Skateboarding is Provocative! Why would I promote a skatepark in my community?!
The myth surrounding skateparks is that they are a breeding ground for crime and other illicit activities. While there will be an occasional “bad seed”, providing designated spaces for positive activities is the best way to curb unlawful behavior among youth. When the youth has nothing to do or nowhere to go – that is when they are more likely to cause trouble and risk not only other people’s lives, but their own.
It’s no secret that children who are involved in team sports don’t have the time to get into trouble, but it turns out you don’t have to drag them to the soccer field or baseball diamond. Activities you may not expect – like skateboarding – might be just what teens and adolescents need. Research out of the University of North Carolina found that skateboarding is among the activities that might help keep children out of trouble. Many adults who aren’t involved in the skateboarding community see the group of boarders as being a little more on the risky side, but instead of being on the risky side, they are actually protected from those behaviors.
Source: NBC Philadelphia
“Keeping Active is the Best way to keep kids out of trouble” April 3, 2006
By all means, skateboarding can be a dangerous sport. It’s indubitably dangerous when skating in the streets due to a lack in public skating parks, but what I believe is more dangerous than that are public parks that are open 24/7 with no lighting, weatherproofing, enforced regulations or supervision.
An indoor, well-maintained, well-supervised, well-lit, well-ventilated and regulated skating facility would allow skaters an opportunity to leave their homes and be active on days of bad weather, revoke illegal activity, destruction of public & private property, violence, and unethical influence.
One of the psycho-social benefits is to feel safe again. Reclaiming public spaces helps people feel like a community and the busier the place, the more appealing for the youth and the safer people feel.
The majority of skateboarding injuries happen outside of skateparks. The most common injuries are falls due to surface irregularities and collisions with motor vehicles or pedestrians. Skateboarding is going to happen whether skateparks exist or not, so the best way to keep youth safe is to provide to them access to positively influenced, safe, designated spaces to pursue their activity.