The ten worst skateparks in Colorado
The November issue of Thrasher included the results of a contest in which the magazine had asked readers for the worst skateparks in their towns for a list titled "Certified Piece of Suck: Doo-Doo Skatepark Construction."
One of these pieces of suck is located in Colorado.
In recent years, Colorado has developed into a mecca of skateboarding, with new and innovative skateparks made famous across the country by local videos made by skateboarders. But while some of the parks are worthy of praise, others are rightly panned -- whether because they're slowly decaying or just built badly in the first place.
Here's our list of Colorado's ten worst skateparks, with pictures provided by The Colorado Skateboard Guide. Disclaimer: I have skated the Longmont, Berthoud, Idaho Springs, Erie, and Estes Park skateparks. Based on pictures and tips from local skateboarders I was able to compile this list.
10. Confluence Skatepark, Delta
The park contains almost nothing but a decaying metal mini-ramp and an awkwardly placed bench. The quarter pipe on the fringe of the concrete looks a bit too steep for such a short ramp, too. The weirdest feature is the cylindrical bench in the middle of the park, which is obviously too wide for boardsliding or grinding on.
9. Cole Creek Skatepark, Erie
We'll admit that this park looks great for youngsters eager to learn how to skate. Yet, the box in the middle of the park, as seen in the picture above, is nearly as tall as that young kid rolling around, and it isn't long enough to get a solid grind on.
8. Schey Skatepark, Keenesburg
Boring blue pre-fab is about all this park has to offer -- and it uses less than half of the land allotted.
7. YMCA of the Rockies Skatepark, Estes Park
The YMCA of the Rockies is a great retreat for anyone looking to spend an activity-filled weekend in Colorado's prettiest national park. It has nearly every outdoor activity you could want at a family resort -- even a skatepark. The skatepark has the potential to be a fun little spot: between the curved flatbar, the picnic table converted into a box and the launch ramp, you've got yourself an afternoon of skateboarding. But there's one problem: The skatepark is crowded into a fenced in-court. Because of this, every obstacle in the park gets in the way of the other obstacles; if you want to grind the curved flatbar, you're going to hit the benches; if you want to go off the launch ramp, you'll fly right into the chain-link fence.
6. Hayden Skatepark, Hayden
Much like the Schey skatepark, the Hayden park is all boring pre-fab. The two quarter pipes on the perimeter of the park, with the edges of the ramp hanging a few inches above the concrete, provide nothing more than a slam for any skateboarder who attempts to ride up them. Most of the other ramps seem lazily plopped down on the concrete, and provide neither flow nor practicality for any skateboarder.
5. Berthoud Skatepark, Berthoud
Berthoud's skatepark looks like a plot of land that a few skateboarders stumbled upon, and then decided to augment with a few obstacles. In its defense, the pyramid looks like a potential fun session, but that flatbar is a unofficial death trap. No one in their skateboard-oriented minds would think of putting such a dramatic kink in the middle of the flatbar, as it really ruins any chances of using that flatbar to learn new tricks -- or even getting a simple boardslide across the whole thing.
Editor's Note: The folks at the Berthound Skatepark have informed us the skatepark has been updated. They've added pieces from the American Ramp Company and are very happy with the skate park, as is the community. Check the comment below. Check the skatepark's Facebook page, too.
4. Raptor Skatepark, Fruita
The strangest part of this skatepark is the identical quarter pipes that face each other, as if to make a half pipe. But as any skateboarder knows, without the smooth transition to a flat bottom, skating a half-pipe is annoying and frustrating, especially when you're reaching quarter pipes above five feet. The flatbars, too, are strange; they have an impossibly quick and small kink in the middle, which is more likely to catapult you off your skateboard than to provide a challenge to grinding. The shotgun rail at the edge of the concrete is a bit too close to the gravel next to it, and if you're not paying attention, you could find yourself eating a faceful of dirt upon trying a 50-50.
3. Clear Creek County Park, Idaho Springs
As you drive up I-70 past Idaho Springs, this park looks pretty good. Up close, though, you notice the park's decrepit state. The concrete mini ramp has cracks at the bottom of the ramps, the concrete in the street section is cracked, and the rusted ramps of the street section look patched together. The spine transfer is far too steep as well, and the ramps are too spaced out to have any considered flow.
2. Lochbuie Skatepark, Lochbuie
Most Colorado residents have never heard of Lochbuie, and it's unlikely to come up in skateboarders' conversations, too. The park seems almost intentionally humorous, especially the six stair with no run-up. The two handrails that seem to plummet to the depths of the earth complement the stairset nicely. The transition element of the park, the mini ramp, is barely five feet long, so you can forget about trying any grinds. Likewise, the pyramid on the far edge of the park has no run-up from one side, and hangs precariously on the edge of concrete bordering some grass, which is surely close enough to catch your trucks and send you flying. But we'll cut the park some slack: It does have a nice slappy-rail.
1. Rough and Ready Skatepark, Longmont
Behold the Rough and Ready skatepark, in all its infinite glory. What you're looking at is ALL of this rough-and-ready park, though: two ledges, one rail, one crater. That's it. The park resembles something that you would buy in the Tech Deck aisle of your local toy store, but life-sized and, unfortunately, a classified skatepark.Thrasher selected it as one of the worst in the country -- no small honor, considering the number of skateparks.
It's plain to see that the park boasts no flow and no space to even perform tricks on the given "obstacles." The two ledges and the flatbar serve no purpose; they have no length, and are placed frustratingly close to both each other and the grass surrounding the concrete. The crater, too, is more of an obstacle than a skateboarding obstacle, in that it limits the potential run-up you could have in attempting to grind the ledges and/or flatbar. Longmont is home to four other skateparks, all far more appealing than this eyesore. We think Thrasher described it best: "Circling the toilet bowl of despair -- behold the wimpiest pit of all time."
But don't think we're all about hating on the skatepark scene. Stay tuned for our next piece listing the 10 best skateparks in Colorado.
Dylan Ferguson is an editorial intern for Westword. Follow him on Twitter @dylfff. Also read "Ten best features at the new Don Anema Memorial Skatepark," his take on the new park in Northglenn.
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