Keep your eyes open for this icon on Skateparktour.ca
Clicking on this icon will open up a new tab or window with a view of the skatepark compatible with immersive VR glasses.
Virtual tours designed for VR glasses have two images, one for each eye, which move together. The target icons are links to other locations in the park, just like in regular virtual tours
All skateparks with virtual tours will have the VR glasses tours added this week, and all new virtual tours will have VR glass compatible tours added at the same time. As of today, the parks with the VR glasses tours include:
It's back to the future for Skateparktour.ca as virtual tours return to skateparktour.ca after an absence of a few years!
When Skateparktour.ca first went live back in 2006 visitors were able to explore the skateparks using virtual tours created using Apple's ground breaking QuicktimeVR. The interactive nature of QuicktimeVR let people explore skateparks in an immersive tour, almost as if they were there in person standing on the spot. As technology advanced, QuicktimeVR was left behind and eventually stopped working and Skateparktour.ca had to switch to slide shows to showcase Canada's skateparks. Thanks to the development of affordable spherical cameras and HTML5, virtual tours are back on Skateparktour.ca, and they are bigger, better, and more immersive than ever before!
The new virtual tours come with a set of controls you can use to explore the skatepark. On phones and devices, gestures also work, and you can look around the skatepark by moving your phone too! Clicking/tapping on icons in the tour will take you to that location in the skatepark.
Converting all of the parks to virtual tours will take time because the Skateparktour team is very small and has a limited travel budget. So far 26 (almost 10%) of skateparks have had virtual tours created so far. Here is the list:
Recently Sidney BC replaced their old skatepark with a new, modern, concrete skatepark by Newline Skateparks, and it has replaced the old park on Skateparktour.ca! The new Sidney skatepark page is one of the first on the site that uses a virtual tour rather than a slideshow to show you the park. Please tell us what you think of the new virtual tours, and the new Sidney skatepark!
Being based in Central Alberta with a limited travel budget makes it a challenge to include skateparks from across Canada, but with the help of some local partners in Ontario, Skatearktour.ca has been able to grow our Ontario presence to include 18 skateparks in the past few months.
Old Balls Skateboard Co. got the wheels rolling when our friend Mike B moved east and offered to provide skatepark photos from his Ontario travels starting last summer. So far, Old Balls has added 14 skateparks to Skateparktour.ca, including some in Winnipeg from Mikes long eastward drive.
Spott Dreams of Skateparks is a blog that features photos and comments about skateparks mainly in Ontario, but including some from other provinces too. When blogger Scott L noticed that Skateparktour.ca was adding Ontario parks to its directory he offered to provide photos from parks he has travelled to! In the first few weeks of 2017, Scott has added 5 parks to Skateparktour.ca, 4 from Ontario and one from Manitoba.
Here are some of the newest parks added to Skateparktour.ca in the past week with photos from Spott Dreams of Skateparks:
St Marys is a cool neighbourhood plaza style park ,V shaped park with stairs, rails, ledges and a tight quarter.
The Port Colborne skatepark is a huge park, shaped like a freighter passing through the nearby locks, with a plaza, transition, flow and bowl features to keep everybody entertained!
Nobleton is a fun neighbourhood park with a mellow bank to barrier, ledge/manny combo, wedge, hip, rail, hubba and quarter
Tecumseh is an excellent larger skatepark featuring hand rails, ledges, hubbas, stairs, step-ups, bank to barrier, mini-ramp with a huge extension and more.
Skateparktour.ca also has a couple of photo contributors in other provinces. One on Vancouver Island, is the parent of a young skatepark user, while another is a western Canada based rep for one of the major industry brands, who forward photos of parks taken on his trips through Alberta and Saskatchewan. If you would be willing to contribute photos of your local park, or parks where you travel, please contact Skateparktour.ca!
Thanks to our good friends at Old Balls Skateboard Co., who take the skatepark photos and provide the park information for the directory, Skateparktour.ca now has TEN Ontario skateparks in our growing national skatepark directory!
The Huntsville Rotary Youth Skateboard Park is a great older park with lots of fun features, especially for those with novice to intermediate skills.
The main attraction at Toronto's Vanderhoof skatepark, AKA "The Hoof" is an awesome bowl
When Skateparktour.ca first went live in August 2006, the site included a handful of skateparks in Calgary and along the route to Vancouver and Victoria BC. Today, almost ten ears later, Skateparktour.ca is Canada's largest and most complete skatepark directory with 229 skateparks in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and now including Manitoba! In time, Skateparktour.ca will include every major skatepark in these provinces, providing an increasingly useful resource for traveling and local skatepark users alike to find the best places to ride. As Skateparktour.ca approaches it's 10th birthday, we are stoked to be making another step towards someday covering all 10 Canadian provinces!
The move into Manitoba would not be possible without the park photos provided by Mike from Old Balls Skateboard Co. Please check out their product line and pick up some gear from their online store of from your local board shop.
Keeping the information on Skateparktour.ca up to date is a challenge, as parks change, are built, and occasionally demolished every year. As well, the site has to keep up wth changing technology, such as the ending of support for the Quicktime VR virtual tours that Skateparktour.ca was originally created with. Here are the results of a recent trip to BC which offered an opportunity to update some parks.
Until this week the Fleetwood page still had a QuicktimeVR tour to showcase the skatepark, which no longer work on the web. A few photos later and we have a new tour page for Fleetwood so you can check it out online again!
A few years ago the Guildford Recreation Centre expanded and the old Guildford Bowl has to be demolished as part of the expansion project. The new Guildford Youth Park is a nice plaza suitable for a wider range of users than the old bowl was.
Bonsor also still had a QuicktimeVR tour too, so new photos were needed to show off this iconic BC skatepark!
The original Ambleside Skatepark was 20 years old and the once vibrant skate scene at the park died off as the park grew outdated. After an extensive community based advocacy and fundraising effort, this new Ambleside skatepark replaced the old one in 2015.
The old Mouat bowl was demolished last year and replaced with a new one. Here's the original:
Here's the new Mouat Skatepark constructed closer to the rec centre:
When Skateparktour.ca first went live on August 20, 2006, each skatepark page featured a virtual tour created using Quicktime VR (QTVR) by Apple. Technology has evolved, and in 2015, support for QTVR ended, meaning the virtual tours no longer work. Skateparktour.ca will gradually replace the old QTVR tours with photo tours, but it will take time as Skateparktour.ca is a one person project.
A recently completed inventory of the park pages identified 59 pages (26%) that still have the QTVR tours, and another 66 pages that have photo tours, but are 2nd generation design HTML pages. The QTVR pages are the highest priority, and the following pages have been updated so far this week:
These parks were updated because photos were located of them, and many of the parks will need new photos taken before the page can be updated. If you can take photos of your local park if it has a QTVR tour (especially southern Alberta, South-east BC, and the BC Interior), you can help speed up the process by sending them to Skateparktour.ca by email or Dropbox, but in the mean time, your patience is appreciated!
February 2, 2016
Edson is 200km, about 2 hours, east of Edmonton and the Edson skatepark is the 221st and latest addition to Skateparktour.ca. The skatepark is older and in good condition, and has a wide variety of ledges, banks, rails, manny pads, and transition that are too numerous to list.
In 2015, a concrete pump track was built on the site of the old BMX track. You can generate a lot of speed on the track and at about 2 feet wide, It is a little narrow for most skateboarders, especially in some of the corners. The pump track will be fun for more BMX'ers than skateboarders.
Special thanks to Old Balls Skateboard Co. for the photos!
Stranger BMX is holding a video re-editing contest in January and the winner announced February 1st. If you want to enter, download the raw video from the Stranger website, create your edit, then upload it to your YouTube channel with "Abdullah re-edit" in the title so the Stranger BMX people can find it. The prize for the winner is a prototype Stranger Ballast free coaster hub, that will become available this summer. If you like to edit video, it's a fun project to do at a time of year that getting BMX or skate footage to edit is pretty difficult! Post links to your edit in the comments here or on the Skateparktour Facebook page!