Skateparktour.ca started back in 2006 with a Quicktime virtual tour of Shaw Millennium Park in Calgary. The plan was to market virtual tours to businesses and the Mills tour was intended to be a demo. In the summer of 2006, during a holiday trip into BC, web searches turned up a bunch of skateparks along the route and by the end of the trip, photos of some 30 skateparks had been taken and the idea of Skateparktour.ca was born. Skateparktour.ca would be a web directory where skaters on road trips could easily find the skateparks along the way, and see the park before they departed so they'd know if it was worth stopping at. That purpose still hasn't changed.
With the addition of the Lumby Skatepark in Lumby BC this week, Skateparktour.ca now includes 175 skateparks in BC and Alberta. That total includes only skateparks with dedicated pages on the site, not those indoor skateparks on the indoor page where all there is are links to their website. The 175 park total includes 64 Alberta skateparks and 111 skateparks in BC, and that's not the end of it yet. There are at least 16 more BC skateparks and another 22 Alberta parks on the radar screen, not to mention the long awaited (and expensive) trip to Saskatchewan and Manitoba to add those provinces too.
Almost all of the photos taken for Skateparktour.ca were taken by one person but some fantastic people have submitted photos of parks in distant areas so they can be included too. Special thanks to Mike from Fort McMurray who is collecting photos of the three parks there so those going to live and work in the oil sands can find the skateparks there too.
Skateparktour.ca has proven to be a very popular and useful tool for skaters and BMX'ers living and travelling in Western Canada. More skateparks are coming, and if you know of any that aren't yet included on Skateparktour.ca, please use the contact page to pass the information along, or to summit photos of your favourite park.
After about 5 years of advocating, fundraising, and planning, the new Drayton Valley Skatepark is open to enjoy. A large group of local youth along with many adult volunteers worked for several hours on Friday September 21st to lay sod, putting some finishing touches on the new park. The lights have been installed but the power hasn't been hooked up yet, but they will be appreciated for extending the days to skate and ride the park with the earlier fall sunsets once the power is on.
The Drayton Valley skatepark committee and Newline Skateparks have created a unique 9300 sq ft park in Drayton. The design features the usual banks, manny pads, rails, leges, gaps, and stair sets as well as a horseshoe bowl (open on one end) which is a popular feature in recent skateparks. Unique to Drayton Valley as far as I know is the fun track, a series of banks arranged much like a snake run but it is wider, has a couple of bumps in the middle, and a grass gap. You can go either direction in the track and it's possible to build up a lot of speed, so the fun track is sure to live up to its name!
This skatepark was built because of some amazing personal efforts, hard work by a large number of people, and the support of many in the community. When I spoke to adult members of the Drayton Valley Skatepark Committee though, they all emphasized the powerful role that the youth members of the community played in selling Drayton Valley on the value of a new skatepark. So that other communities can learn from Drayton Valley's success, Skateparktour.ca will follow up with another article to share the story of how the Drayton Valley skatepark came to be.
Some holes in skateparktour.ca's coverage of Vancouver Island have been filled after a recent trip to the island. Four more skateparks have been added, including Duncan and Ladysmith, as well as two Nanaimo skateparks, the Bowen Bowl, and Rotary Skatepark (AKA Pioneer).
There are more skateparks coming to skateparktour.ca as a result of this trip. Photos of the new Mount Pleasant skate spot as well as skateparks in Coldstream and Lumby are being processed and will be added to skateparktour.ca in the near future.
The Pitt Meadows Skatepark in Pitt Meadows BC is the first new skatepark on Skateparktour.ca in a while, but more BC parks are coming in the next while.
Last week while visiting the Chinook Winds Skatepark in Airdrie, Skateparktour.ca was very surprised to find that the largest user group in the skatepark was the scooter riders. There were 44 users in the skatepark at the time. 10 were skateboarders, 12 were bmx'ers, 2 were inline skating, there was one mountain biker, and there were 19 scooters. Scooter riders appeared to be as young 8 or 9 and up to 14 or 15 years old. It’s not unusual for scooter kids to ride skateparks but it was surprising that there were so many at one time, and that older teenagers were riding scooters instead of skateboards or bikes. Where are they all coming from? Is this the sign of a new trend?
Scooters are very popular in some parts of the world and it seems that they may be growing in popularity here too. Several people have commended recently that there seems to be more scooters in skateparks, but Airdrie was a first for skateparktour.ca. That older teenagers are riding scooters is another sign of growing popularity of scooters, which have been around for at least a decade.
Bikes in skateparks sometimes annoy skaters; some skaters even say skateparks are for skateboarders only. For them this possible trend won’t be good news. Whatever we choose to ride on two wheels, or four, we need to respect those who prefer to ride something else. Everyone (or their parents) pay taxes no matter what they ride. Skateparks are largely funded by public money so there’s no keeping those who choose to ride other wheels from enjoying the same skatepark. When you go to the skatepark, have fun, share the lines with everyone else, and be sure to add to the positive vibe. Everyone will have more fun that way.
Construction started today (June 19th) on the new skatepark in Drayton Valley Alberta, the 4th new skatepark to be opened in central Alberta in the 12 months starting in October 2011. The Drayton skatepark is being built by Newline Skateparks, the Vancouver based firm that also built the Lacombe, Sylvan Lake, and (the soon to open) Sundre skateparks. Skateparktour.ca will stay on top of construction progress so you can take a road trip to Drayton to check out the park when it is done.
In his speech prior to cutting the ribbon to formally open the Lacombe Skatepark, Lacombe Mayor Steve Christie praised the various partners that came together to make Lacombe's outstanding skatepark a reality. Anyone looking to get a skatepark built in their town should follow Lacombe's lead. This excellent skatepark would not be here without the help of these partners:
The skatepark committee is to be commended on their determined and dedicated over the past 3 years. The youth members and the adult members passionately pursued their goal of creating one of Alberta's top skateparks, and now it is ready for everyone to enjoy. Congratulations Lacombe!
Here are some action photos from the grand opening yesterday:
Last week in an article titled Skateparks popping up like popcorn in Alberta, Skateparktour was stoked to say that 20 skateparks had been built in Alberta since Skateparktour.ca went live in 2006. Thanks to Jim Barnum from Spectrum Skatepark Creations, I stand corrected, there have been 7 8 additional skateparks built in that time bringing the total to 27 28 new, concrete skateparks in Alberta!! The complete list is below with the new additions in bold:
I'm not sure why Brooks and Castledowns missed the list, put them down to bad memory becasue they are both represented with tours on Skateparktour.ca. I now have in Cadotte Lake, Slave Lake Fort McMurray, and Whitecourt on the radar screen for tours, when travel can be arranged there someday. Contributions to travel expenses anyone?
New skateparks have been popping up all over Alberta over the past few years. Since Spateparktour.ca went online in 2006 new skateparks have been built in Airdrie. Black Diamond, Cochrane, Callingwood (Edmonton), Canmore, Grosvenor (Edmonton), Langdon, Leduc, Morinville, Olds, Ponoka, Strathmore, Taber, and the Westside rec Centre in Calgary (replacement park). Late last fall the new parks in Lacombe and Nanton opened and there are new skateparks in Sylvan Lake, Sundre, Grande Prairie opening this summer. A major new park in Red Deer that will likely open in the spring of 2013 as well. That is 20 new skateparks in 6 years, not counting the proposed park in Edmonton that Skaetparktour does not have a status update on. Notable in it's absence is the City of Calgary has only one privately owned skatepark on the list, none public. Hopefully the newly approved and very supportive Skateboard Ammenity Strategy sees construction start in the province's largest city soon.