New skateparks and plazas

So there’s a rumour that there could be a park built in my part of Dublin and I’m looking for some references of some banging new skateparks that have been built in recent years - low impact, mellow stuff, like Cardiff Barrage plaza, Micropolis in Helsinki, Vogelfreiheit in Berlin, the larger flat area in Fjaelledparken in Copenhagen, Walthamstow - places like that.

The local council has a track record of going with modular concrete, which is something I’m looking to avoid as one park in particular, Monkstown, looks like was designed by a clueless civil servant picking parts out of a catalogue in 1993. A more recent park, Ballyogan, had its budget slashed to 25% of its original amount to something like €40,000 and it ended up with 2 blocks, a bank, a quarter, a flatbar, a manny pad and a lot of flat. Could be better, but it’s surprisingly good because of the minimalism, perhaps a bit like Mile End.

Soooo, criteria are -

  • Bang for the buck, obviously - budget is minimal (under €100k and Dublin is painfully expensive) so nothing really over 4-5ft /120-150cm in height - stuff like the bowl in Bath is out, as are most bowls to be honest.
  • Low impact - no flights of stairs. though a small 3 up 3 down could be entertaining.
  • Space primarily for pushing - it’s mainly about blocks, manny pads, banks and hips
  • Inventive obstacles - curb to quarter with a dished curb(s) in the middle, quarter down the back of an A-frame/attic ledge, Toblerones, that sort of thing.
  • Great flow - kind of obvious, but yeah, it’s important. I like the look of Kalundborg park in Denmark and the reviewer mentioned the build has most obstacles around the outside.

Basically, trying to hit the holy trinity of good to skate, modest budget and creative design.

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Hmm…I’d argue against Walthamstow in that list. It was designed to be a larger park, but the council cut the budget and pretty much just scaled everything down without consulting the user group on any changes.
It’s a fun park, but it is quite odd as you can only really skate it slowly - and for some stuff, it is too easy to get too much speed. It’s all because of that budget change…

Mile End is definitely the better of those two option for London.

Funny how much grief Churchill got over putting a design forward with low ledges and a lot of flat space…and how incredibly popular that skatepark is.
I just wish it had lights.

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Didn’t know that about Walthamstow. Haven’t skated it, but it looks good from what I’ve seen online…

And yeah, spot on about Mile End. I recall seeing the plans on the old forum in 08 or so and thinking it was total crap!

“It was designed to be a larger park, but the council cut the budget and pretty much just scaled everything down without consulting the user group on any changes” it fucks me off how often that happens. The Ealing skatepark at Gurnell was originally designed to be a lot larger until budget was cut and the space they were allowed to use was reduced. It’s not a terrible park but it’s tight and some of the obstacles don’t work that well

Radlands plaza is really really good.

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Have a look at the street section at Croxley skatepark. All low level but super fun. Ledge heaven. The transition section is for scooter kids so ignore that.
https://www.skateparks.co.uk/hertfordshire/croxley-skatepark/

Croxley is a fucking sick park, aside from the mini ramp which is terrible.

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Totally. The mini ramp in Walthamstow is so weird to skate - it’s fun because it is quite quick, but without redesign, the extension makes it kind of painful as there is no space to milk a grind…just a quick dink on the coping. As much fun as those extensions are, it would be so much better without them.

croxley looks well good.

That double pump bump is off it’s head though

That’s incompetent. Didn’t similar things happen at Dagenham and Truro? IIRC, both had plans to have accurate reconstructions of the Pier 7 manny pads, but the floor ended up being pulled down by 50cm or something.

Hugo, good shout with Radlands.

Chopper, I’m liking the look of that banked stealth fighter wedge block in Croxley, thanks.

This is a big problem I see with modern parks. I don’t know if it’s the park companies or the users, but so many park designs just cram as much shit as possible in without considering the reality of the size of the space, or how it would skate when it’s busy.

It happened with a local park here that had three designs that were voted on by locals. Everyone was swooning over one design because it had loads of features, but I could just tell it wouldn’t work because it’s so crammed together and everything is going in different directions. Low and behold, there’s no space between any obstacles and if there’s more than 5 people it feels too busy. Park designers should add loads of people into the pictures of their designs so people actually think it through a bit better

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fucking truth. i think space is one of the biggest issues for UK park builders. we seem to cater more for scooters than boarders a lot of the time in terms of obstacles but we always try to cram EVERYTHING into the smallest space possible

Been in Liverpool for my Grandad’s funeral (RIP) and I’ve been skating this odd little park in Garston (it’s what he would have wanted):

https://www.skateparks.co.uk/merseyside/garston-skatepark/

The park incorporates materials from the docklands which are right by there. For instance, the ledges are made from shipping containers (with a concrete top and coping). Really fun and no real ramps.

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I went to this park in Easingwold, Yorkshire back in the summer.

Looked great from the design…because you can’t tell scale.
Turns out, you can’t actually hit a lot of the stuff as barely any of the lines exist to get to where you need to go.
That Bankle which the dude on the bench is staring at in the photo is actually almost impossible to hit, for example.
So many thing crammed into a park not much bigger than a single tennis court.

Exactly. I can kind of see why it happens, if you’ve got a bunch of people working with the park company then they’ll all just be trying to fill every space because flatground seems like a waste. We’re hoping to be able to redevelop one of the parks around here and want to be strict about making it more open and plaza like with lots of space, and even when I was pissing about making fantasy designs in Sketchup I’d get to where I thought it looked good then started just adding random obstacles where there was room as I thought it looked too empty haha.

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This is the park I was talking about, in Lewes, East Sussex. Some of you might have been there. Looks good in principle but it’s all so crammed. I’ve never seen a park design where the space didn’t end up smaller than it looked in the plans. That bowl is like 4ft high and they’ve managed to add six features to it. If you get wheelbite down the stairs it sends you head first into the half spine thing. There’s just much random shit that throws you into the way of other shit.

Yeah- I’ve been here with my kids- looks amazing fun when not alot of people there- def alot going on when busy though. It’s a fine line I spose. Worst examples bowl wise are Canteloes and House of Vans bowls for me, just make a long straight section of coping FFS

This always happens to me. I see the design of a new park within driving distance, then you get there and its been squashed together and is unskatable

It also bugs me when there’s a huge green park with a cramped skatepark in it. I’m sure most of the examples in this thread will be like that, it’s not like there’s not space for a bigger park

I remember being in Bournemouth on holiday about 20 years ago and one local park had a small patch of tarmac with a flatbar. Nothing else but it was perfect and blatantly cost like £500. I’d rather more things like that then large unskateable skateparks that cost £80000

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