Another area that has been chewing on me is the infiltration
of playground equipment companies scarfing up on the new target
market, skateboarding. They suddenly have termed themselves park
builders. Some have nonprofit status which I don't understand as
they are attatched to big marketing companies and seem to have money
up the you know what. They appear everwhere now , all the trade
shows, they sponsor some skaters, hold contests, have all day "park
building" parties, good for them.
But the big problem is they are pushing their presence
on the skateboarding and skate park industry. They are getting involved
with cities all over now that skateboarding is more accepted, and
coming up with their cheap modules, assembling them in one day.
I'm sure cities love this, they get off cheap and then say to the
skateboarders who have raised money, lobbied, petitioned, and went
through living hell for many years to get their permanent cement
parks built, there's your park now shut up. These modules are a
joke. We want real parks, cement ponds as the Clampets use to say.
Have you ever seen one of these "skateparks?"
I sent Julio out to skate one and he said he almost killed himself.
They are too small for tricks, they are hot, slicker than snot,
and some are purple. We say to these jungle gym people, go away.
Market your cute product alongside your swing sets and slides, or
maybe set them up as rentals for birthday parties like those big
ball bouncy things you can rent. But don't consider yourselves park
builders or even as part of the industry and let the real skatepark
non-profits like Skaters
for Public Skateparks work
with the the cities. Real skaters need and deserve real skateparks
so please don't ask Real Skate to hop on your marketing scheme.
If you would like to post a comment send an e-mail
to Real Skate - from one of "them"
Letter to Andy Macdonald
from Tom Miller of Skaters for Portland Skateparks Org 9/22/03