Monday, 10 May 2021

Plaza Skateparks

 Plaza Skateparks

Plaza Skateparks are one of the newest and most popular styles of skatepark. With modern designs that fit in with the urban environment, these skateparks blend into the park rather than standing out as a separate feature. Plazas tend to reflect the urban architecture of benches, stairs and rails and plazas are the standard for Olympic Street Skateboarding.

The Plaza at the Forks in Winnipeg, MB 

The Plaza at the Forks looks so much like any other urban plaza that tourists mistakenly wander through the middle of it before reaching the other side and discovering the competition level bowl.

Plaza at the Forks with the Museum of Human Rights

Magic Carpet Skateable Sculpture

The second skateable sculpture at the Forks.

Marina Park Plaza. Thunder Bay, ON
Thunder Bay's Marina Park Plaza features a pool, stairs, brick banks and a skateable 'Sleeping Giant' feature.

Thompson Skate Plaza. Richmond, BC

Thompson is a unique plaza with spaced out simple features and weird (in the good way) skateable art. Photos from Skatepark Tour. Spectrum Skatepark Designs

Features include the 'space garbage', the wedge, the peaked quarter and the stage.

The Thompson 'T' is a great ledge & manny pad. It has been reworked to be more user friendly.

Ashbridges Bay. Toronto, ON.
AB, as it's known, replicated a feature from well known downtown skate spot,
Commerce Court. 

Goetz Park Skatepark. Perris, CA. 
The Perris Skatepark is shaped like a 'P' and features a textured concrete quarter pipe with a keyhole with the cities crest.

Parc Arthur Therrin, Montreal, QC
The Montreal area is building some of the best plazas in Canada. Parc Arthur Therrin has most of the typical skatepark features despite being very flat. There's replicated street with curbs and fire hydrants & stair sets and quarter pipes.

Daniel Yabar designed Plazas are gorgeous.

Parc Du Patriote Joseph Vincent. St Hubert, QC
A big plaza with a mini-ramp and replicated street. It also has something that almost all Quebec park have: Water, Garbage Cans and lighting.

Plazas by California Skateparks
Stoner Park

Vans Huntington Beach Skatepark

Erie Community Skatepark

Street League Skateboarding competition plaza. This is the model for Olympic Street Skateboarding.

Plazas by Spohn Ranch
Rockway Beach Skatepark. Lots of variety without elevation.

Highland Skate Plaza

Harbour City Skatepark with bowl and skatable 'H'.

I hope you've found this useful.
For more Plaza Skateparks click HERE

Niagara Falls with the skateable NF

Skateable AJAX at Audley Rec Centre

Any letter can be made skateable, why not a 'P'?

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Pickering is seeking feedback on the West Shore Skate Spot

 Pickering is seeking feedback on the 

proposed West Shore Skate Spot

After 6 years, a Skateboard Park Strategy and countless other little milestones, the City of Pickering has proposed a new skateboard spot at the West Shore Community Centre and wants your feedback. Click the link below for the city presentation and survey (until May 31, 2021).

Pickering West Shore Skate Spot

It's been a long time coming (see how we got here -> LINK) but the city has posted a survey and is taking feedback on the proposed West Shore Skate Spot (& check out this post about the WSSS - HERE).  The comments on social media have been mostly positive (I'm actually surprised) so far but there has been a few of the typical negative comments. Let's address them.

1) Comment 'We're getting tickets for parking there'   Answer - Yeah, It's a pandemic and the city closed the parking lots. If you parked in a closed parking lot, you get a ticket.

2) Comment 'Not many kids are skateboarding'  Answer - Wrong

3) Comment 'What about the 2019 budget for the baseball diamonds?' Answer - Ok, this is a good one. The 2019 budget also included 200K for this skate spot and when I was wondering why concrete wasn't being poured in '19 I was informed the 2019 budget is for spending in the 2021 year.  Also, people seem to assume that when a skatepark is built it takes something from them. We can have a skatepark AND a baseball diamond.

4) Comment 'You should build a splash pad and a Skate board pad at a Ball diamond...'   Answer - Agreed! I love when a splash pad is near the skatepark so I can dunk my head and kids can be exposed to skateboarding. In fact, Bay Ridges Kinsmen Park ( where there are ball diamonds, a playground and tennis courts) is another potential location for a skate spot.

5) Comment 'Why ruin a Natural spot?' Answer - It's not a natural spot. It was the heavy machine parking for a nearby ravine project. After the project, the parking lot was expanded and the area was re-sodded and some sick trees were planted.

6) Comment 'We have trouble with people carrying on when they rent the community centre.' Answer - Alright, firstly, if you are spotting bad behavior (fights as you claim) at the community centre during rentals ( & fyi, there hasn't been a hall rental since the beginning of the pandemic. The CC hosts a nursery school, karate, ballet and has hosted pop-up vaccination clinics) you are within your rights to complain to the city or call the police.  Secondly, it amuses me when skaters somehow get the blame for bad behavior before there's a skatepark in the area. At one open house I attended in Burlington, a local resident claimed the bus shelter had been smashed several times. I asked, politely, 'are you suggesting that skaters are coming into the neighbourhood to smash the bus shelter?' She got very quiet.

Also Check out Skatepark Advocacy Burnout  for other dealings.

Example of a long, narrow skate spot. Leitchcroft Skate Spot, Markham.

West Lincoln/Smithville Skatepark. Located at the Arena and sharing space with the Playground and Splash Pad.

Looks natural to me.

The Proposed West Shore Skate Spot is not going to rival Big Skateparks like ARC or Ashbridges Bay but will provide Pickering skatepark users with more skatable terrain and the first new concrete in 20 years. 

Here's to more skateparks.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Mildmay, ON

 Mildmay, ON

24 Vincent St

This park is insane. A friend had shown me a shot of it, covered in snow, a few years back and said it was weird. 

The poured concrete wall is super steep with granly (I did mean to type gnarly but felt this accurately describes them) hubbas that don't have any angle iron in them. The only coping in the park is on a thigh high ledge. The lower section is asphalt and features ledges and a manny pad that are concrete stair segments that you would find on a house. Seriously, there's no refined edge for skating and the tops feature a slip reducing diamond pattern. The flat bar, low bench, bank ramp and drop down bar are all movable and might be the best features on the park. I spent the whole time fighting with the drop down bar.

Listowel, ON

 Listowel, ON

550 Derry St E

Another pre-cast park but this one has a bit of originality. It features a good mini-ramp, a steep 8 set, a stone topped bench, a crazy 'A' frame rail and a gnarly, level changing bank to bank gap.