Parks & Recreation, the official magazine of the National Recreation and Park Association, an organization whose goal is to advance parks, recreation and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people. The target audience is park professionals, urban planners, and concerned citizens. Kent Dahlgren, Executive Director of Skaters for Public Skateparks and long time Portland OR scenester wrote an article for the magazine titled “Taking It To the Street.” The article is not available on the NRP web site, but we have some highlights, complete with the requisite grunge typeface. How extreme.
Taking it to the Street. starts with some common misconceptions about skateboarding a brief history of skateparks. It then goes on to explain that current parks don’t address the types of terrain that skaters typically skate (implying there is too much tranny) before going on to explain how a system of parks and spots can better serve a skateboarding community’s needs. At some point it makes it clear that SPS recommends a 60/40 split in favor of street terrain over transition. A “tidy and artificial mindset” is how transition heavy bowl-centric skateparks are described.
Fortunately, the article seems to focus on building engaging skate spots rather than harping on the transition issue. We here at Skate and Annoy obviously lean towards the tranny aspects of skateboarding and can not agree with the tidy and artificial mindset that street courses should dominate skatepark design. To be blunt, why build a bunch of naturally occurring obstacles? Just to keep things legal? Sounds boring to us. However, we can fully stand behind the idea of more creative thought in skatepark design that leads to more unusual obstacles rather than a bunch of static steps and ledges. Ditches, brick banks, paths (smells like a snake run, and we love snake runs) and other areas that go beyond endless manual pad and box variations. We’re all for it. And by “We” I mean me, because this web site is at least 95% one man show at this point. Oh well. We need an official Skate and Annoy Street Correspondent.
Please note, the clippings below are out of context and should not be treated as representative of the entire article. I’ll post a link to it when NRP.org makes it available.