“But It’s A Skatepark!”

March 2013

Download a copy of the full report here

Once last summer when an upcoming event posted by a Calgary BMX shop was shared on the Skateparktour.ca FaceBook page, it prompted this response from one skater:

“Get your shit together skatepark tour. Stop promoting BMX at skateparks. If that’s what you want to promote, at least do skateboarders a courtesy and change your name to parktour.ca”

This is not the first time that a skateboarder has made an issue of BMX being included on Skateparktour.ca.  The relationship between skaters and BMX’ers is sometimes “strained” so the comments are not really a surprise. The attempt to get the comment poster to take a wider view about BMX’ers in skateparks failed.  Apparently I am “losing it” according to the poster.

It’s true that skateparks originated because of skateboarding. Back in the day when the first skateparks were being built, BMX and mountain bikes had not been developed yet. Today though, some skaters still hang on to the belief that skateparks are for skateboards and that’s all. They see BMX’ers as invaders in “their” skatepark.  They are called “skateparks” after all, aren’t they?  While it’s not unusual to hear bike riders or skaters complaining about each other, sometimes with justification, in most places the groups have learned to co-exist peacefully and even be friends.

The whole issue did raise a good question though, about how many bikes, and people riding other things that are not skateboards, use skateparks? Are skateboarders still in the majority?  How big is BMX in skateparks?  And what about scooters?  They too seem to be a growing user group in some places. In the summer of 2012 Skateparktour.ca set out to find answers to these questions this study is the result. Check out the infographic below for a summary of the results.