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10 Steps to Creating a Backyard Skate Park

Plan Your Park
Lots of planning and research can make a skate park more fun for everyone.
Lots of planning and research can make a skate park more fun for everyone.
Blend Images/Getty Images

To begin the planning process for your backyard skate park, you need to ask five important questions:

  • How much space do I have?
  • How much money do I have?
  • How big can I build without a special permit?
  • Does the local climate allow for year-round skating?
  • How serious are my kids about skating?

We've addressed the first three questions on other pages, but what about question number four? It's important to decide whether or not your backyard skate park is going to be a permanent installation or something that can be disassembled and stored away for the frigid winter months. If you live in an area with a long winter, you might want to build a single halfpipe, or a series of smaller wooden skate park components that can be broken down and stowed away when the weather goes south. If you live in a state where "winter" means a low of 73 degrees Fahrenheit (22.8 degrees Celsius), you can plan a more permanent installation.

And what about the fifth question? Who will be using this skate park and how serious are they about learning the sport? If you're introducing your 5-year-old to the sport, start small and simple. If you're building the backyard skate park as a sixteenth birthday present for your teenage daughter who is an avid and accomplished skater, then it makes sense to go all out.

Now it's time to choose your components. The classic is the wooden halfpipe. It works well for backyard skate parks because it is self-contained. You don't have to worry about building out an extensive blacktop or concrete surface. You can just plop the halfpipe onto the grass out back and provide hours of self-contained skating fun.

If you're stuck for space, start with a simple quarterpipe tucked into the corner of the driveway. If you have tons of existing paved space, like an unused tennis court out back, the sky's the limit: banks, spines (basically two back-to-back quarter pipes), rails, staircases with rails, benches, picnic tables and much more.

Draw a scale diagram of the space available and the components you would like to build. Make sure there's plenty of room between components and enough ramps and quarter pipes to pick up speed for grind rails, benches and other elements. In skater parlance, this is called "flow," understanding the different paths that skaters will cut through the park.

Now it's time to find quality construction plans and buy the material for your backyard skate park.