Skateparks Freqently Asked Questions
1. Isn't skateboarding dangerous?
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, it is less dangerous than football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and ice hockey, and about as dangerous as softball! Skateboarding is more of a hazard to non-skating pedestrians, vehicles, and businesses downtown, the only place skaters have to skate locally.
2. Aren't skateboarders a bunch of hooligans?
While it's true that skateboarding has long been a non-mainstream activity, it has also grown in popularity - 16 million Americans skateboard, and it is the subject of international sports competitions (ESPN's X-Games, etc.), major Hollywood movies, top-selling video games, etc. Local teachers, business owners, and professionals have been participating in the sport for decades, and are raising a second generation of young skateboarders in a city with nowhere to skate.

Although a highly individualistic / non-competitive activity, skateboarding is also very social, with a strong sub-cultural identity that transcends race, class, and community. Young skaters have professional role models of all nationalities, ethnicities, and backgrounds to look up to, and a supportive culture that strongly values creativity and diversity - in fashion, music, art, and sport. The excitement of seeing someone exceed their limits to land a trick for the first time - regardless of age, style, difficulty, or precedent - is what skaters cheer each other on for.
3. Is skateboarding still popular?
Skateboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. and has surpassed baseball and football as the healthy activity of choice. There are about 13-million skateboarders in the U.S. with a 10% annual increase in participation during the previous 3 years. Skateboarding is here to stay.

Related fact: Skateboarding enjoyed a 14.4% growth between 1987 and 2001 while baseball and football are in decline, with -24.5% and -17.8% respectively. Source: Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) Sports Participation Topline Report, 2002.

Related fact: Skateboarding participation is second only to snowboarding in terms of growth percentage. Source: National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) annual survey on sporting good sales and participation.
4. Are skate parks loud?
Skateparks are not loud.

A properly constructed concrete skatepark generates about as much sound as a conversation between two people. Wooden parks are slightly louder but still much less than ordinary automobile traffic.

Related fact: A recent study of noise generated at skateparks showed that a typical concrete skatepark generated about 52 decibels of ambient sound at its center. This is greatly reduced by distance and standard noise abatement procedures. An average conversation is around 59-63 decibels. Source: Paul Van Orden, City of Portland, Oregon Office of Planning and Development Review; Noise Control Office
5. Are skate parks expensive?
A world-class concrete skatepark averages $40/square foot. Even at full capacity all day, all year, a properly built park wont show signs of overuse. Compared to the relatively limited use of a tennis court or baseball field, its an efficient and popular use of public park funding. Long-term maintenance expense for a concrete skatepark is minimal. Garbage and general inspection requires only about a half hour a day and can easily be offset by volunteer programs concession sales or vending machines.

Related fact: Routine maintenance of concrete skateparks requires appoximately less than an hour a day. Source: Rod Wojtanik, project manager/landscape architect for Portland, Oregons Parks and Recreations department.
6. Are concrete skate parks more expensive compare to wooden or steel skate obstacles?
The immediate cost of a concrete park is generally 20% more than wooden or steel skate obstacles. However, the maintenance and inspection costs of skate obstacles (loosening of structures, wear and deterioration, etc.) make concrete the long-term preferred choice of city planners and skateboarders.

Related fact: 80% of skateboarders preferred skating on concrete over other materials. Source: Rod Wojtanik, project manager/landscape architect for Portland, Oregons Parks and Recreations department.