Scooters in skateparks are often dangerous and annoying! Many skaters hate them more than anything. The kids on them often pay no attention to other skatepark users. They are young and clueless that other people are using the park too.
The first time I saw a scooter a popular 90's skater; Sean Sheffey was debuting it at Slam City Jam. He rolled around the course with it. He was a pretty cool skater so skaters thought it was cool too. 20 years later; scooters are not as cool.
A well intentioned parent will see their son or daughter rolling around on a scooter at home. They might think that it is time to take them down to the skateboard park. That is the mistake. What they don't know is that skateparks have rules and etiquette that keep them safe and usable. Just like the rules of the road.
Taking the young scooter-er to the skatepark without teaching them the rules first is dangerous. For the kid and the rest of the skatepark. This also applies to kids on bikes.
A downside is that these rules are not posted or understood. Most learn them through experience at a park. The typical way is to get in the way. Get yelled at or worse cause them or other to get hurt.
I'm not saying that this is a good way to learn. I think we can do better. Soon I will write up what I thing are rules for using a skateboard park. To help avoid ugly situations.
A skatepark is a place where people of all ages move in patterns around the obstacles. Designed for skateboarding. There are curves and ramps that make them attractive for anything on wheels.
To roll at a skatepark you need to be aware of the people around you.
Everyone wants to go wherever they want, all at once. This can't happen though. Just like on the road. There are rules that need to follow for safety. Places to stand, times to take your turn and many other things to look out for.
Always look before you go somewhere. Someone may already be going there and that means you need to wait.
If you don't wait, you risk a collision and getting hurt. Angering the person you cut off or worse. You may get run over because the person whose turn you cut into was going fast. When taking your proper turn you are not expecting to be snaked or cut off.
No one likes a snake.
The skatepark rules keep the skatepark safe for all riders. The rules also make it possible for everyone to have a fair turn no matter what their skill level.
Scootering is easy to do right away. You do not have to learn how to ride them. You can hop on and roll. This makes them great for young children. They can get a scooter and start rolling around right away.
In contrast a new skateboarder does not move quickly. A brand new skater struggles to even stand on a skateboard. Let alone roll.
Zipping all around takes a lot of practice.
A new skater has to learn so much before they even think about going to a skatepark.
Not so for a scooter. You can jump on and within a few minutes. You are fast enough to menace the streets but that doesn't mean that they are ready to roll in a busy skatepark.
All skatepark users need to know how to watch for others and stay safe.
Without knowing the etiquette scooters clutter up the area. Skaters with skill and devotion are trying to have a good time.
The scary part about scooters is that most scooter riders have no idea about these rules. They roll around in all directions not paying attention to anything. They start, stop and turn in unpredictable ways. Often in a place that is unsafe for them and the other users of the park.
I can’t count how many times a scooter kid has where many were skaters lined up to use a feature. This disrupts the flow of the park and makes people angry.
Skaters doing a tricks that are dangerous. Then a scooter kid flies in the way causing them to fall and hurt themselves.
The scooter kid rolls away not even knowing that they caused someone to hit the ground, hard. This is because they haven’t left the womb yet and don’t know that other people matter too. This make them a menace.
Well no, not really. That doesn't account for the real picture.
You or your scooter haven’t invested the time that others have.
A kid with a scooter has not done any of those things. They just show up and create chaos.
This added effort gives skaters respect for other skaters who are good. The first trip to a skatepark is often a tough experience. It is a gauge of just how good you are not on a skateboard.
Often leaving the new skater standing on the side watching. Too nervous to even roll in front of others. They get better and come back ready to start skating the park.
This causes new skaters to watch and see what other skaters are doing. Learning the way the park works before they have a chance to zip around and cause problems.
This rite of passage doesn’t happen for the sports where you just hop on and go. Scooter kids hop on and go. They ride all over and get in the way. No time watching and learning what is going on. This creates a dangerous situation where these young kid get in the way and often get hurt.
There is a segment of scooterers that have gotten good. Its great that they are pushing the tricks in a new sport. I don't mind skating next to them. Provided the wait there turn like I do.
Scootering is not as challenging as skateboarding. To skaters using your hands is lame. That can make it hard for even good scooterers to earn respect.
Skaters don’t respect those on scooters or rollerblades because it is too easy. You can use your hands. Not a lot of skill there.
By comparison skateboarding is hard. Just learning to roll takes a lot of work. Getting off the ground with an ollie is a huge skill to learn.
That is why skaters don’t respect other sports. They are just too easy.
Yes it sucks to slam cause a scooter kids got to close too you...
...who are they to clutter the park we skaters worked so hard to have?
Well, resisting the crowds of scooters won't stop them from coming. We have to adapt. Many of us worked our butts off to get skateparks. Now we have them. As leaders it is our role to share them. We need to share them. If there is room for skateboards then lets make room for pro scootering too. Let's face it, its better than rollerblading. ;)
The heart of the issue for me is that governments spend tax dollars on skateparks. This money come from everyone. So these parks are for everyone too use.
Teaching new users how to use the park is a growth experience. For the little scooter twerps and the gnarly old skaters.
It is frustrating as hell many times. But please try teaching in a manner that doesn't involve yelling or smashing into people.
That is something worth doing.