Skateboarding is one of the most popular extreme sports in the U.S. While it was initially linked to young teens and adults, the skating community has expanded to include people of all ages and backgrounds. Unfortunately, finding places to skateboard can be tricky sometimes. For the most part, skaters usually share their favorite spots through word of mouth with the rest of the skating community. But what about people who want to find good places to skate for beginners? What if you’ve just started skating and you don’t have any friends who can introduce you to new spots? Before he became a professional skateboarder, Brandon Novak developed his skills in different skateparks with his buddies. Now, he’s sharing the best places to skateboard in the U.S.
Like any sport, skateboarding requires practice. Avid and beginner skaters alike spend their days practicing in skateparks built to help them hone their skills. If you’re trying to find skate spots near you, check out our list of the best places to skateboard in the U.S.
Burnside Skatepark got its name from its location. It currently sits at the east end of the Burnside Bridge in Portland, Oregon. It gained popularity through features in numerous magazines, video games, and mentions by professional skateboarders. Built in the 1990s, Burnside Skatepark offers a little bit of everything to skaters of all skill levels. You can find wall rides, bowls, hips and bumps, and quarter pipes.This park continues to grow and expand as we speak, ensuring that each skater is catered to.
Kirtsis Skatepark is a concrete wonderland for both locals and tourists alike. This skatepark in Lincoln City offers five outdoor mini skateparks in one, including four bowls: The Mogus Bowl, the Swimming Pool, the Cradle and Half Pipe, and the Snake Run. Kirtsis Skatepark is also one of the largest in Oregon, and it is constantly evolving to include new additions that can help every skater develop their skills. The park is free to all visitors. They’re open from dawn to dusk, giving skaters plenty of time to explore all of the features they have to offer.
Denver is one of the best cities for skateboarding in the U.S. and it’s clear why. Located in the beautiful state of Colorado, Denver Skatepark sits right along the Platte River, north of Downtown Denver. You can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Rocky Mountains as you try out the park’s features. Denver Skatepark is a wide expanse of concrete that offers a variety of obstacles of all sizes and for all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or an expert skater, you can enjoy all this park has to offer.
The DC Shoes Foundation Skate Plaza is special because it was created to serve as a safe place where everyone can skate. It’s part of the Safe Spot Skate Spot program designed by The Rob Dyrdek/DC Shoes Skate Plaza Foundation to offer safe and legal spots for skateboarders. The design of the DC Shoes Foundation Skate Plaza mimics that of a public square, making it a multi-use park. Pedestrians and skaters can meet in this area that’s specifically designed to mesh both sides of the community.
Shifting over to the east coast, Les Skatepark in New York City was first developed under the Manhattan Bridge. Before the city provided sufficient funding, skaters formed this park on abandoned basketball courts. Thanks to Nike SB, the park was officially remodeled and now offers all kinds of cool features for skaters of every level. The park incorporates street obstacles to form features like plastic ramps, rust rails, ledges, jumps, and even a big apple. This park is also similar to FDR Skatepark in Philly, offering a sense of community.
The combination of graffitied walls and its location under a highway overpass makes FDR Skatepark one of the most authentic and best skateparks in the U.S. A skateboarder’s paradise, FDR Skatepark was originally developed on an abandoned piece of property in Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park. It initially lacked funding and was slowly built by volunteers and donated materials. The park is constantly being improved by volunteers; anyone interested in helping is more than welcome. Home to incredible graffiti, FDR Skatepark also serves as a venue where artists, musicians, poets, and skaters can all showcase their talents and raise funds for improvements to the park.
Skatepark of Tampa, often referred to as SPoT, first opened its doors in 1993 and has been a hit ever since. It’s best known for its biggest event, the Tampa Pro contest that’s held every year at the beginning of March. This indoor skatepark is one of the best places to skate for both beginner and expert skaters. Because their contests range in skill level, they offer features for everyone.
As a brand that’s heavily associated with skating, it’s no surprise that Vans has its own skatepark. Vans Skatepark is located in Orange, California, and is both an indoor and outdoor park that can be enjoyed in any kind of weather. Skate pros like Steve Salba and Jeff Grosso are known to frequent Vans Skatepark, so you may even bump into them during your visit. The park originally opened in 1999 and offers multiple sections of obstacles, including a 20,000 square-foot indoor street course. With stair sets, rails, ledges, banks, and manual pads made out of concrete and wood, every skater will have their fair share of challenges.
Bringing it to Jacksonville, Florida, Kona Skatepark has been in operation since the 1970s and is one of the longest-running private skateparks in the United States. It’s home to many “firsts” in the skate world, like introducing the Vert ramp. After experiencing bankruptcy, the park reopened in 1979 and was dedicated to “The Youth of Jacksonville,” becoming a safe spot for the skateboarding community. With its numerous paths, concrete hills, and a “snake run,” skaters of all ages and skill levels can enjoy Kona State Park. Good places to skateboard are hard to find, so if you live in the Jacksonville area or are ever visiting, you should definitely check out Kona Skatepark.
As a part of the skateboarding community, Brandon Novak connected to numerous people and traveled to different places across the country to showcase his talents and celebrate his favorite sport. His heroin addiction threatened to break down his life, but one of the things that helped him at the addiction treatment center and through recovery was his love for skateboarding. Now he works as a certified intervention specialist, offering his intervention services to families all over the country.