Not all skate parks are created equal. While skateboarding has always been somewhat of a rebel sport with no rulebook to go by or pattern to designing a place to skate, skate parks have evolved into bowl, street plaza or flow park design.
Bowl-designed parks simulate the beginnings of skating, which make use of empty swimming pools. Street plazas are popular as they mimic the obstacles that a skater would encounter if they didn’t have an organized place to skate. Flow parks represent a combination of the two, providing skaters with the best of both worlds.
When deciding on what makes a good skate park, there are three criteria that come to mind: size, location and amenities. Let’s take each one and see how Randolph Center Skate park in Tucson, Arizona measures up.
Size: Bigger is better
Tucson has three skate parks for skaters to rip it up on. Of those three, Randolph Center Skate park is the largest, measuring 20,000 square feet of paved asphalt. That space is utilized well with a generous amount of surface area to grind, slide or kickflip on. The entire complex is above ground, the mark of a street plaza, and is enclosed by a chain link fence around the perimeter, so skaters can feel free to let loose and get lost in their own world.
Location: Front and center
Randolph skate park is located in the center of Tucson, just off Broadway Boulevard, which makes it easier to get to from any part of town. This prime spot increases the likelihood of other skaters being around to test out new tips and tricks with. There may even be a competition going on to show off your skills.
The dry climate in southern Arizona, with mild winters, makes skating this outdoor facility virtually a year-round event. Summers can be scorching hot, but even skaters have to take it easy once in awhile. Being in the middle of it all, there is no shortage of food around. Subway, Chick-Fil-A and In-n-Out are close by to fill up before or after a good skate, which leads to the next category.
Amenities: Less is less
Randolph has plenty of vert ramps, rails and benches to go around. A flatbar, slanted rail, two-inch high rail, kink rail, and straight round rail are mixed with two benches, manny pad, funbox with hubbas, and a table for hours of skating. Skateboarding is just as much an art form as it is a sport, and skaters like to film their runs to share with friends on social media.
According to Skatr, a skate park review website, one reviewer noted Randolph Skate park is “good for filming lines…the side with the benches is the best.” The park is not supervised, but there is no charge to skate. Eight hours of legal operation every day of the week are ample, with hours only cut shorter during the school year.
Randolph Center Skate park has enough space and equipment, in a great location, to satisfy any Tucson-area skater.
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