnt be hated and ripped on. Razz
  • + 1
 "Now, as for rollerbladers and scooter kids…you are on your own there." Do does that mean we can snake them all day? Sounds good!
  • + 2
 yea man that was sweet, but its funny can i could relate to everything there!
  • + 1
 man i laughed when i read this the crew of riders in invercargill do snakeing for fun and do tricks other poeple have been trying for fun lol
  • + 0
 yeah not smoking / doin weed in the parks should deffinatly be no.11 i dont wanna be breathing in your second hand smoke come be consisderate at least go to your car or something
  • + 1
 number 8 is just my local skatepark ( hairy bobs , Scarborough) summed up i a paragraph , really good article Big Grin
  • + 2
 Kids at my local need to read this, bad
  • + 2
 dont talk shit about scooters.
  • + 0
 This is entirely true, all 10! surprisingly at Farnborough skate park (its a sick skate park).. are being used.. we just hate irritating scooters lol...
  • + 0
 Seen this somewhere before, not to say you stole it, is there a thread on it or something? And I may well have te steal the term ''Bicycular manslaughter''
  • + 1
 if only half the people at my local park would learn these damn unwritten laws!
  • + 3
 best article on pinkbike
  • + 0
 Really sweet article, awesome idea to come out with this...really instructive for everyone that hang out in parks, especially for those who JUST Chill.
  • + 1
 Wow will this is amazing, I was reading every word thinking that is exactly what i would have writen.
  • + 1
 i think this article has been up before but its such a good idea to put it up again, refreshing everyones memories
  • - 1
 Dudeeees make giant posters of this article and go duck tape them at your local skatepark >.> this would be Sick To The Power Of Rad
  • + 1
 I hate when people you dont know ask to try you bike it pisses me off
  • + 1
 agreed its so annoying
  • + 1
 I might have to print this and put it up at the local park Smile
  • + 2
 i think everyone shud print it out and post at their parks...big friggen billboards shud be posted at parks all across the world
  • + 0
 funny how all of this is basically common courtesy and common sense stuff. Guess its not that common anymore... Frown
  • + 1
 The two most territorial beasts, BMX riders and skaters.
  • - 1
 territorial beasts? so you would be ok with my coming and destroying your trails?
  • + 1
 destroying? they are not coming down with explosives lol, its concrete!
  • - 1
 they how are we territorial?
  • + 0
 This seems like a silly argument, as a mountain biker, i think ryaneles is right. We are VERY territorial over our trails, if one thing is screwed on them, we get pissed off!
  • + 2
 thanks man, it doesn't matter what the stuff we ride is made of, it all come down to RESPECT
  • + 1
 In the context of riding in a skate park. The origin of the article above... Of course I wouldn't be ok with you destroying trails, I would throw you a dirty rotten beating if I found out it was you, what a stupid reference. Were not talking about destruction, were talking about how to coincide with one another, utilizing respect. I used to skateboard and BMX quite a bit when I was a kid. In a skate park and even out riding street, BMX'ers and skaters are very territorial of their favorite spots. Meaning they don't like to share...
  • + 1
 your a dirty rotten beating! territorial meaning protecting what is yours, so it can refure to trails and protecting them from destruction. And saying you'd give a DIRTY ROTTEN BEATING(whatever that is) makes you a territorial beast, so get your facts straight
  • + 2
 Don't be so fastidious, if you know what that means... Me kicking your ass (aka. giving you a dirty rotten beating, making it so your face looks like a rotten fruit) for smashing trails is called honor, you know, standing up for yourself and what you believe in. Being territorial has either instinctual or attitudinal connotations. So me saying, "See the group of bmx'ers over there riding, they don't like to share their riding space with skaters or mountain bikers." This would reference a territorial attitude, because there is no other reason behind it, other than not wanting each other around. Now, I will say," Come one come all ye bikers, ride these trails, but be warned if you misuse or deliberately damage them, I will f*ck you up. This would reference my honor, which I would defend, because I have put so much sweat into building said trails. If I were being territorial about trails I would say, "Stay the f*ck away from me and my trails". I'm pretty sure my facts are straight, its your perception of my opinion that isn't inline here.
  • + 1
 so many big words
  • + 1
 thank you. now if only all the idiots would read this.
  • + 1
 there are no rules of having fun.
  • + 1
 Great article - so worth sticking up at local parks and even jumps!
  • + 1
 agree with everything in this blog. good write up.
  • + 1
 To sum it up, don't be an idiot. Use some common sense! Smile
  • + 1
 great article !
  • + 1
 sk8ers should read this
  • + 1
 everyone shud, skaters, bmxers, scooter kids, rollerbladers, parents
  • + 1
 ohhh yah specially parents who sent there kid in park just too roll on the box and almost be killed because your on a nice bar spin rollback on the quarter pipe, then they yell at u because u crash into there little baby... well said dude
  • + 3
 or when they let their kids use the quarter pipes as slides or sit on top of them when there is a actual park right beside the skatepark.
  • + 1
 agree
  • + 1
 Totaly agree
  • + 0
 this is a very important article. Thank you.
  • + 0
 maybe the bmx riders at transgression need to read this! Big Grin Razz
  • + 0
 not even your own words lol
  • + 1
 so fuckin true
  • + 1
 lol yeeeaaaahhh will!
  • + 0
 I don't think we have any bike/skate parks here in sh*thole Nebraska.
  • + 0
 rules rules rules
  • - 1
 This article was stolen from the ride bmx site?
  • + 2
 wasn't as much stolen as passed on for the masses, there was credit given but it was jumbled in some photocode that i had deleted and forgot to replace the credit
  • - 1
 hey tw3ak, i'm gonna "pass on your bike to the masses" but i'll make sure they know it's yours as they ride off, ok. sound good?
  • + 1
 sounds like a plan have fun with that, really i wish you much luck trying that
  • + 0
 very helpful, thanks Smile
  • + 0
 common sense
  • + 0
 Helpful.
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