Calgary Skateboarding - information about the sport
Written by Steve Garcia
The skateboard has become a standard item of equipment for many young adults. With the growing popularity of skateboarding since it's invention, the skateboard can be associated with youthful energy and adventurousness. In essence, skateboarding may be a solo sport but boarders usually hang around in groups while performing stunts or runs.
It takes coordination to apply balance and grace to master the sport of skateboarding. The fitness benefits as a result of skateboarding are that the joints and the stability of ligaments around the knees and ankles are strengthened. This is in part to the running, boarding and stunt performance involved in skateboarding.
In the late 1950s, the skateboard was invented as a means of surfing outside of water. The idea stemming from surfing enthusiasts, frustration on relying on the weather conditions to surf. The first skateboards were basically the bases of roller skates nailed to the front and back ends of wooden planks.
Standard maneuvers for skateboarding include the 180, 360 and the "Ollie". The "Ollie" was invented by Alan Ollie Gelfand and the manoeuvre involved leaping into the air while having the board stay flush with your feet.
With skateboarding growing popularity, more and more specialized skateboarding parks are being built. Some in which formal competitions are being held such as the popular extreme sports competition, the X-Games.
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When choosing the right equipment for skateboarding it is important to be selective. Skateboards vary depending on the styles of riding you wish to do. Things to pay attention to when choosing a board are the skateboard deck, the trucks (components, which the wheels are attached to), and the wheels, which is the most critical element of a skateboard as it provides functionality and safety. The prices can range from $20 - $200. Other equipment includes helmets that are designed specifically for skateboarding, and protective pads for your knees and elbows and wrist supports. Wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothing and investing in a good pair of skateboarding shoes adds to the skateboarding experience.
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City bylaw prevents skateboarding and rollerblading in the downtown core (where many of the cool buildings are) Offenders are subject to skateboard seizure for up to 90 days, and must bring parents with them when they retrieve their boards.
Contact your local parks & recreation department
Located at 228 8 Ave SE. C-Train stops beside park.
Open year round Parks staff on duty Mon to Fri 7:00 am-8:00 pm and Fri, Sat & Sun from 7:00 am-7:oo pm Not an officially sanctioned spot, but tolerated by other park users.
James Short Park
Beside Trans-Canada Pipelines building on Centres Street, between 4th Abe and 5th Ave.
Not an officially sanctioned spot, but tolerated by other park users.
Shaw Millennium Park
West of Mewata Armoury and the Calgary Science Centre (between 9th Ave and 6thAve west of 11th Street SW. One block west of 10th Street LRT station on 7th Avenue.
Officially sanctioned by city, and has refreshments stand. The $1.8 million 63,000 square foot concrete skatepark is open 24 hours a day and it's free. 3 distinct areas: intro park, central park, and expert park. The Intro Park includes low-level stairs, roll-on rails, lots of ledges, curbs and banked bowl area with a small skatable pyramid. Central Park covers a 6' bowled halfpipe with a spine, large pyramid, funbox, banks, hips, huge roll-ins, wallrides and a huge selection of stairs, rails & ledges. The Expert Park stands alone with large jumpbox, 7' spine, quarter pipe and bank combinations, a sweet 3 bowled clover and the vert bowl with 9' and 13' sections and the 30' full-pipe (seriously). A snake run is planned for Phase 2, adding 10,000 sq ft..
Lake Chestermere skate park
on northwest end of Lake Chestermere, across the bridge from the Chestermere Inn and the Subway.
The skateboard park opens in May. $25 annual pass (all ages), $40 family pass, or $5 drop-in. Passes bought at the town office.
Mobile skate parks
City of Calgary also has some mobile skate parks that move to different community parks over the summer.
See City of Calgary