There is no venue in the world quite like a skatepark, where the shreddage is as constant as the ocean’s rhythmic tide. For surfers, skateparks act as proverbial mistresses, accommodating them when they’ve been stood up by a flat ocean (which happens all too often… poor guys). For land-loving skateboarders, skateparks serve as eternal sanctuaries for fun, concealing undiscovered lines and sections to be uncovered by only the most creative of riders. Skateparks attract a diverse array of characters, from the surfer involuntarily turned skateboarder, to the bmx rider, to the occasional scooter kid with light-up sneakers. And it is for this reason that skateparks have been constructed across the globe.
But while it is true that nearly every community park contains at least a small subsection of ramp studded space, skateparks haven’t always been as prominent as they are today. In fact, prior to the rise of the Z-Boys of Venice Beach a.k.a Dogtown in the 1970’s, skateparks were non-existent. Skateboarders weren’t skateboarders; they were surfers who were tired of waiting around for waves. Skateboards weren’t skateboards, either; they were pieces of scrap wood cut and shaped into miniature surfboards with wheels bolted on to them. Nevertheless, the shallow roots by which skateboarding first ingrained itself gave way to the fully blossomed state of skateboarding today, and caused an explosion of popularity prompting the world to get involved.
Part of that involvement meant creating a place for skateboarders to skate. Thus, from the mid-1970’s to today, thousands of skateparks have been built all over the globe to encourage extreme sports enthusiasts of all ages to give skateboarding a spin. As you might have guessed, it caught on. Here is a list (in no particular order) of the greatest skateparks in the world. You’re going to want to add these to your bucket list:
Lake Cunningham Skatepark
Picture shown above
Address: 2305 S White Rd
City: San Jose, California
Perhaps in response to China’s grandiose skateparks, Lake Cunningham Skatepark is one of the biggest skateparks in the U.S.A. and favorite among national skateboarding professionals such as Tony Hawk and Bucky Lasek. This park includes numerous life-threatening obstacles. So, wear your helmet, kids.
(Image: Skateparks Guiden)[/caption]
Address: Stora Varvsgatan 17 21119
City: Malmo, Sweden
The Swedish are known for their expertise in the fields of engineering and design, and Stapelbaddsparken Skatepark is no exception. This skatepark is jam-packed with bowls, quarter-pipes, cradles, and stairs, offering something for everyone, no matter their skill level. Pay Stapelbaddsparken a visit, even if just to tell your friends you visited somewhere called Stapelbaddsparken.
Address: 2 SE 2nd Ave.
City: Portland, Oregon
It doesn’t get much better than a skatepark designed and constructed by the men and women who skate it, which is exactly what Burnside Skatepark is. Featured constantly in skateboarding magazines for its flowy design - and even making virtual appearances on Tony Hawk video games - Burnside Skatepark is the manifestation of a skateboarder’s dream park. Built under a bridge, Burnside skatepark awaits you… rain or shine.
Venice Beach Skatepark
Address: Venice Way
City: Venice, California
It doesn’t get more legendary than the Venice Beach Skatepark, built in the very city where skateboarding as we know it today came to be. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s, Venice Beach Skatepark was a mecca for skateboarders from around the world. With state of the art bowls and transitions, where names like Christian Hosoi, Tony Alva, and Jay Adams have all laid down some of the best skating the world has ever seen, this skatepark is as fabled for its history as it is for its design.
(Image: Edge Unite)[/caption]
Address: Chell Street, Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 6BB
City: Stoke-On-Trent, England
It isn’t hard to get stoked at Stoke Plaza. Spanning 34,000-square-feet and costing half a million pounds, Stoke Plaza is a vast playground for skateboarders which offers ledges, banks, steps, handrails, and more. With the perfect combination of street and vert, Stoke Plaza will leave you feeling... rad.
(Image: Kona Skatepark USA)[/caption]
Address: 8739 Kona Ave
City: Jacksonville, Florida
Kona Skatepark is one of the oldest skateparks in the United States and the largest on the east coast. With old school concrete vert and a downhill snake run, Kona Skatepark revives an age of skateboarding long past when handrails and stairs were simply means of getting to the top of a massive ramp.
The Black Pearl
Address: Grand Harbour, Cayman Islands
City: Cayman Islands
Aptly named The Black Pearl, this skatepark is situated just minutes from the beach in the tropical Cayman Islands. The result of a lot of space and even more concrete, The Black Pearl is a vast skatepark with over vert sections, rails, banks, vert walls, and more. With a $20 admission fee, The Black Pearl is one of the most expensive skateparks out there. But if you’re already in the Cayman Islands, well… what’s another twenty bucks. Cash out and go skate, mon!