By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Philly is one of the few cities whose skateboarding scene was born almost simultaneously with Californias scene in the 1960s. Since then, there has been no stop to the growth of the movement. Most skaters agree that it is one of the most skateboarding friendly cities as long as you do it on a property that is “authorized by regulation, ordinance or statute, or is otherwise authorized by the governmental agency” as described by the law, YIKES!
If you are an avid street skateboarder and you have a few thousand dollars spare for some fines, we definitely recommend skating the streets of Philly, HAHA! No but really the city offers MANY skateparks that are suitable to skate and have a SHIT®load of fun in if you are a pro or just came out of your skateboarding eggshell.
Park Skateboarding in Philly
Photo: Chris Hansen (Unsplash)
Philly has come to have over 13 skateparks and more scheduled to be built in the future for the enjoyment and practice of the discipline all over the city. Most of them were developed ideas from the Franklin Paine Skatepark Fund, an organization dedicated to building and maintaining free, innovative skateboard parks around the city!
Most of the skateparks are also dedicated to promote skateboarding culture, a pretty good example is the Skate the Foundry Park in West Philly which offers skateboarding lessons not only for kids and teens but adults also! Designed for skaters of varying skill levels, each lesson tackles different obstacles and 15 people per class to ensure maximum learning opportunity. The hour-long sessions are scheduled throughout the month, featuring lessons on different types of skating, from park skating to bowl skating!
Some of the most recommended skatepark is Philly are:
A mix of street and transition, this popular park opened in September 2011 in Ambler's Knight Park.
Paine's Park has been a popular spot for skaters and spectators Since May of 2013. Tucked along the banks of the Schuylkill River across from the Museum of Art, the park is a mix of "street" and "transition" obstacles.
An abandoned outdoor hockey rink transformed into a sick skatepark, young locals were even invited to attend the development meetings for the park, making it a true community effort. The park opened in the summer of 2011.
LOVE: Philadephia’s Skateboarding Heaven
Skateboarding was banned in Philadelphia's iconic Love Park over 10 years ago and was one of the landmarks of street skateboarding up until February 15, 2016, when it was officially closed to the public.
LOVE featured dozens of ledges, in varying formats and approach angles, with drops, long and short, ledges that could be linked together. It had multiple sets of stairs of varying sizes, scattered along edges and elevation changes, and it was across the street from City Hall, which was its own great skate spot with a great series of benches and railed stairs.
The park made magazine covers and was a centerpiece for a lot of video footage. In Transworld’s skate video "The Reason," Stevie Williams’ part was filmed almost entirely in the park and opened with commentary from a local emcee at the absurdity of the skateboard ban while showing footage of cops busting skaters at LOVE multiple times.
Most local skaters that had the fortune to skate the spot will tell you that it was perfect, from its granite floor to its massive amount of rails and ledges, LOVE will always be considered a mecca for street skateboarding.
On February 10th, Mayor at the time Jim Kenney lifted the skateboarding ban for five days allowing skaters to say goodbye without having to run from the cops, for 5 days, the park was skated by people from all over the country and even foreign skateboarders that heard about the place or knew it from iconic skateboarding videos gave that SHIT® one last ride to remember!
There you have it my dudes and dudettes, it could be dangerous but if you are from Philly, we are pretty sure you already have a system to skate the streets without taking too much risk and if you don’t, you still have plenty of skateparks to choose from and skate the SHIT® out of them!
Read also: Explore Crete: The Skateboarding Pearl Of The Mediterranian
Read also: The Skateboarding Scene in Shanghai