Skate parks are not just any park. They are the mecca of every skateboarder, inline skate, or freestyle BMX biker. Loaded with ramps, grinding rails, benches, and boxes for every freestyle athlete to let loose their imagination, practice their skills, and learn a few new tricks. Many cities and towns have them, and they become excellent recreational spots for both young and old as they allow everyone to just experience the extreme of the sport in a safe place. Sadly, more rural places are less known to have them, and skateboarding is everywhere, meaning these athletes risk their lives daily practicing their sport in the middle of the streets with oncoming traffic. If this rings a bell to your reality, then this simple guide on how to create a backyard skatepark may be what you need.
When it comes to skateboarding, a DIY sport by nature, creating your skate park seems like the most logical thing to do. Skateboarders are always on the lookout to find the best skateboard ramps, so why not have them in your own home? In the comfort of your skate park? Why not be the envy of every adrenaline junkie?
If you don a skate park filled with obstacles, components, curbs, benches, staircases, and railings, you will never find yourself or your group in danger again. The trick for the perfect skate park lies in these ten steps.
Know the Zoning Laws of your Community
We get wanting to have the best obstacles in your skate park, but you have to find out if you can even dig and shred your backyard in the first place. Every city and town is different, and zoning laws differ by municipality. What are these? Those that regulate the construction of certain, accessory structures. These structures include fences, gazebos, tool sheds, wheelchair ramps, and of course, skateboard ramps.
These laws regulate things like the height of backyard structures, usage, and their proximity to the neighboring properties. If your plans are too wild for your neighborhood by any chance, you’re going to need permits to proceed, and that can cost extra money. The amount can go from 1,000 to 2,000 dollars approximately in the worst of cases.
Another thing is, don’t even think about acquiring some profit from this skate ramp. Charging people for the usage of your backyard Skate Park will only convert your family household into a business, and that falls under further regulation. To do so, you would have to apply for a commercial zoning permit, which is almost impossible in a large residential area.
This also doesn’t end as soon as you get the permits with your local zoning board. You have to also check with your own homeowner’s insurance agent. This is because if you plan to open the park for the whole neighborhood to use, you could see a hike in your premium coverage or even lose it entirely. This doesn’t apply if it’s for your family usage.
Find the Perfect Spot
Not all backyards are perfect for a park. The biggest issue besides all the legality research in space. For this part, you shouldn’t only consider your needs but those of the household as once you start erecting towers of ramps, you can find quickly you end up trapping your entire family in a tight-caged-like scenario. Please be considerate and as far away from dreamland when you choose which ramps and rails fit the space you have.
For this step, also remember these two words: flat and level. The cost increases and depends a lot on the proportion of the slope and unevenness of the foundations. The flatter the surface, the easier it is for trucking in gravel and cement footings for leveling.
Figure Out How Much Money You Have
Unless you’re super-rich, money and well, refined material doesn’t grow on trees. Building a skate park will require a lot of lumber, a lot of cement, and many more materials that will cost a lot. The cost varies depending on the people and season you do business with.
So taking into consideration what you will do, how much you will need, and who you are contracting for the building process, it’s best to consider this and gather the family to decide how much money will be spent on this project.
Plan out the Dream Park
Ask yourself these five questions:
How big space do you need?
Without special permits, how large will a park be?
Does the local climate affect your yearly skating?
How serious is this sport for your family?
These questions answer things like if this will be a permanent installation or something that can be disassembled and protected for the colder months. Or in case you live in a tropical zone with hurricane seasons. For example, for areas with harsh weather seasons, you can consider a smaller project that can be easily protected. Vice versa if you run with the fortune of living in a sunny scenario.
The last question is another which you should take into significant consideration. Are your kids really into skating, or is this just a hobby for them? If your children are on the way to becoming pro athletes of the sport, then it would make sense to build a bigger and sophisticated skate park. If it’s not like that, then you should consider a small, more economical option.
Gather Construction Plans and Materials
There are plenty of sources out there for you to work on an inexpensive and almost-free project. A lot of pages even come with already made blueprints for skate parks based on your specific needs. And if you don’t find the exact perfect one, you can always adjust it. Websites like DVD video guides, large blueprints, and step-by-step manuals with the purchase of materials/blueprints are even included.
It can get tricky finding the perfect material at a good price in a perfect bundle for materials. Keep that in mind when doing the searches and finding your sources.
Tools and Labor
You don’t need a lot of extra complicated tools for this project. You only have to work on finding the people to work on your project, and that can be from crafty friends like you to a more sophisticated approach by contracting personnel. As long as you have a jigsaw, hammer, and drill, you can do this easily. Just take out 20 hours of your schedule to dedicate them to this project, and you should be fine.
Building the ramps, Components, and Concrete Bowls
The first aspect to consider is the ramps. Keep these in mind as they have to be made with the most precision:
Curves side pieces are better cut with a jigsaw.
Horizontal joists must be screwed into the curved side pieces.
A curved ramp surface made from plywood sheets must be screwed into the joists.
Coping must be along the top edge of the ramp for grinding.
For more ideas on how to build the ramps, you can check articles that explain further in detail how to build the best skateboard ramps out there.
Another thing you must take into consideration is the grind rails that are usually seen in skate parks. With different heights and lengths, you get the perfect spots for practicing and honing out cool tricks.
Finally, consider concrete bowls as they make skate parks look like undulating landscapes of unexpecting curves.
Safety should be your priority the whole before and after the process. For those involved in the construction of the skate park and safety in the after-party when everyone is skating. If not the only one, the number one rule should be the usage of helmets and protective gear. Remember, nothing fun is worth it if you can end up seriously in danger.
We hope this list of steps helps you find what you were looking for, and for more information, further research is your friend. Happy skating!