On this day, August 20 2006, Skateparktour.ca went live for the very first time! At the top of each page was this header, featuring the first generation logo designed by a graphic artist from somewhere in the Maritimes. He came highly recommended and he eventually provided the much improved 2nd generation logo a couple of years later, which is still in use today.
The initial idea behind skateparktour.ca was to let skaters check out skateparks using virtual tours developed in the then popular, QuicktimeVR. Visitors could click and drag to "turn" on a spot to see the park, and click on "hot spots" to see the park from that location.
The QuicktimeVR tours were time consuming to create, but they were pretty cool and gave visitors lot of control over how they explored the skatepark. In time, technology evolved and QuicktimeVR is no longer supported by modern browsers. Many parks have ben switched to the new slideshow format and in time, all of the remaining parks will be converted as well.
QuicktimeVR is gone but the purpose of Skateparktour.ca remains the same, to let the various skatepark user communities (skaters, BMX'ers, inline skaters, mountain bikers, and yes, even scooter kids, check out skateparks near where they live and travel so they can fid and ride parks that appeal to them. Skateparks are public facilities and none of the user groups is going away, so let's have fund doing what we enjoy, and let others do the same. Skateparktour.ca promotes respect and sharing of skateparks by everyone!
Lots of people have commented that they use Skateparktour.ca to check out skateparks, and some have used the site to plan their own road trips. The skater in the photo below from Hay City Slam in Olds in 2014, is from the Okanagan. He and his family planned and documented summer holiday trips in 2014 and 2015 using Skateparktour.ca!
By the end of the first year Skateparktour.ca had about 30 skateparks in BC and Alberta. There are now 211 skateparks in BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan on the site, plus a popular indoor skatepark page linking to indoor skateparks that stretch from Newfoundland to BC. It is a challenge to keep up to the construction of new skateparks, but the aim is to have every skatepark in BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan included, and to expand across Canada. If your local skatepark is not included, please consider submitting photos to skateparktour.ca so others can know about your park too!
I had a flashback to the past of Skateparktour.ca, and a rude reminder of how many park pages need updating this week. I had a chance to go to Okotoks to take photos of their skatepark, which had been renovated by Newline in 2014. When I looked at the Okotoks page to remind myself where the park was, I was floored to see a first generation Skateparktour page! Skateparktour.ca now has 211 skateparks and all of the new pages are built in PHP, the Okotoks page reminded me how far Skateparktour as come, and that there is some work to do bringing some pages up to date. Heres what the Okotoks Skatepark page looks like now.
The first and second generation skateparktour.ca pages were built in html using Dreamweaver. Key features that stand out:
Skateparktour will still work to expand and add parks not currently included, but as opportunities allow, we'll get photos of the first parks still presented on the old design pages. If you happen to go by one of those parks and can take some photos of it for the site, that would be much appreciated! Please contact Skateparktour.ca.
Skateparktour.ca has built outstanding coverage of Western Canadian skateparks with limited resources, adding new skateparks as often as possible. Photos of parks have been collected for a while now, and here's what has been added in recent days (from east to west):
That brings Skateparktour.ca to 208 skateparks in 3 provinces making it the most complete skatepark director in western Canada! Even more skateparks will be added s the year progresses so check back often!
Back in 2006, looking for places to build sample QuicktimeVR virtual tours of, a tour of Shaw Millennium Park was created. While working on the virtual tour and planing for a holiday trip into BC, I wondered if there were any more skateparks I could make virtual tours for. After returning from the holiday I had photos of about 30 skateparks and skateparktour.ca was born! Over the past 8 years, the site has grown to 202 skateparks in BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan and it has become an important tool for many and a heavily visited website.
This summer while taking photos at the Hay City Slam BMX,comp, and Skate comp, I met a family from the Okanagan that was doing their own skatepark tour using skateparktour.ca to plan their trip. The kids' Mom showed me the book they were putting together on the trip, and the skatepark lists from the site where they would check off the parks they had visited. Hearing the stories of their trip and seeing the enthusiasm everyone in the family had for skateboarding and for checking out the skateparks was gratifying and rewarding to say the least. This is the vision that has driven the development of skateparktour.ca for the past 8 years, people having fun, being active, following their passion, and exploring skateparks
Along the way I've been able to provide information and varying degrees of support for groups advocating for new skateparks where they live. Several of these have turned into new, concrete skateparks. The Skatepark Advocacy section includes some original research as well as links to resources and the work of others striving for the same goals so other groups can benefit from the experiences of others. There are still plenty of communities needing new parks and skateparktour.ca is happy to support them whenever possible.
The future is just as exciting for skateoarktour.ca as the past 8 years have been. Later this year, skateparktour.ca is proud to be park of an initiative to help grow skateboarding by certifying people to effectively teach beginner and intermediate skaters so they can have even more fun and progress their skills faster. More BC skateparks will be added this fall, and there is hope for a photo trip to Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan as well. Eastward expansion has been a goal for several years, and a few Saskatchewan Skateparks including the Lions Skatepark, Saskatoon SK were added in 2013. A mobile site is also in the plans, depending on available time and money.
Thank you for your support for skateparktour.ca, for sharing the site with your friends (no matter what kind of wheels they ride!), and for being a fan of Facebook, twitter, and Instagram. Here's to many more years for western Canada's most complete skatepark directory!
For years, skateparktour.ca has wanted to move east into Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and this week, the first Saskatchewan parks are being added to Canada's best skatepark directory! Hopefully 2014 will see Regina and Southern Saskatchewan parks added, as well as the many Manitoba parks that are worth stopping for on your cross-Canada road trips!
The first park, added today, is the Lions Skatepark in Saskatoon with the 7 Saskatoon skate spot sized facilities and the North Battleford skatepark soon to follow.
The weather is holding, barely, so before the winter snows fly get out on your skateboard or bike and shred as any parks as you can!