1. Learn to skate first
As tempting as it might be to dive right into the skatepark, it’s important to take the time to get confident with basic skating skills before you rock up to your local park. If you’ve heard the phrase ‘Learn to walk before you can run’, it’s pretty applicable to rollerskating. Skateparks are designed for advanced skaters with the intricate terrain, and even though you might see plenty of clueless 5-year-olds roaming freely, we can promise that you’ll have a much better skating experience if you take the time to learn your base skills outside of the skatepark.
Pro tip: Check out our 'Where to Start' page for helpful tips for beginners
2. Skate within your limits
Being new to skating isn’t a bad thing! We all come to the park with aspirations to improve and grow. You are there to step outside of your comfort zones and take it to the next level. We totally get it. But be patient and realistic about your progress. Be careful when attempting tricks or using equipment which is beyond your skill level. Even if you have been skating for a while, think twice before dropping into the vert if you haven’t locked in the mini-ramp. Take a little time to get to know the obstacle before you tackle it full tilt. Progression will come naturally through practice.
3. Safety is SEXY 👷🏽♀️
We’re not here to preach about how you should NEVER EVER skate without gear. But heck, it makes a huge difference in the longevity of your relationship with skating and will help avoid injuries (particularly when just starting out). Your head may seem pretty tough, but concrete is much tougher, so be smart and wear a helmet! Knee, elbow and wrist pads are also encouraged.
4. Respect the space
There’s no need to prove you’re a rebel without a cause. You’re at a skatepark, so you’re already a badass in our eyes. Each park has its own set of rules. Whether they’re keeping you safe, or keeping the park looking fresh – the rules are there for a reason. Don’t fancy wearing pads or helmets? Tough. If that’s the rule then embrace your helmet hair, put on your lid and get shredding! Oh, and don’t forget to pick up your trash!
Pro tip: Bring a broom, towel, brush, and shovel. Super handy for quick cleanups and a great way to win kudos with the locals.
5. The lay of the land
Not sure where should you park your stuff? Quite often people will park up their bags or butts on a curb or ledge, with no awareness that it’s actually a skating obstacle. 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 eyeing up whatever it is you are sitting on.
Pro tip: If you want some clarity on what the different obstacles and equipment looks like check our Skatepark Terminology Blog.
6. Don’t be a Snake 🐍
We’re not talking about the elongated, legless, carnivorous reptile. We’re talking about skaters who recklessly and consistently cut the line. In simple terms, it means “Wait for your damn turn”. If someone has already dropped in or is next in line, be sure not to cut. Wait for your round. Most skateparks will have a basic pattern and for the most part, each skater waits for their turn. You’ll easily get a bad reputation if you consistently steal time in the bowl.
Pro tip: If you fall, your run has ended, so get up quick so the next skater can go.
7. Check your path
Be sure to always check your path is clear before taking your turn. Sometimes snakes will surprise you, so try to avoid collisions where possible. Don’t hang out with your skates over the coping if the bowl is in use. If you’re next up, stand close, but not so close enough that you cut off a skaters line. And if it’s happening to you, politely advise the skater in question to hustle back so you can use the space. Hand gestures are fine but words go a long way.
8. Monster Runs 🧟♂️
The basic rule of thumb is ‘keep it short and sweet’. The average line should take between 45-60 seconds. It pays to know when your time is up, especially if you’re practicing a basic skill set. Try to do a few tricks and then wait your turn at the top allowing other people to take their runs. It’s okay to take the occasional lengthy run but be sure to time it right. If you’re intended line cuts across the park, be sure to time it right so you’re not blocking off the whole park.
Pro tip: If you’re working on a new trick and need to practice a few in a row, just give the skaters a heads up – but don’t do it every time.
9. Seeing Double 👯♀️
As for doubles runs, we think they’re choice but there are very few instances where unsolicited ramp sharing is appropriate. If you have permission from a friend or fellow skater, you might be able to split the ramp for a run, but just be wary not to drop in on unsuspecting skaters. Too many people riding the ramps at once is dangerous and can cause collisions and injuries.
Pro tip: Twice the number of people doesn’t mean double the runtime. Remember, keep it short and sweet!
10. Accidents happen
If you accidentally snake, or crash into another skater whose line you misread, be sure to apologize before you play the blame game. Assume it was accidental. It will be obvious if it’s not. And in that case, just move along. It’s not worth getting into a scrap over. On that note, if you fall and you’re not hurt, be sure to jump up and out of the skate zone as soon as you safely can. If you need assistance, just ask for it.
11. Don’t ask if “they” (an obviously skilled skater there) can backflip
It’s poor form to go up to a vet skater on a regular day and ask for them to perform for you. If they want to pull out their best tricks, chances are, they will. Plus it saves them having to explain that they can’t backflip if that’s the case. We get it, It’s exciting when you meet new skaters, but be patient and let them find their flow, they might just want to have a chill session, so don’t put the pressure on them to perform.
Pro tip: If you need help or advice on a trick, ask when they’re taking a break, not as they’re about to drop in.
12. Skateparks are for everyone
It doesn’t matter what you’re riding; Skateboard, BMX, Scooter, Quads or Blades. Everyone has an equal right to the space. It can be easy to get frustrated with newer, younger riders but remember – we were all learners once too! If you see someone way out of line, consider politely letting them know. And if there are kids ‘cutting sick’ all over the place, you can always give their parents a friendly heads up. Eye-rolling will only get you so far.
13. Safety in numbers
Shred sessions with pals are the best, but its especially important to follow the rules if you’re showing up with a large crew, for example, a CIB Chapter. Be sure to make sure that everyone is aware of basic etiquette. If someone’s out of line be sure to politely let them know. Try to pick off-peak times to show up if you’re bringing big numbers or beginners, this will make the experience better for all involved, and leave less wait time for the newbies trying to find their footing!
Pro tip: If you’re going to a private skatepark, phone ahead to make sure large numbers are okay!
14. Wax on? WAX OFF! 🙅♀️
The great wax debate is always sure to rile tempers. For the most part, waxing at skateparks is a big no-no. If you’ve got your own private ramp or rail then go nuts, but if it’s a public space then leave the wax at home. You should be able to get enough slip on your sliders and momentum in your grinds to gain movement along the coping or ledge. If you wax a public space you’re bound to cause a stir. Wax lasts a long time and can be hazardous to the other skaters and risks injury. If you insist on waxing a space, be sure to check with ALL the skaters around you.
Pro tip: CIB Sliders use a self-lubricating plastic, that combined with good form and you should have more than enough slip to slide down any rail or coping.
15. Enjoy the ride 🤙
Relax and make sure you’re enjoying your time at the park. Don’t get too wound up if you occasionally get snaked. If it's not your vibe, then come back at another time. If the parks too busy and you can’t handle the hustle, try early mornings, or afternoons before kids are out from school. Holidays will always be hectic. Try not to get frustrated if you’re not landing the tricks you’re trying to get. Practice makes progress and if you’re too in you’re own head then you’re probably hindering your own growth. Take a chill pill and relax. Skating is supposed to be fun!
We hope you found this blog helpful! If you have other tips or guidelines join the discussion in the comments below!