By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Since the beginning of skating in Chicago, there have been issues with the authority, gatekeepers, neighbors, the police force and more. This is something most skaters around the world are aware of. There are however places in the world where rules goes beyond getting a bucket of water from the old lady on the balcony, upset from seeing you falling from that rail over and over again or getting a verbal warning from a cop or the very common push and scream from the gatekeeper.
In Russia for example, you could go to jail for a few days if found skating around government monuments and structures; But what’s the deal in Chicago? According to most Chicago skaters, there is continuous harassment from law enforcement to the skateboarding community and also a lack of information regarding Chicago’s local laws on street skateboarding.
Lack of Information or Skateboard Rebellion
Back in 2015, the city came up with new regulations on skating around the Chicago Loop, completely banning skateboarding in this area of the city which is one of the favorite skate spots for Chicago street skaters. The municipal code states that no one can ride a skateboard on any road, sidewalk or surroundings of the business district and states that anyone caught can get a fine that goes from 20 to 200 bucks! Some crazy SHIT®!
Skaters in the area claim that they are not aware of these regulations taken specifically upon them, and also claim that even though the city government encourages and supports the sport (There are actually more than six skateparks in Chicago) they claim that law enforcement contradicts this support by giving unnecessary fines to skateboarders INSIDE the skateparks just for making “too much noise”.
The Spirit of Street Skateboarding
Photo: Mikael Cho (Unsplash)
But you might think that if these guys have lots of skateparks in Chicago why take the risk, right? That’s exactly the reason: RISK! Let’s not forget that street skateboarding is a skating style of it’s own rights different from park or vert skateboarding and that it focuses on making skating spots out of places that were NOT designed to skate. Besides, it’s cool to skate in a park but we bet you have not seen many skateboarding videos made in parks.
One of the biggest parts of this particular style is to scout and look for new and exciting spots to skate on and actually making regular spots like school rails and office buildings steps and stairs iconic and must-skate places for skaters from other cities and countries.
So kudos to Chicago’s street skateboarders taking the risk out there, here at SHIT® we believe in freedom of skate-expression and freedom of skate-speech and again, THE STREETS BELONGS TO NO ONE! We will leave you a list of the best skateparks in Chicago just in case you are not much of a risk-taker and want to save some bucks HAHA!
Features 2 big bowls, an 8-stair ledges and a couple of rails, no helmets required, lights at night.
Large stair set, corner bowl, quarter pipes, rails and more. It is also BMX friendly, no helmets are required and has lights at night.
Little Village / Piotrowski
Favorite among flat ground lovers for its smoothness and it has a lot of city like features like benches and a small stair set. No helmets are required but it doesn’t have much light at night.
Asylum Indoor Skatepark
One of the best ones according to locals since its indoors and with lots of features like rails, stair set, wall rides, one large bowl. However, you do have to pay $11 to skate and it also welcomes bikes and scooters so it could get busy at times.
Read also: 5 Skateboard Cities You Must Visit