Wednesday, 7 February 2018

The Best of the Best in Skateparks: Part 2

The Best of the Best in Skateboarding
As a follow-up to the article The Best of the Best in Park Design, this article looks at some great things happening globally involving skateboarding and skateparks.
I was having a bit of trouble getting this article started so I'll let the videos speak for themselves.

The Ladies are Killing It!
As the father of a new baby girl I'm excited to know there is a whole community waiting for her. I can't wait to skate with my kids.

Underexposed: The documentary the started the Exposure movement. Exposure is now the largest all female skateboarding event in the world. Check them out @

Babes Brigade Feature from NOW Magazine
Babes Brigade is connecting women skaters in the Toronto area.

100% Skate Club is a Calgary based All-girls Skateboarding Club.

For more on women in skateboarding and other action sports check the following links.
Skate Like A Girl
GIRL Is Not A 4 Letter Word

Skateistan empowers children and youth through skateboarding and education in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa.

Chicks in Bowls is a world wide movement of Quad Skaters (rollerskaters) taking to the park. While there have been Quads in parks since skateparks came into existance, there has never been such progression in the sport.  

Skatepark Community
The first time I went to Campbellford, ON to skate I was approached by an older gentleman who asked me what I thought of the skatepark. I told him I though it was great. "Well the Missus and I think it's fantastic." He began, "We came from Madoc and the kids there love the skatepark and it gives them something to besides drugs."

The community that builds around a skatepark can be surprising to people who are not familiar with it.
The story of a guy stopping to help a young girl when viral when her mom posted a 'Dear Teenaged Boy at the Skatepark.' LINK    
More shots of Churchill Skatepark where this interaction took place can be found HERE.

These four Calgary Skaters were honoured at the Cheif's Awards Gala for stopping a Sexual Assualt.
From Left to Right - Arnaud Nimenya, James Hielema, Starlyn Rivas-Perez and Carsyn Wright.
Story HERE.

The city of Calgary is also bridging the gap between the community and the skateparks by creating a mini magazine profiling the local skateboarding community and offering skateboarding lessons to the Calgary Police Service. Check out the video on the Calgary Association of Skatepark Enthusiasts(CASE) Website HERE and check out everything else CASE is doing for Calgary.

Toronto Skateboarding Committee promotes skateboarding in Toronto.

Camps and Outreach
I'm involved in a Youth Outreach called SkateLife and we do a week long road trip every year. We skate and meet up in different place and film for a video which we premier at the end of the week. Here's my teams video from 2017.

Other groups affecting young lives in Toronto are Impact Skate Club & Chill Foundation

Switch Skate and Snow and SkateLoft both run summer camps and PA Day events. (Hook me up with some videos and I'll post them!:)

CJ's Skatepark also host events aimed at children with special needs (everything from ADHD to kids living with Cancer) in addition to Day and Summer Camps. (Note - CJ's is in the process of moving and re-building at their new location. The website is also being reworked so links may not work)

Another group reaching children facing developmental, physical and emotional challenges through skateboarding is Skate MD.

Skatepark Advocacy
The Tony Hawk Foundation provides grants for skateparks in low-income communities.  

Skaters for Public Skateparks was a non-profit skatepark advocacy organization that existed from 2004 to 2017. SPS has transferred its domain name,, to Tony Hawk Foundation. All the information is still available.

Another Skater using his celebrity status to change lives for the better is Ryan Sheckler with  
The Sheckler Foundation. In 2016 it donated Ten-Thousand dollars to Parisite DIY in New Orleans. 

International Builds
Build a Skatepark, Change the World
Concrete Jungle Foundation is teaming up with Canada's New Line Skateparks to build Angola's first concrete outdoor skatepark. Their previous project was in Peru. Check the video below.

This gorgeous park in Taghazout, Morocco was build by Make Life Skate Life. Check them out HERE

There are many other groups that are working on international builds to create a better world through skateboarding. There are also groups that collect old boards, hardware and other gear to provide skateboards to those who can not afford or access them, both domestically and abroad. 
Donate for Skate is just one of them. 

There are tons of great causes and events in the skateboarding world. If you know of one that should be added let me know. I'm going end with a rant and some praise. 

The Rant. A rich and famous skateboard loving pop star signed a car. The car was auctioned off to raise funds for a skatepark in said singers home town. The hope was to raise $40000. Not much when you know the cost of a skatepark. The winning bidder went out of his way to double the amount to $80000. I feel the pop star could have done a lot more for his hometowns skatepark (granted he has raised funds for other causes) but the real hero here is Allan Komenda. Story HERE. The Skatepark opened late 2017. 

The Praise
I'm not a big fan of Pearl Jam but I love Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament.
Over the past decade, Jeff has given funds both personally and through Pearl Jam's Vitalogy Foundation to build twelve skateparks throughout Montana and South Dakota. 

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