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Toy Skateboard Parks Suck » The benefits of building a REAL skate park

I had a really cool toy car when I was a kid - several of them in fact. Some where scale models that zipped down my orange hotwheels track, but my favorite was just big enough for me to sit in and ride around our family's basement. Those were the days! Lots of fun!

BUT, I don't drive that car to work. I don't use it to drive to the store for groceries. And I don't load it up with beer when I go to the beach. Know why?

It was a toy!!!

Some toys were inventive, intriguing and stimulating. G.I. Joe was my personal favorite. Then I grew up and needed a REAL car and discovered that playing with dolls (even hardcore soldier dolls) had lost its appeal. So, at my current age, why would I settle for a toy skate park? And why should you?

We shouldn't, but its more complicated than that...

You probably didn't vote for the Mayor of your home town. You may not even know his or her name, but every town has one much the way fast-food restaurants have Mangers. They exist in a bleakly transparent manner - most of the time. But, like the fast-food Manager, your Mayor is responsible for things that happen in town.

For example, if a group of people build a half pipe on private property and neighbors begin to complain about it, the Mayor may need to examine local laws and make ammendments to prevent you from building a structure of a certain size that the public deems bad. A Mayor can't have that! Its the public who will re-elect he or she to another term. The Mayor has to appease them at nearly any cost - monetarily or otherwise.

You'd think one could safely and responsibly build anything (half pipes included) on your own private property. Think again! But, what if you could get the Mayor to build your half pipe on public property? Sounds good, right? In fact, why stop there? Get the Mayor to approve a whole skate park for your local community. Sounds easy. But of course it isn't.

What Is a Toy Park?

Much like the toy car analogy at the start of this article, the toy park is an inexpensive (aka- cheap and poorly made) alternative to the real thing. They are pre-fabricated, modular and small. But their biggest drawback is they are inexpensive. But their inexpensiveness is to the detriment of real skaters who need, crave and deserve a rugged, challenging and well made park.

The companies who make them have the right to and they have the right to sell their dreary creations on the open market, but that doesn't mean its the right product for everyone. Almost everyone needs a car, but it doesn't have to be a Ford, or even a Chevrolet. That decision is up to the buyer!

Money

Money makes the world go round... or so they say. They also say you need to spend money to make money. All in all, money is complicated, political and usually working against you in ways you may not have even thought of. Everyone wants more of it, but only a chosen few have the ability to truly get more of it. You're not one of the chosen. Get used to it and then keep reading...

Mayors will spend money on senic parks, baseball diamonds and such, but not on skate parks. Skate parks are different and misunderstood. No Mayor is going to spend money to erect a park that is not in the best interests of the general public (aka - those who will re-elect the Mayor). That's unfair, but that's life - get used to it and keep on living.

There are many instances when Mayors have been besieged with requests for public skate parks and then have to investigate the logistics (the cost) to stave off this attrocity and convince the voters that skateboading is bad and not worthy of public land or funds. However occaisionally these efforts fail and Mayors have to seriously consider erecting skate parks. It must terrify them to spend money that doesn't directly translate into votes, yet public oppinion can sometimes have this effect.

Saving Money

Saving money is often a good thing unless someone is saving money by taking an inexpensive (aka - terrible) route to a solution. This is where toy park manufacturers come in. They promise a cost effective (although poor) solution. The Mayor comes back with the ability to save the tax payers (none of whom skate) some money and build a park (a crappy park). Money saved is money earned, right? Yes, if you're the Mayor. No, if you had high hopes for a concrete bowl and monster half pipe.

The Mayor doesn't skate. The Mayor doesn't know anyone who skates. The Mayor doesn't understand anything about skateboarding. He or She only knows its a crime and criminals don't need parks!

But, if the Mayor has to give in to criminals, he or she wants to do so on the cheap!

The Conspiracy

By the way, did you know that...

  1. Your Mayor's brother is also the senior partner in the dominant local law firm?
  2. Your Mayor's best friend is a land developer who wants to build a mini-mart on the same plot of land you proposed for a skate park?
  3. Your Mayor's wealthy father supports the Republican National Committee who are headquartered in your town?
  4. Your Mayor's sister is on the local Education board and not pleased by teenage truancy and misbehavior?
  5. Your Mayor can't get federal education funding because of low test scores attributed to truancy and misbehavior?

Seems like a lot of strikes against your park, doesn't it? It is and there are dozens more you will never even know about.

But don't give up - EVER! You can succees like many towns and get a quality park designed by skaters for skaters.

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