Suspecting there were quite a few skateparks not too far from Port Adelaide, a quick search of skateboard.com.au for Adelaide Skateparks proved me right.
Whilst my partner did her class, I borrowed her car and decided to visit three skateparks that weren't too far away including The Pennington Mini Mini, Regency Skatepark and Royal Skatepark.
All of these parks I've never visited before. You can see my impressions of each in the video below, along with some pretty basic skating from me (sorry, I'm seriously out of practice from my hey days of the 1990s). I've also written a few notes on each skatepark after the video too.
|Pennington Mini Mini|
Ramps this small are hard to find. I suspect, even though it was probably built by someone not fully schooled in basic ramp design, it's a gem for anyone just learning ramp skating.
Good ramp design for skateboarding means your board should be able to 'rock' on the coping i.e. when your board is placed perpendicular to the coping and the middle is resting on the coping the wheels of your deck should not touch the platform or the ramp, creating a 'rocking' effect that allows you to perform board slides and other tricks.
On the Pennington ramp it's just not possible to rock on the coping, creating a situation where you can just roll your wheels over it, in or out of the ramp, without any risk of hanging up and falling off as a result. Hence if you're just learning, not only do you not have far to fall but your chances of falling from a hang up are almost none.
Intermediate to advanced skaters tend to laugh at ramps like this but I find them so much fun because you can learn almost any kind of lip trick, where your board stays above the coping and out of the ramp, with little chance of falling hard. Once you've got them on a ramp like this, it makes it so much easier to take the trick to higher ramps.
The one thing I really like about Regency is you can skate the whole park (performing lines of tricks) if you want or you can just choose a section of the park you like and skate that. It's big enough that one skater using the park, isn't going to get in the way of everyone else.
That said, there isn't a lot for complete beginners here. However, if you're prepared to take some risks with some slightly larger ramps, pads and banks than feel safe, you could progress fairly quickly.
For me, the two side by side mini ramps were a highlight, even if I couldn't do much more than drop in and carve around on them. I'd certainly consider coming back since the smaller of the two ramps was about the same as my old backyard mini I built back in the 1990s.
Royal Skatepark is one of those small parks that council's install where they lack vision for how much of a family space a skatepark can be. Where as Regency skatepark is integrated into green park land with playgrounds, BBQ's, plenty of shade, tables and space to just kick a ball around, Royal skatepark is tacked onto a spare bit of land alongside a sporting reserve. It has nice grassy area around it but not much for anyone to do except watch their kid skate.
Despite that, it's a good beginner park if you're wanting to learn any kind of slide or grind. None of the rails or pads are too high though a couple are placed in relatively tricky locations to get a decent run up to.
There are no transitions here, everything is banks - and they're relatively steep at that so take a little getting used to.
I didn't spend a lot of time here, even though I had the park to myself for a short while. It's the kind of park that, once you get a few people using it, it's easy to get self conscious because you start getting in each other's way. Thus everyone has to watch you stuff up and get out of the way so they can do their line.
That was my visit to three skateparks near Port Adelaide. If you know the area you're probably wondering why I didn't visit Semaphore skatepark on the foreshore. The main reason was because it's on the foreshore, making it the easiest one for any skater to get to and know about. I was looking for more out of the way parks, less likely to be busy on a Saturday afternoon.
As well, although I haven't skated Semaphore, I've been there enough to know there's very little for a beginner skater to do. To make the most of Semaphore you need, at minimum, a decent ollie (I don't) to really enjoy the central fun box that is the main feature of the park.
I hope to do this again some time with three or more different parks. With any luck I'll have learnt a bit more and remembered to take a tripod. (Always pack a tripod because leaning your camera up against things really limits your filming!).
Should you be interested in the deck I'm skating, get a better look at the graphic in my online skateboard shop.