Written by Steve Garcia
The skateboard has become a standard item of equipment for many young adults. With the growing popularity of skateboarding since it's invention, the skateboard can be associated with youthful energy and adventurousness. In essence, skateboarding may be a solo sport but boarders usually hang around in groups while performing stunts or runs.
It takes coordination to apply balance and grace to master the sport of skateboarding. The fitness benefits as a result of skateboarding are that the joints and the stability of ligaments around the knees and ankles are strengthened. This is in part to the running, boarding and stunt performance involved in skateboarding.
In the late 1950s, the skateboard was invented as a means of surfing outside of water. The idea stemming from surfing enthusiasts, frustration on relying on the weather conditions to surf. The first skateboards were basically the bases of roller skates nailed to the front and back ends of wooden planks.
Standard maneuvers for skateboarding include the 180, 360 and the "Ollie". The "Ollie" was invented by Alan Ollie Gelfand and the manoeuvre involved leaping into the air while having the board stay flush with your feet.
With skateboarding growing popularity, more and more specialized skateboarding parks are being built. Some in which formal competitions are being held such as the popular extreme sports competition, the X-Games.
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When choosing the right equipment for skateboarding it is important to be selective. Skateboards vary depending on the styles of riding you wish to do. Things to pay attention to when choosing a board are the skateboard deck, the trucks (components, which the wheels are attached to), and the wheels, which is the most critical element of a skateboard as it provides functionality and safety. The prices can range from $20 - $200. Other equipment includes helmets that are designed specifically for skateboarding, and protective pads for your knees and elbows and wrist supports. Wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothing and investing in a good pair of skateboarding shoes adds to the skateboarding experience.
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|Cowichan Lake skatepark, Cowichan Lake||West on South Shore through Cowichan Lake until you get to the sports arena. Look behind the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena||outdoor / concrete|
|Courteney Outdoor Skatepark, ourtenay||489 Old Island Highway beside the Courtenay Rec Center/Pool||Outdoor / concrete / sculpted pyramids and fun boxes, grinds, full of huge 9but tight) trannies, hips. Drinking fountain, washrooms & phone at the rec center No entrance fee; open all year round.|
|Duncan skatepark, Duncan||across the island hwy 1 from MacDonalds in Duncan||outdoor / concrete with quarter pipe, ramps, fun boxes, pyramid, rails, and a fast deep little bowl. Porta-potties &washrooms & phone in the arena|
|Gordon Head Recreation Centre, Gordon Head||
4100 Lambrick Way in the Gordon Head Recreation Complex on Fetham Rd. |
From the Ferry, exit hwy 17 south onto Royal Oak which turns into Cordova Bay Rd which turns into Shelbourne. From Downtown, get on Johnson which turns into Begbie which turns into Shelborne.
|outdoor / concrete / drinking fountain / washrooms & phone in the pool collection of fun boxes, pyramid, quarter pipe, railings, and ramps It's open from dawn till dusk.|
|Ladysmith skatepark, Ladysmith||on 6th St beside the Frank Jameson Community Pool & the Ladysmith high school From downtown drive up the hill till you reach 6th St||outdoor / concrete / washrooms & phone in the pool quarter pipe, ramps, stairs, fun boxes, pyramid, rails, railings.|
|Nanaimo Skatepark, Nanaimo||behind the Curling rink on Wall St, Nanaimo Directions: On the corner of the old island highway 19A and Comox Rd is the Tally Ho and the Civic Arena. Go away from the ocean up Comox Rd to the fourth intersection. The park is down the hill on your right, so turn right onto Wall St and right again into the curling rink parking lot. Drive down the far side of the building. Lots of view parking.||outdoor / concrete / night lights / drinking fountain snake run, deep, round bottom bowl, quarter pipe, ramp to ramp, flat bar, manual box, ramps, stairs, railings|
|Nanaimo II skatepark, Nanaimo||
between the Nanaimo Civic Arena and the harbour is the Curling rink on Wall St. |
On the corner of the Old Island Highway 19A & Comox Rd is the Tally Ho and the Civic Arena. Drive into the arena parking lot and all the way to the back of the building.
|outdoor / concrete / night lights just a few grinds and a ramp|
|Parksville skatepark, Parksville||On the waterfront behind the arena, just to the south of the public beach Drive just south of downtown on the Old Island Highway, turn down into the Waterfront Park, go straight past the arena, past its parking lot and into the overflow lot behind. The skatepark is to the left.||outdoor / concrete / drinking fountain, washrooms & phone at the arena split pyramid, play boxes, grinds, quarter pipes, rails, railings, an expansive, full park in an awesome setting. Park with a view. Backgrounds are Straight of Georgia, and the mainland mountains.|
|Echo Skatepark, Port Alberni||At the end of Wood Ave in Port Alberni, at the sports fields||there. Are outdoor / concrete transition, lips, pyramid (launch), and grinding surfaces|
|Port Hardy Outdoor Skatepark, Port Hardy||In the back of the high school||45 degree 8-foot high banked wall that is 16 feet wide, a 6 foot high mini ramp that is 20 feet wide, and a fun box with a curb running the length of the box (8 feet wide 60 degrees on both sides. with a five foot flat in the middle). Also cemented in rails, jump ramps, and a pyramid. Ramps are metal sheeted & sealed. There is no entrance fee and it's open all year round.|
|Quadra Island Skatepark||A six minute ferry ride from Campbell River||Instead of paying $3.00 for the ferry (both ways) tell the ferry operators you are coming back from a soccer practice.|
|Qualicum Beach skatepark||From Memorial Ave [intersects town from freeway to ocean] go all the way north on Fern St, through the Behind the Qualicum Beach Rec and Aquatic Center parking lots and around to the back.||outdoor - concrete with 5' half pipe 20' run 20' long, a 20' spine, pyramid, hubba ledge, grinds, 2 quarter pipes, ledge, slam wall. Drinking fountain, washrooms & phone|
|Sechelt Skatepark, Sechelt||concrete park|
|Sidney skatepark, Sidney||
Located: right beside Hwy 17 in Sidney. |
Turn east off Hwy 17 onto Beacon Ave. Next right onto Bevan Ave and a few blocks to the four way stop. Turn right onto 5th, and again onto Oakville or the next street, Orchard. The park is at the end of the street.
outdoor / concrete pyramid, play boxes, ramps, stairs, quarter pipes, rails, railings, a packed park.|
There are "no parking" and "no stopping signs" to discourage cars. Park a block away, where you're allowed.
|Sooke Skatepark, Sooke||After you cross the bridge entering Sooke (from Vic), drive most of the way up the hill and turn right on Charters Rd. The park is a few blocks at the end of Charters on Thorpe, by the middle school.||outdoor concrete with lights & water fountain|
|Tofino skatepark||To open shortly|
|Vic West skatepark, Esquimalt||From downtown Victoria , cross the Johnson St bridge and Johnson St turns into Esquimalt Rd. Drive a few blocks 'till the park is on your right. Take the next right, go one block and right again. There's a parking lot that looks like it belongs to the apartment next door. That's park parking, out of sight of the skatepark.||Outdoor / concrete closed between 10:30pm and 7am. Gear subject to to impound.|
|West Shore Skate Park, Langford||From Jacklin Rd go 1 block east on Kelly beside the Belmont High School, at the corner of Kelly & Brittany across from the Can West shopping center||outdoor / concrete|