Whether you’re a novice and new to skateboarding or a seasoned pro, anyone can learn to skateboard and experience the thrill of riding rails, half-pikes and bowls. Hendrick Boards has compiled a list of our top 10 favorite parks nationwide. We based our evaluations upon a number of factors. It is not just about which park is the largest, has the coolest half-pike or the largest cradle. It is about the overall experience for every skateboarder, whether one prefers the street-style, transition style or vert. Go out and visit one of these awesome parks and tell us what you think!
1. Louisville Extreme Park
Accessibility, wide array of obstacles and size are what makes the Louisville Extreme Park one killer ride for every skater out there. The park includes 40,000 square feet of outdoor concrete skating surface and a wooden vert ramp (12 foot with a 13 foot extension). Features include a 24-foot full pipe, two 11-foot bowls, two 8-foot bowls, two 4-foot bowls, 6-foot bowl, fun boxes, street course, 6-foot flat bank, ledges, rails and endless lines. The 24-foot full-pipe is the most popular feature of the park. Fee: $5.00.
2. Vans Skatepark
Vans Skatepark at the Block at Orange is undoubtedly one of the world’s best indoor parks for amateur and seasoned street skaters. The 20,000 square foot indoor wood (birch) street course features an array of obstacles, including many popular street features including stair sets, banks, rails, ledges and manual pads. Features on this course can challenge even the most advanced street skater. The Vans Combi is a replica of the original Combi pool which was believed to be one of the best pools in skateboarding history. The pool features 9ft 9in transitions and is 12ft deep. This thing is massive and always dares even the most experienced skater. Just when you were thinking that the skatepark is made for only the pros, Vans has created an area specifically designed for beginners to develop their skills in a less intimidating environment. And, for those who enjoy the true outdoor street experience, skaters can take advantage of the outdoor concrete course with movable obstacles, ledges, stairs and manual pads. And, included in the park is an arcade area to chill out between boarding. Fee: $20.00 (worth every penny)
3. Burnside Skatepark
“Built without permission by skateboarders and later sanctioned by the city, Burnside is the preeminent example of action…Like a magnifying glass in the sun, Burnside can witness a concentration of skill level unmatched anywhere. You can see crazy, crazy things there. Go, watch, learn, be humbled, excited and inspired. It is amazing.”- From SkateOregon. That pretty much sums up just how unique, distinct, and special this park is to Oregon and skaters. It is a killer example of how skateboarders can come together as a community can create great things that all can enjoy. The park is built right under a bridge with bowls, verts and more. Fee: FREE!
4. Ecke YMCA Skate Park
The Ecke YMCA skatepark has become a top destinations for hardcore enthusiasts. With a newly updated street course, combined with multiple ledges, rails, boxes, and mini ramps, Ecke YMCA is a place where sitings of pro skaters is common. Feeling crazy then take on their 120’ vert (used at the 2003 X-Games). Ecke YMCA also features a backyard style kidney pool and a multi-tiered clover bowl. The park has a “mini land”, which is perfect for the beginner to learn. With gradual transitions and smaller ramps, “mini land” will help the beginner learn proper techniques and maneuvers. Check out their website for lessons, waivers, and their live webcams of the park. Fee: $5.00 members; $10.00 non-members
5. Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park
San Jose, CA
Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park is the largest skate park in California (68,000 square feet). Featuring the world’s largest cradle, tallest vert wall, and largest full pipe, the park offers a wicked variety of terrain for all skill levels. As if the ramps weren’t awesome enough, they installed lights for night sessions, and speakers around the park that play music all day. Lake Cunningham also offers camps for both skateboarders and BMX. Visit their site for regulations and fees. Fee: Youth $3.00 and Adult $5.00
6. Denver Skate Park
It’s all about the bowls at Denver Skate Park- bowls ranging from their “handicap” bowl for “those who really have no business being in it” to their deepest bowl with a depth of 9.5 feet. Others include the fish bowl and the moguls. They also have insane street terrain consisting of banks, stairs, rails, tranny, planters, curbs, and their new skate run. Definitely a must see in Denver. Fee: Free!
7. Kona Skate Park
Kona Skatepark is the oldest outdoor, privately owned, skatepark in the United States, and possibly the world. The park features a new 15,000 sq/ft street course, 10 foot deep kidney pool, surface Ramps, Vert (46” wide – 11 1/2 tall), and mini spine (32” wide with extension). Kona also features a snake run with a 100-foot drop, J-run, 30′ deep bowl with 6′ tombstone extension, and a freestyle area. Kona Skate Park also offers lessons for anyone over 6 years old ranging from beginner lessons to advanced. For more info check out their website for fees associated with the lessons. Fee: $10.00
8. Escondido Skate Park
Yeah, I am biased since I grew up in this park. I can’t write a list about skate parks and not represent my hometown and skate park – Escondido Skate Park. The Park is a newly renovated street course located in North County San Diego. According to John Harris, owner of SDSF, the park is “the most progressive, innovative skate park that will appeal to all extreme sports!” The park’s 22,000 square feet is full of the best San Diego skate scene has to offer. Fee: $10.00 (passes available)
9. Flushing Meadows Corona Park Skate Park
New York, NY
This new skate park is not the largest; it does not have any half-pikes or full-pikes; nor does it have any cradles. But, this park does demonstrate how businesses can play a vital role in the development of skate parks for the benefit of the local community. The Maloof family funded the $1.15 million project through the Adopt-a-Park program and will provide $225,000 for maintenance of the skate park over three years. The park, which was built above the old Astral Fountain from the 1964 World’s Fair, brings in popular street sites found throughout New York City: original Brooklyn Banks 9-stair replica rail; Union Square rail/steps Police Plaza 7-stair rail/various stairs; Ziegfeld ledge; Chrystie Park ledge; Exchange Place street gap; JFK Banks; Con Ed Banks; Pyramid ledges; Flushing Meadows Park ledge-over-the-grate replica.
10. La Fayette Skate Plaza
Los Angeles, CA
A skate plaza is different from a traditional skate park. Skate parks are artificial, and filled with plywood obstacles, ramps, and ledges. A skate plaza attempts to look and feel like a real-world scene, the kind of place that a skateboarder would not normally be welcomed. And here enters Rob Dyrdek. The Rob Dyrdek Foundation developed its first Safe Spot Skate Spot in Los Angeles at La Fayette Park. Safe Spot, Skate Spot is a program developed by the Rob Dyrdek Foundation to support legal and safe skate spots for communities interested in developing legal skateable terrain for their skateboarders. At just over 10,000 square feet of skateable terrain, the spot contains ledges, benches and stairs that flow through the park’s natural landscape. Funding from a generous donation by CKE Restaurants, Inc., parent company of the Carl’s Jr.® hamburger chain, to the Rob Dyrdek/DC Shoes Skate Plaza Foundation secured the development of the La Fayette skate spot.