Guide to building a skatepark

Z – Bad example 1

First of all we have Bilbrook skatepark in the West Midlands.

Bilbrook skatepark, west midlands

At first I thought this park looked good, for the following reasons:

– very basic, no-nonsense setup. Linear layout with two seperate ‘lanes’ allows two people to use the setup at the same time without risk of collision, but the entire setup can be ridden by one person.

– choice of transitioned ramps, flat banks and a grind box – this makes it a bit more varied and suitable for skateboarding and BMX – the side with the grind box and flat bank suits a ‘street’ style of riding, while the spine and quarterpipe suits people who like to go fast and high in the air.

– the metal construction frame will be noisy, but very difficult to vandalise and impossible to burn.

– the Skatelite (polymer/composite) surface is almost as good as wood, but without the flammability or susceptibility to rot.

But then I saw a closer picture and noticed a few bad things:

– the grindbox is far too low. I doubt that it’s high enough for someone on a BMX to grind.

– The spine could be a bit wider (which would need to be met by a wider quarterpipe at each end), giving riders more space to ‘carve’ across the ramp.

– The copings look unusually small. Slightly larger coping is easier to balance on.

The worst part is that someone decided it would be a good idea to put steps leading up to the grindbox.

Bilbrook skatepark, west midlands


As you have probably read elswhere on this site, steps are possibly the worst thing to have started appearing in skateparks over the last few years. I can’t understand the mentality of someone who thinks it’s a good idea to put something that actually stops people from riding, into a skatepark where people go specifically to ride!

Steps are an obstruction. Please don’t put them in skateparks. They don’t work.

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