8 SKATEPARK GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS

Do you love skating but you wouldn’t step in a skate park for the fear of embarrassing yourself or getting yelled at by the pros?

We are here to help you. Here are 8 tips that will definitely come in handy for every beginner in a skate park.

Get the Right Gear

It’s vital that you get a pair of good skates since you will have a hard time using regular shoes at the skate park. Skating shoes are designed with a flat bottom, which is large enough to grip the board. They are also reinforced in specific areas to enhance their durability.

Wear Protective Gear

Skating, especially for beginners, is similar to the first day you ride a bike. You are bound to miss a step and fall a couple of times before you get it right.

Thus, it’s crucial that you always wear a helmet while you are at the skate park. Protective pads, which include knee pads, wrist pads and elbow pads are also necessary to protect your body from injuries.

Visit the Skate Park in the Morning

If you are really nervous about skating alongside other people, then morning hours are the perfect time to go practice.

This is because the parks are mostly empty, and you will get all the space you need to go through the basics without wondering if you are embarrassing yourself.

Socialize

It helps to know other skaters in your area. We also recommend making new friends at the skate park, especially the pros.

Be friendly, say hi and be kind to other skaters. When you know a few people, you will feel comfortable visiting the skate park any time, and you also get to learn a few tricks in the process.

Warming Up Before Every Session

Skating, is just like any other physical exercise, and requires you to warm up before going ham in the skate park.

Stretch and perform other basic exercises to help you loosen up and relax your muscles. This prepares your body for what’s to come, and even when trying out new tricks, you will undergo minimal wipe outs.

Skatepark Guide Beginner

Patience

As a beginner, you should take your time learning, and worry less about how you look when in the Skate Park.

It’s crucial that you also get comfortable in your gear and skills before trying out advanced tricks, which may leave you hurt.

Go With the Flow

Each skate park has certain unwritten rules that everyone follows. Try to learn the flow and stick to it. For instance, you can’t stop or sit in the middle of a skate park. If you need to rest, get off the skate park to avoid being in the way of other skaters.

Always Keep Your Head Up

A skate park usually has lots of people, from skaters to bikers, all trying to do their thing. Trust your gut and keep your head up so that you are aware of what’s happening around you at all times.

We also recommend that you wait your turn before skating an obstacle, to reduce incidences of crashing into other people.

Moreover, if your gut tells you to avoid trying out certain tricks so soon, don’t do it. By trusting your gut, you will be able to avoid nasty wipe outs, keep safe and learn in the process.

The above tips will make your experience at the skate park worthwhile. As a beginner, there are so many reasons not to try out new experiences.

The only way you will get better at skating is doing it at the skate park, where you get to practice on your skill, and also learn from other people. Let us know if you have any questions or comments in the section below.

USING THE PARK

HOURS of USE

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time
8:00 AM to 7:00 PM (Summer – Pacific Daylight Time)

RULES

Helmets, knee and elbow pads are required by all persons using the park. Skating and skateboarding is allowed in designated areas only.

Willits Skatepark is closed during inclement weather (rain, hail, snow and other severe weather conditions that are considered unsafe by the City of Willits).

No food or drink in skate area.

BMX bikes, scooters, movable ramps, jumps and other moveable obstacles are not allowed in the skate area.

Prohibited in the park: Drugs, alcohol or being under the influence of suc; fighting or other violent activities; firearms, knives or other weapons; smoking or use of tobacco products.

Graffiti or vandalism will result in park closure.
Click to see this complete rules sign posted at park

CITY INSURANCE

The City of Willits is a member Redwood Municipal Insurance Foundation. For claims emanating from injuries at the skatepark, the deductible is $25,000. For non-skatepark claims the deductible is $10,000 per claim. REMIF has not had any major claims from any of its member cities with skateparks (Healdsburg, Arcata, Sonoma, etc) or reports of other major problems.

The creation of skateparks invokes possible City tort liability in the area of premises liability. The City’s responsibilities include maintenance and inspections to keep the premises in a safe condition.

CONTACT

Mailing Address:

Willits Skate Park Association, Inc.
75 N Main Street, PMB 214
Willits, CA 95490

Phone: (707) 459-4605
Email: dmadrigal@willitscity.com

WILLITS SKATE PARK ASSOCIATION

Was formed for the purpose of generating funds to build an outdoor concrete skate park in Willits, California. The facility is publicly owned and free to use by skateboarders, roller skaters, and roller blades (in-line skating).

What started as an idea in 1999, came to full fruition on October 23, 2004 when the park first opened.

WILLITS SKATE PARKAt first glance, the goal of the Willits Skate Park Association may almost seem mundane: to construct the first skate park in Mendocino County.

But the true story of this odyssey goes beyond simply making sure skateboarders in the county have a curvy place to play.

Initially the goal was to build a 10,000 square foot skatepark, at an estimated cost of $200,000, taking approximately two years to complete.

However, with public input the vision grew and decisions were made to construct a “destination park” increasing the size to 18,500 square feet and to incorporate pathways, picnic areas, and landscaping so that more than just skaters could enjoy the park.

This new vision had a price tag that increased to $800,000! Daunting to say the least, especially in a small rural, low-income community. The benefits derived from the process of getting a skatepark built was, potentially, more valuable than the product itself. The efforts of the Willits Skate Park Association and the skate park project have taught local youths a lifelong lesson in the power of perseverance.

WSPA was successful in getting support for the skate park project from the Brooktrails Board of Directors, the Sherwood Valley Tribal Council, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, and our state representatives, Sen.

Wesley Chesbro and Assemblymember Virginia Strom-Martin. Letters of support for a Willits Skate Park were also received from many local citizens, businesses, and public officials, including Willits Unified School District administrators, Superior Court Judge Cindee Mayfield, Willits Police Chief Ron Caudillo, and the Director of the county Department of Public Health, Marvin Trotter.

The need for a safe, legal facility in Willits for skateboarders, roller skaters and in-line skaters was indicated by the enormous public support the WSPA campaign generated in Willits and throughout the county.

A WSPA survey completed by 1,126 students in the Willits public schools in February 2001 found interest in a skate park was high. 712 skaters said they would use a skate park in Willits regularly; many non-skaters said they thought it was a good idea for the town (many adding that it would “help keep kids out of trouble”), and 54 non-skating students said they’d like to go watch.

Although skateboarding has received much mainstream credibility in recent years, thousands of communities have yet to provide skaters with a place to legally practice their sport of choice. The common skate park-building story in most communities is something like this: a skater gets in trouble (maybe a ticket, maybe a call home from the principal) and complains to his parents that he has no place to skate.

His parents persuade him to write a letter to City Hall, or to attend a city-council meeting. The skater gets some friends together, puts on his cleanest shirt, sits through a boring meeting, and then makes a nervous but respectful plea for a skatepark. City officials, impressed by the courteous request, agree that it’s a good idea and commit to including a skatepark in the next parks-and-recreation budget and designate a central location for the project.

Not in Willits! The twist here is that the Willits Skate Park Association was founded and spearheaded by Adults who were tired of seeing skaters forced to skate unsafely, and illegally.

Eventually, the City of Willits was a major supporter of the skate park and the community attitudes changed and the kids realized that the adults really wanted to help them, and the adults realized that the kids were willing to work hard for this thing they love.

Most important, the kids learned that they actually could accomplish something by working with the system rather than beating their heads against it, or sitting at home complaining about it. They learned how to communicate in a way that encourages adults to listen.

The fundraisers and activities spearheaded by Willits Skate Park Association created a catalyst for binding teenagers, parents, police, politicians, business leaders and civic groups, who got together and pushed for a common cause. That effort alone makes the world a slightly better place. One of the questions raised on a grant application was How will you define success of your project?

The WSPA response was – The Willits Skate Park project will be a success if, on any after-school afternoon or summer day, the park is filled with skateboarders, roller skaters and in-line skaters practicing their sport safely, legally and cooperatively.

Now that the park is built, I invite you to come by the park on that bright sunny day after school or the weekend and see the skaters enjoying this park. What a sight!! Just because the skating portion of the park is built does not mean the WSP has completed its commitment.

The picnic and pathways portion is yet to be built, but with the ongoing efforts of the WSPA Board of Directors, these areas will become reality this summer. WSPA hopes to encourage adult presence by providing inviting, accessible areas – with native plant landscaping and picnic tables – for families and other spectators. WSPA expects skaters and their families from around the county and beyond to travel to the Willits Skate Park.

ADULT VOLUNTEER SERVICE GROUP

Willits Skate Park Association Board of Directors:

Nikki Burgess
Nancy Dahlen
Karla Downing
Gerri Gonzales
David Madrigal
Holly Madrigal
Ron Orenstein
Jennifer Poole