Skateparks – A History Introduction Skateparks have been around for decades, but only recently have they evolved from makeshift ramps and small bowls to large, complex skateparks that are equal parts art and sport. Skateparks are a reflection of the style and skill of the skateboarders who ride them and an ever-changing reflection of the skateboarding culture. This book will explore the history of skateparks, from the first ramps and bowls to the modern parks with rails, hips, and other skatepark features. It will examine how skateparks have changed over the years, how they have influenced skateboarding culture and how they have become the destinations of choice for skateboarders and BMXers alike.

Chapter 1 – Early Skateparks The first skateparks began to appear in the 1960s as a means for skateboarders to practice their skills on a more challenging terrain. The early skateparks were often located in public parks and featured simple ramps and bowls, or “vertical pipes” as they were called back then. The first skatepark to open in the United States was called Skateland USA and was located in Costa Mesa, California in 1965. Skateland USA was the first of many skateparks to come, and served as an inspiration to other skatepark builders. In the 1970s, skateparks began to become more elaborate, with half-pipes and other features being added. Some skateparks even added pools, which allowed skaters to practice their tricks in a more comfortable environment.

Chapter 2 – The Skatepark Boom The 1980s saw a huge surge in the popularity of skateparks across the United States. This was due in part to the popularity of skateboarding as a sport, as well as the invention of the half-pipe. The half-pipe allowed skateboarders to perform more daring tricks, which in turn attracted more skaters to the parks. This surge in popularity also led to the construction of larger, more complex skateparks. These parks had everything from half-pipes to rougher terrain, and even some parks had street-style courses. The 1980s also saw the emergence of skateboarding as a professional sport, with the emergence of professional skateboarders such as Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen. This gave skateboarding an even bigger boost in popularity, and led to an even larger boom in skatepark construction.

Chapter 3 – The Modern Skatepark The modern skatepark is a far cry from the early skateparks of the 1960s. Today’s skateparks feature a variety of terrain and features, from half-pipes to rails, hips and more. Skateparks are now designed to be more challenging and to allow riders to push their limits. Modern skateparks are also much more than just places to skate. They are now destinations for skaters and BMXers alike, and serve as social hubs for the skateboarding community. Skateparks are now viewed as an art form, with many parks featuring elaborate designs and artwork. Conclusion Skateparks have come a long way since the early days. They have evolved from simple ramps and bowls to sprawling skateparks with a variety of features. They have become a part of skateboarding culture and have become destinations for skaters and BMXers alike. Skateparks are now equal parts art and sport, and have become a reflection of the skateboarding culture. The history of skateparks is one of constant evolution, and it will be exciting to see what the future holds for skateparks and skateboarding.

Bibliography 1. “History of Skateparks.” Skateboarding.com, 22 Dec. 2019, www.skateboarding.com/skatepark-history. 2. “Skatepark Design & Construction.” Skatepark Design & Construction, skateparkdesigns.com/. 3. Stoll, Jeff. Skateparks: A Guide to Skatepark Design and Construction. Human Kinetics, 2006. 4. “A Short History of Skateparks.” Ride Channel, 24 July 2015, theridechannel.com/skate-parks/short-history-skate-parks/. 5. “The History of Skateboarding – Skateboarding Timeline.” The-House, www.the-house.com/skate-history-timeline.html. 6. “Skatepark Design & Construction.” Skatepark Design & Construction, www.skateparkdesigns.com. 7. “History of Skateparks.” Skateboarding.com, 22 Dec. 2019, www.skateboarding.com/skatepark-history. 8. “Skateboarders in the 1970s.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 7 July 2017, www.history.com/topics/1970s/skateboarding.

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