There’s a camaraderie amongst skaters — usually a motley crew of young people who exist on the fringes. And having their own space, a skate park, to gather and cheer one another on amplifies those feelings of connectedness. Which is why — skater or not — skateparks are truly a blast to hang at. You don’t have to ever have gotten on a board to feel the energy.
This summer, there are festivals and theme parks and airline tickets clamoring for your dollars. But skare parks almost never cost a dime. You can rock up and share in the creative, communal atmosphere — whether you’re skating or just watching. Here’s a list of places to start.
Burnside Skatepark, Portland Oregon
There are few parks that truly feel as counterculture-y as Burnside. The skatepark was a grassroots effort by Portland skaters who grew sick of waiting for an official skatepark to be built in 1990, so they made one themselves under Burnside Bridge. Illegally. It was built in secret by skaters for skaters.
Burnside may now be recognized by the city, but it’s never lost that spirit of rebellion.