Jack Fardell. Team Average, 2013

Top 5 Rules of The Skatepark

Worst skatepark ever photos courtesy of the internet.

A skatepark is a magical place where people of all ages come to fling miniature vehicles through the air and also just hang out. If you play your cards right, you could meet some of your best friends at the skatepark.

And if you don’t play your cards right, you might make some lifelong arch-nemeses. For this reason, you’ll want to know how to conduct yourself at the skatepark, to ensure you get more of the former and less of the latter. The first rule of the skatepark is that there are no rules. Just kidding—there are lots of rules. And they’re often unspoken. So, if you find that people are getting pissed off at you, it’s probably because you’re breaking a few of them without realising. Here are the five big ones you need to follow if you don’t want to make enemies at your local park.

No snaking. Duh

This one is pretty obvious but if you’re a newbie, take a moment to sit back and observe the natural ebbs and flows of the park. To the untrained eye, it may look like chaos but, really, there is an order to it—particularly when multiple people are attempting to skate one obstacle. Watch and see who takes a turn at the obstacle and when, and you’ll quickly see that there’s a rhythm to it. Get in line, join the queue, and nobody will be mad.

Wax on, wax off

Wax is an integral part of the skateboarding process. If there’s too little wax on a box or rail, you won’t be grinding very far. If there’s too much, you’re headed for a slip n’ slide with a broken wrist at the end of it. People have different preferences for how waxed they like their obstacles, and there’s no right or wrong answer on this one.

However, you should consult and forewarn your fellow skaters prior to waxing an obstacle so that they don’t get the shock of a lifetime when attempting to crooked grind the box for the 100th time. (I’m speaking from experience.)

Have some spatial awareness

A skatepark can be a great place to make friends and have fun on the weekends, but there’s nothing worse than a big rowdy crew of people sitting right on top of an obstacle you want to skate. If you and your pals are in a sizeable crew, try and pick a seating area that isn’t on top of the most popular obstacles in the park.

Additionally, consider where you play your game of S.K.A.T.E. as you might be causing inadvertent traffic jams too. Keep your eyes peeled, kids. It’s a jungle out there.

Clean yourself up, you goddamn mess

Nobody likes cleaning. Well, that’s a lie. I’m beginning to as I get older. But nobody wants to clean up the skatepark. I’ve found discarded vapes, shattered beer bottles, and general waste strewn across skateparks, which amounts to disrespect and a complete disregard for the other patrons of the park. Keep it clean, folks; it’s not a tall order.
Oh, and to skatepark designers that are reading this: Don’t use wooden mulch chips for skatepark decor. It looks great, sure. But you best believe those wood chips will also find their way into every nook and cranny of the skatepark, and it’s a headache we simply do not need.

Have fun and play nice

For a facility built with the specific purpose of people riding wooden planks around on it, there are an awful lot of babies at the skatepark. People screaming at their boards when they don’t land a trick, screaming at others who break one of the aforementioned rules, or just showing general disdain for those who aren’t riding the ‘correct’ vehicle at the skatepark.

I get it, really. I’ve been guilty of all of the above on more than one occasion. But let’s face it, unless you’re paying your bills with your skateboarding abilities (and perhaps even then too) you should remember why you began skating in the first place—because it’s fun! There are better ways to get exercise, there are better ways to relieve stress and there are better ways to spend your time than skating angry around a skatepark.

So, if you aren’t having fun, consider looking elsewhere for your kicks. Pro tip: I just bought a harmonica and that’s been pretty fun to fool around with.

And there you have it, some of the many unspoken rules of the skatepark. But remember, the first rule of the skatepark is that there is no skatepark. Am I doing this right?

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