Building a public use skateboarding park can be a difficult and divisive event for many communities. Financial and accountability issues need to be considered and the park needs to be safe for skateboarders who use it. The needs of skateboarders themselves must be addressed as well, since many communities have built inadequate parks that remain unused as skateboarders continue to skate at the local shopping center parking lots they used before the park was built.
In order to bring some clarity to the issues involved in building skateparks, ASTM International Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities has developed a new standard, F 2480, Guide for In-ground Concrete Skatepark. F 2480 covers safety and performance guidelines pertaining to in-ground skatepark facilities built primarily out of concrete and other designated materials.
“F 2480 gives a community the basic information to attach to bid documents for the bidding and construction process, which gives them the resource to build it right, to hold contractors accountable or just to know the level of construction experience that is needed,” says Paul Koop, a member of Subcommittee F08.66 on Sports Facilities and product manager, Barkman Concrete Ltd. “It also helps define the accountability for the community and the bidder, so they know what they are getting into prior to construction.”
While private skatepark builders can use F 2480, Koop says it will be primarily useful to communities that are building public use parks.“Municipal purchasing departments, landscape architects working on public parks, and parks departments that are required to get skateparks into communities all will benefit from F 2480,” says Koop, who believes that the ultimate users of the standard are taxpayers via the elected community officials who will make decisions regarding the building of public skateparks.
Koop says he hopes that members of the skateboarding community will continue to participate in future revisions of F 2480 and in the development of similar standards. “Now that we have the basic architecture of the standard, I hope to get feedback from the real world for future revisions,” says Koop. “The aim of the standard is not to restrict artistic design of skateparks, but to get them built.” //
Technical Information: Paul Koop, Barkman Concrete Ltd, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
ASTM Staff: James Olshefsky
Upcoming Meeting: May 22-24
May Committee Week