What do you picture when you think of skateboarding? A bunch of young guys who don’t care about the world, be it the cops, the neighbors, or even each other.Skate boarding has gone a long way since its early inception in the 80s and 90s where it was considered trespassing in many places.At the time, it was common for skaters to have to sneak into a street to practice while avoiding law enforcement. Skate boarding culture at the time was more niche and closer knit than it is today, this was reinforced with the increased presence of bike police during Rudi Giuliani’s tenure as Mayor.
But alas, times have changed since the 80s and 90s. Now several skateparks have been authorized by New York City Parks and Recreation. Several parks have been redesigned or created in collaboration between the Parks department and a renowned member of the New York skateboarding community, Steven Rodriguez. Now, there are dozens of places that are authorized by the Parks and Recs department. These places are a great place to find practice or have fun for skaters of all skill levels. Whether you are a newcomer to the city that never sleeps, a veteran skater, or a beginner, these 5 locations spread throughout the Burroughs of New York City are a great place for skateboarding.
Manhattan: Les Coleman Skate-park
One of the oldest and most well-known skate parks in the city, Les Coleman was renovated in 2012 in a collaborative project between Steve Rodriguez and New York Department of Parks and Recreation.The greater park area lies on the border between Chinatown and Lower Eastside. This park features a suite of modern features including rails, pyramids, ledges, and jumps. It is run by the Department of Parks and Recreation. To enter, you must have a liability waiver, knee pads, a helmet, and wrist guards.
Brooklyn: Owl’s Head Millennium
Another one of New York’s older skateparks, this was built in 2001 and is a great destination for those who wish to use a bowl as Owl’s Head is one of the few skate parks in the city that includes a bowl. The bowl is a 6ft deep combi bowl with a double coping spine. It contains a street course containing rails, banks, and bowled corners as well. As a finishing note, the park next to the skatepark looks nice as well.
Queens: Far Rockaway Skatepark
A brand-new skate park built in 2011. This was built partially because the previous park in Rockaway beach was closed due to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2011. Inline skates are permitted in this parkby the Department of Parks and Recreation. It is a nice place for those who want to have a smooth skating experience and is overall a great stage for beginners.
Bronx: Bronx Park
A massive 6000 sqft skate park that includes a variety of modern equipment like quarter pipes, bank ramps with edges, a skate pyramid, and grind rails. Because it is a parks and recreation managed skatepark, you can enter for free and without supervision, but you should fill out the liability waiver beforehand.
Staten Island: 5050 Skatepark
The sole privately owned skatepark on this list and the only indoor skatepark in the city. This is a versatile park that offers a wide scope of services for all comers if you can pay the fees. Daily ride lessons start at $14.00 dollars while all day lessons are set at $20.00. You must have a helmet and waiver filled out by a parent if you are under 18. For kids under 11, you must be accompanied by a parent going into this skatepark. Other services that 5050 offers include private lessons, summer camps, and awards contests. The indoor nature of 5050 Skatepark is that it is open all year round.