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Calgary mobile skatepark program to expand

Skateparks are in high demand and need of upgrades according to the City of Calgary

Calgary's mobile skateparks are in high demand, and the city is building some extra parks to keep up.

Jennifer Friesen/ for Metro

Calgary's mobile skateparks are in high demand, and the city is building some extra parks to keep up.

Calgary’s kid skate scene is ramping up, as the city keeps rolling with more demand for mobile skatepark programming.

The program has been on the go since 2000 and needs some upgrades. The City of Calgary put out a request for proposal to design and build two new mobile skate parks in 2017. Along with the new structures the city is also looking to create six cargo trailers to house the parks in the off-seasons.

“We’ve expanded over the years, we have four parks that rotate to different locations around the city, we partner with community associations,” said Joleen Teske, recreation program specialist. “This year we’re at 18 different locations supporting the community with our free drop-in programs.”

Now, the program is expanding because of demand, and need for upgrades.

“We need some upgrades for some of our ramps. They take a beating, when people are skateboarding on them religiously,” Teske said. “It can be hard to keep up with demand, as we get a lot of interest from community associations.”

The mobile program is now in a new phase, with concrete parks going up, they’re now serving as a training ground for young ramp users.

The program is especially ideal for newbie skateboarders and young kids. Knowledgeable staff supervise sites, and helmets and waivers are required before skateboarding, inline skating and this year, for the first time, scooters are allowed on the obstacles.

“They’re generally closer to home,” said Zev Klymochko, president of Calgary Association for Skateboarding Enthusiasts. “The obstacles aren’t as challenging as the concrete parks, which for a beginner, is a good thing.”

Klymochko said in the past the park parts were stored outdoors, which left them vulnerable to wear and tear, so it’s great to see the city investing in the program.

“I think it’s great to have that program to introduce people to skateboarding. It really can give them that lifelong love of the activity,” said Klymochko. “Maybe if they spend a couple of summers or seasons at the mobile parks, they’ll graduate to a concrete park.”

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