Skatepark Etiquette

Here are some things you should know when visiting the Ann Arbor Skatepark (or any skatepark, for that matter!)...

et·i·quette

noun
1. conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion.

The Ann Arbor Skatepark was designed to allow skaters and non-skaters alike to enjoy the space. Everyone can have a great time at the skatepark if we all remember a few key ideas when we visit the park. Here are some helpful etiquette tips for all users of the skatepark. The following tips were taken directly from a great article by John Kinmouth, originally published in the Seattle Times. Also check out this video for one skater's perspective. 

Etiquette Tips for Everyone:

Know your place

Looking for a nice spot to sit in the skatepark? That concrete bench seems perfect, right? Wrong. Look 30 feet past it and you'll see a kid with hungry eyes bearing down on you. Within the confines of the skatepark, it's a pretty safe bet that any ledge, bench or ramp will be skated, no matter how improbable it seems. Instead, sit just outside the skatepark or, if you must, look where other skateboarders are sitting to get an idea of a safe spot. Standing on the edge of the bowl or half-pipe is also a big no-no. You never know when or where that guy or girl riding will attempt a trick above the lip right into your shins.

No free day care

Despite the whole "Lord of the Flies" vibe going on at the skatepark, do not give into temptation and leave your child unsupervised. It seems like a no-brainer, but this happens more than you'd think. On the far side of the spectrum, skate coaching your child is equally frowned upon (see next rule).

Don't coach

As a doting parent, it's tempting to bring a Little League mentality to skateboarding, but don't — just don't. Telling your kid to work on his or her kickflip kind of defeats the purpose of this unstructured, creative activity. This list notwithstanding, there really are no rules of the sport — and rarely winners or losers — so start acting like it.

Skater-Specific Etiquette Tips:

Laugh

Skateboarding is silly. Nothing is worse than watching someone throw a temper tantrum because they didn't land a trick. Although rolled ankles and swollen elbows are par for the course in skateboarding, the ego is often the most bruised body part of all. Instead of throwing your board, try laughing the next time you blow it. I know we all will.

Timing is everything

Heavy afternoon sessions at the skatepark can be intimidating, especially if your child is just learning. Try mornings before 10 a.m. for a chance to roll around and get used to the park without the pressures of a full crowd. On a similar note, while one park is notoriously crowded, another can sit empty on the same day. 

Don't snake

Snaking occurs when you drop in on another skateboarder while they are in the middle of their run. It is the single largest cause of collisions. If you accidentally snake someone, get out of their way as soon as possible and apologize. Nobody likes a snake, period. Wait your turn.

No marathon runs

This is especially common among the littlest kids. With endless stamina and infectious enthusiasm for his new Razor scooter, "little Timmy" can spend an eternity in the bowl, rolling back and forth. While endearing at first, keep your runs short and sweet and leave some for the rest of us.

 

 

Ann Arbor Skatepark Rules

(As Clearly Posted at 3 Entrances to the Skatepark)

1. Bicycles are not allowed.

2. Wearing a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards is strongly recommended and should be used at all times. Know your ability and skate accordingly.

3.The following items and activities are prohibited: - Littering - Glass Containers - Alcoholic Beverages - Vending - Radios or Boom Boxes

4. The Skatepark will be open during 6am to 10pm. The City of Ann Arbor, no-trespassing ordinance will be enforced after the park is closed. 

5. Graffiti in the Skatepark is prohibited and will not be tolerated. Please keep all park surfaces clean as graffiti will close the park for paint removal.

6. The Skatepark has been designed for all skill levels. Please be courteous to other people using the facility and all other park patrons. 

7. All general regulations for Parks of Chapter 39 of the Ann Arbor City Code apply.