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8 Obstacles to Avoid in a Skatepark

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I’ve been a bit slack this week with the blogging, but its been a busy one over the last couple of weeks, having more than one job has it’s drawbacks and there are only so many hours in the day (Sigh). Anyway, before the excuses start piling up, I figured that a bit silliness was in order for this blog. As you might already know I’m a big fan of Jenkem Magazine and their articles on the different kind of skaters you might meet or the weirdos and crazies that you find in a skatepark. So I guess this goes out to those guys at Jenkem.

People to avoid in a skatepark

The skatepark is full of obstacles, some of them are part of the park itself, ramps, ledges and rails, but some of them are of an organic nature and more unpredictable than the trusty old concrete. Here is my list of unpredictable obstacles that annoy the s**t out of you that you could probably find and want to avoid in a skatepark in the UK.

Buggy Mothers and offspring.

People to avoid in a skateparkBuggy Mothers, usually travel in pairs, each has at least two kids, one each in the buggy/pushchair, the rest of them who’s combined ages is less than ten years are let loose in the park on some form of wheeled object, it could literally be anything. These kids obviously have no concept of how a park works and is constantly cutting across the fastest drop-in, ride up or ride out, also appear to be deaf to the warnings of other park users. You’ll notice a distinct lack of supervision as the Buggy Mams put the world to rights over a box of Lambert and Butler. Any reaction from parents is the barrage of abuse the child gets should it fall over or get ran into. If you are really unlucky the Buggy Mams will attempt to verbally assault you, using language normally reserved for a Tarantino film, if their unsupervised child falls under your wheels. Sometimes the male equivalent can be seen lurking at the park, usually with arms folded issuing constructive abuse at their clearly frightened child.

The Group of Weird Girls.

Weird as in behaviour, aged anywhere in the early to mid teens, travel in groups of three or more. Has a tendency to flock to whatever you’re skating at the time at sit there oblivious to their surroundings. Will ask dumb questions like “So, like, are those proper skaterboy trainers?”. Will assume the skatepark doubles up as an adventure playground using the ramps like a slide and screaming high enough to shatter glass. Leaves small deposits of chewing gum on everything they touch. Can usually be coaxed away from park with reason, but, occasionally one of the little princesses will take it upon themselves to inform you of your mistake.

The Know it all Chav.

Usually on their own, sometimes a slightly less intelligent and silent companion in tow. Probably topless or in a vest, might smell of cider, always trying to get a cigarette off someone, missing at least one front tooth. Might have a dog, or a horse. Although not really a threat to anyone he is best avoided if possible. Interaction will cause you to despair at the obvious decline in the national average IQ. He will believe it his right to inform you about the intricacies of your chosen sport and hobby. Possibly should be commended for his dedication to stupidity and sheer volume of misinformation he confidently distributes.

Fashion Victim.

People to avoid in a skateparkCan be found sat at in the park, usually on a block or bench, very rarely actually seen using the park or actually riding anywhere at all. Owns a nice board/shoes etc but they look unused. Smokes as many tabs as Dot Cotton. Constantly going on about the extensive catalogue of tricks they have performed, but when asked have an even bigger catalogue of excuses for why they can’t do it that day. Clearly enjoys the idea of it all but not prepared to put in the effort to learn anything and would rather make up fictitious stories in the hope of social acceptance. Sometimes large groups congregate around the park, usually in the most heavily used areas. Essentially posers.

Hockey Temper Monster.

It’s good to let of a bit steam if you’re not making the trick you’re trying. Vent it out, compose, try again. It could even be considered healthy to get that aggression out, a release. The hockey temper sometimes takes you by surprise and you can flip out at the person unlucky enough to be closest to you. It seems though that some people spend their entire time they are ‘having fun’ in hockey temper mode. They will loose their s**t at the drop of a hat, for the most trivial of things, red in the face, shouting at the top of their voice, sometimes near tears, throwing board at floor or smashing it of a rail. Can put the stink on a mood in minutes, highly embarrassing for everyone in the park.

The Park Hero.

Known by everyone in the park, was said to have done this gnarly trick once, has a moderate level of competence at riding the park. All three of which have given him delusions of grandeur turning him into a complete douche. Thinks that he’s the only person worthy of riding the park, will not tolerate others riding the same line, has no concept of taking his turn and a massive snake. Can switch into hockey temper unexpectedly at any moment but will either back down or gather his mates if confronted.

Scooter Kids.

Things to avoid in the skateparkThe bane of all skateparks, average age of about 14, assumed blind to anything outside of a one meter radius, highly skilled at snaking, impervious to reason. Rarely in groups of less than 10, scooters flock in herds from one side of the park to the other. If not attempting endurance laps of the skatepark they congregate like the Fashion Victim near an obstacle. Capable of covering a park in sweets, crisps, pop, chewing gum and/or spit in a matter of minutes. Although having only being alive half of the time you’ve been skating have superiour knowledge of the history of skateparks and the difficult process involved in campaigning the local council to have one built. Can often be heard saying “There should be one skatepark for scooters and one for everyone else!”

The Spitter.

The affliction of spitting holds no prejudice, any sane individual might fall victim to it’s evil ways. OK, so sometimes you have to spit, that’s fine, just spit outside of the park, easy enough right? No, some people are so tragically afflicted that lung-slugs seem to continuously flow from their mouths on to the floor of the park. Skaters, BMXers and Bladers can all be guilty of spitting on the park. But by far the worst offenders are Fashion Victim, Know it all Chav and Scooter Kid. Confrontation results in speedier spit production, leading to a large body of ‘water’ being formed and various aquatic life soon emerging.

There’s my 8 obstacles (yes, that means people) to avoid in a skatepark, there are others, but these 8 are those that bug me the most at the moment. Look out for them, avoid if possible, certainly don’t invite them round for tea. So be careful out there, the skatepark, especially outdoor parks without an entry fee, attract the loons, nutters and intellectually challenged.

Here’s a totally unrelated video, enjoy.




Skateboarder since 1997. Ex-artist for FSU Skateboards and Dope Clothing Company. Ex-skateboard coach for 7 years. Amateur Film maker and Photographer.

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