If you’re new to skateboarding and want to try your board out at the local skate park, there are a few things you need to know about skatepark etiquette to make sure you have a good time. They are like unwritten rules of the skate park, designed to make sure everyone has a good time and stays safe.
Now each skatepark experience is going to be a little different depending on where you are and who is there, so we’ve put together a list of the most important things to remember in skatepark etiquette to make sure there are no nasty surprises when you hit the ramps and to make sure you and everyone else there stay safe.
Skatepark Etiquette Basics
The term snaking basically means the same as cutting in. It’s when you drop in front of someone else who has been waiting patiently at the top of a ramp for a clear spot to drop in before you turned up.
It’s not always done intentionally so if it does happen, always apologizes. But it’s worth knowing there is a sort of queue system when you’re waiting on a ramp. So make sure you check who else is in the queue before dropping in. Snaking in front of other skaters will just get you shouted at. So be patient and wait your turn.
Stay back from the edge
The edge of a ramp can be a dangerous place to stand around. You can get hit by flying boards, get in the way of other skaters and maybe even lose your own board down the ramp if you hang your wheels over the edge. So, when you’re waiting for your turn to drop into a ramp make sure you stand back from the edge and give other skaters plenty of room to finish off their run.
If you’re just watching, you might think the edge of the ramp would be a good place to hang out, but trust me, you’ll just get in the way. There are normally benches or other areas for spectators to go where they watch the action from a safe distance.
No cutting across the bottom of a ramp
When you’re making your way around the skate park to try out different zones, make sure you’re not cutting across the bottom of a ramp. It might feel like the most direct route, but the chances are, there will be someone, somewhere about to drop into that ramp and you’re going to be in their way.
So to avoid getting shouted at or worse, causing an accident, take the long way around and stay off the bottom of the ramps.
Look out for beginners
There are a couple of reasons why this element of skatepark etiquette is important. First, if you know where the beginners are in the skate park, you might choose to avoid them, if you just want to crack on. It’s not their fault they might be a bit slower or wipe out more often, so we have to try and be patient and sympathetic. And if you’re going to struggle with that the best thing to do is stay out of their way.
The second reason I’ve included this in the list is that a beginner will get better with a little help from their fellow skaters. So keep an eye out for them, check in if they fall over to see if they’re ok, and maybe even share some advice. A skate park is a community and we’re all there for the same thing and we’ll all have a much better time if we’re kind to each other.
Keep your eyes peeled
To make sure everyone stays safe on the ramps, it’s always worth keeping an eye on other skaters and making sure there’s always a safe distance between you.
Skateparks can be busy places and with skaters coming in fast from multiple directions it’s worth getting used to using your peripheral vision to get a sense of where everyone is so there’s no collisions.
Keep your stuff off the ramps
If we’re spending a day at the skatepark we might need to bring along some extra kit with us. If you do have a bag with your lunch, spare parts, clothes or whatever in it, make sure you leave it at the side of the ramps well out of the way of any skate paths.
You don’t want to trip anyone up or have your stuff squashed under your skateboard.
So now you know the basics of skate park etiquette you can hit the ramps with confidence, develop your skills and share your passion with other skaters.
Another read that might be useful if you’re visiting a skate is our How to skate a mini-ramp article. You can watch 10 video tutorials and learn everything you need to know about skating a mini ramp.