What is Skatepark Etiquette?

What is Skatepark Etiquette?

May 4, 2023

There’s no denying that one of the hallmarks of modern action sports is the prevalence of skateparks. With hundreds of parks throughout Canada, and more being planned, funded, and built every year, the skatepark has practically become as common a sight as playgrounds, soccer fields, and basketball courts.

Going to a skatepark for the first time can be exciting, nerve-racking, and if one isn’t careful, even dangerous. To someone not familiar with a new park, or with skateparks in general, the flurry of skateboarders, quad and inline skaters, BMXers, and scooters can look chaotic, but veterans of these activities know that this is an organized chaos, and one largely dependant on a series of unwritten rules and guidelines one is expected to follow while in the park, otherwise known as skatepark etiquette.

Why Should I Know Skatepark Etiquette?

One of the defining characteristics of action sports, and one of the most attractive things about them to many people, is simply that there are no rules. This begs the question, however: if there are no rules, then why should I know or follow skatepark etiquette?

The answer, most simply, is that abiding by skatepark etiquette will make sure everyone at the skatepark has the safest, most enjoyable time they can. These rules don’t exist to dictate the correct way to use your board, bike, skates, or scooter. Rather, they exist to guide you on how to best share the common space that is the skatepark for everyone’s mutual benefit.

Further, it’s important to mention that these are guidelines. Like with any other form of etiquette, some rules may or may not apply depending on the park, the people using it, or any other number of factors, so ultimately we recommend that you simply try to use your best judgment and follow the golden rule whenever you’re unsure.

With that said, let’s look at some of the most important pieces of etiquette you should be following.

No Snaking

No matter the social situation, no one appreciates being cut off or having someone jump ahead of them in line without asking. At the skatepark, this is known simply as snaking.

The most common obstacles where snaking can be a problem are miniramps and bowls, but in any instance where lots of people are using a single obstacle it’s important to avoid snaking others.

How to Avoid Snaking

When you first arrive at the obstacle in question, keep a mental note of the order people are using it. Follow cues from others there to figure out when to take your turn (often one or more will openly acknowledge you).


If the session is particularly heated, or you’re worried about being snaked yourself, give some sort of indication that it’s your turn to take a run, such as raising your hand or calling “next!”. Lastly, if you do accidentally snake someone, simply apologize and wait for your turn to come back around.

Don’t Be an Obstacle

Especially at busy skateparks, it’s easy to find yourself standing around and waiting to take a run, or taking a seat to catch your breath. It’s important, however, to make sure you aren’t standing or sitting somewhere that impedes others’ use of the park.

Standing in the middle of the park is the most clear and obvious transgression to avoid, but certainly not the only one. For instance, despite how perfectly ledges and benches within the park itself may look for sitting, remember that within the confines of the park they were designed and placed as obstacles to be ridden on, and there are likely people in the park at that moment who want to do just that.

Similarly, while standing at the top of a quarterpipe or halfpipe, always stay back from the lip, and keep yourself and your board/bike/skates/scooter off the coping until just before you drop in.

Call Loose Boards

It’s not uncommon for a skateboarder to lose their board when they miss a trick, and depending on how this happens, it can be all too easy for a rogue skateboard to turn into a high-speed ankle-seeking missile.

Similar to golfers yelling “fore” after a swing, calling “board” when your skateboard shoots out from under you can help others avoid a potentially session-ending shinnner.

A Skatepark ≠ a Playground

It can be easy, at a glance, for those who don’t skate, bike, or scoot to see a skatepark as a playground; plenty of inclines, stairs, and other things to climb, balance on, and slide down.

The reality, however, is that like basketball courts, baseball diamonds, or any other sporting or recreation area, skateparks are designed to accommodate a specific activity first and foremost.

Consider this: in an open, unused soccer field, there’s nothing wrong with people using it for other activities. However, what if that same field already has people playing or practicing soccer on it? Ultimately, the same logic should apply to skateparks.

Simply put, if people are using the skatepark as intended, do not enter it unless you intend to do the same.

Be Cool

Action sports can oftentimes be both physically and mentally taxing. It can be all too easy for us to get too into our own heads during an especially heated session, and when that happens we run the risk of letting our inward-facing frustration get projected outwards, often unfairly, onto others.

Ultimately, remember that everyone at the skatepark is there for the same reason, and regardless of age, gender, skill level, action sport of choice, or any other variables, everyone at the skatepark deserves to be there, and to enjoy the experience.

Practice Your Skatepark Etiquette This Spring with Evolve!

Looking for somewhere to brush up on your skatepark etiquette, and maybe some tricks? What better way than to visit a bunch of parks with Evolve!

Evolve offers programs that give kids the opportunity to hone their skills at skateparks across the GTA, Calgary, and Vancouver in a safe, supportive, and fun atmosphere.

Spring sessions are kicking off, and spaces are limited, so sign up now to reserve your spot and see the best skateparks that your city has to offer!

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