2015 Boston Skateparks Survey Results

skateboarding survey resultsThis report presents the results from the 2015 Boston Skateboarder Survey held from March 28 – May 1, 2015 hosted on BostonSkateboarder.com. One hundred seventy five skateboarders and enthusiastic supporters from dozens of local towns and cities contributed to Boston skateboarding by participating in the online survey.

Thank you.

Goal of the Survey

The purpose of the survey was to gain insights into the direction of the skateboarding community in 2015.

Objectives

1. Discover current Boston skateboarder preferences and trends in skate spot usage.
2. Gauge skateboarder interest in potential new parks and elements.
3. Prioritize geographic areas for skatepark development.

Key Findings

We breakdown some facts and share insights and interpretations from the results of this survey:

  • Street Skating Dominates

    Nearly 60% of skateboarders prefer street skateboarding, with just under 30% opting for flow concrete parks.  This is probably due to the general lack of parks and the fundamental way Boston’s patchwork of neighborhoods, streets and architecture are configured.  And, in fact, “Street Plaza” wasScreen Shot 2015-04-28 at 9.43.20 AM the #1 preferred park style with flow/concrete rated second. The designers of the new Lynch Family Skatepark in East Cambridge (opened in November, 2015) clearly understood skateboarder preferences by combining sets of bowls with wide flat-ground areas and discrete elements.

  • Boston Skateboarders are Seasoned

    Austin Delin63% of respondents have been skating for over 7 years or more with 71 respondents indicating “11 or more years”.  A whopping 66 survey respondents are between the ages of 25 and 44 years old.
    That’s a lot of time shredding by adults (for an activity portrayed in popular culture and media as being very youthful) …clearly this survey group is made up of seasoned skateboarders who have a long-term commitment to the activity.

    It also seems likely that Boston skaters are used to honing their skate skills and seeking out new spots across our diverse urban layout.

  • Social Media & Word of Mouth Bind the Community

    Nearly 40% of responses stated that they stay current with skate spots, contests, events, etc. via social networks and friends. Skateshops rated as the 3rd most important source of info and DSC_0748BostonSkateboarder.com was honored to be rated the 4th favorite outlet  for local skateboard info.

  • Grassroots Evangelism is Mixed

    While 105 skateboarders said they would definitely be willing to participate in skatepark planning meetings, over 30% (55 respondents) said they “not sure” about personally attending a meeting (and only 14 were unwilling to meet).  Showing up and representing in numbers is the proven way to make your voice count and is the spark that makes change happen.

  • Skaters Prefer the Heart of The Hub

    It came as little surprise that the top locations for skating in Boston are at the center of the city.A City upon a Hill This insight speaks to the excellent site selection for the new Lynch Family Skatepark.

    The top skate spots are as follows:

    1. Government Center
    2. Back Bay
    3. Allston/Brighton
    4. Chinatown

     

  • Free Range Eggs2010-06-15 15.20.00

    152 (91%) of responders said they “agree” that Eggs skate spot  should be a liberated spot.  This skate spot on Nashua Street on the Charles River continues to enjoy tremendous and broad popularity with skateboarders of all ages.  It’s central and therefore easy to get to by skateboard (the #1 mode of travel by respondents, btw).

      • Boston Public Skate Park Offerings are Lacking

        On a 5 point scale, East Boston edged out Hyde Park as the better venue (2.75 vs. 2.45, respectively). We applaud the grassroots efforts of park officials and community East Boston Skateparkorganizers who backed the creation of these parks, but this is a pretty underwhelming statement of official skatepark quality in the eyes of skaters, especially for a city with Boston’s resources, legacy and commitment to innovative recreation spaces for all of its citizens.

      • Open Responses and Ideas

        Finally, here are comments and candid feedback directly from survey respondents.

I taught Mayor White to skateboard. Boarder since 1975. Need skate parks in Boston. I was a patron of Zero Gravity and Shooting Star. Look them up. Please make National Skateboard day and hold it on the Common. That was where we skated.”

“East bostons skatepark needs a manual pad :)”

“We visit family in Medford area often and am surprised at lack of skateboarding spots Video thumbnail for youtube video HD Vol. 4 - Boston Skateboarderanywhere. Willing to drive to anything. Best of luck on your venture. We are working to replace a wood/metal ramp park in Manchester Vt with a new park. Happy to network, share ideas.”

Eggs and Copley are my favorite spots.”

“You should add freestyle, megaramp, downhill and techsliding (or just an other) to the styles list since I rarely skate street and there are hardly any parks nearby”

Make this park for the kids, the true visions behind our passion starts with them. Don’t just build a park to get us off the streets. Make it somewhere that we WANT to go. If it is just another massachusetts piece of shit prefabricated concrete park, it will be empty and have no purpose for the progression of a community that sticks together. We will just return to the streets. Give us what we want.”

Screen Shot 2012-04-27 at 6.53.21 PM“I love the skateboarding scene in Boston. I have made many friends and have had many great experiences through skating here. Being at skateparks has creating long lasting friendships. I hope this new skatepark will do the same. I look forward to meeting new skaters and watching this city’s skate scene develop as one of the city’s landmarks.”

“Street obstacles please i also like to skate the financial district”

Eggs being a liberated spot is a great idea. With the new park coming in the city thinks it will stop people from skating there, which just isn’t true. It would avoid a lot of conflict, and the West End could use the culture.  Also it’s ridiculous that Umana park can’t be skated on weekdays before 3. Why build the park if people can’t use it more than half the time there’s daylight?”

“At the moment, the Boston skateboarding community’s main goal should be to see theScreen Shot 2015-02-26 at 1.53.43 PM construction of the Lynch family skatepark through. It seems to really be happening now, but we’ve been let down many times in the past. Another park would obviously be great as well but should not take priority over the one under the Zakim bridge. Also, Ben, thanks for organizing this! You’re doing great things.”

“Please build the boston skate park. We need one in the area.”

“Hope the park gets done before I’m too old to skate.”

“NO BIKES”

Cement hubba on 5 or 6 steps would be cool something we can do some good lines with
Don’t think about it anymore. Just do it.”

Skateboarding is growing. Time to embrace this sport for what its worth. Keeping kids out of trouble (for the most part) and bringing the community closer”

“I am very excited for Boston Skate Park! Have been waiting since the 90s for this! I think it would be a great idea for the skate park to mimic classic Boston spots, like the old Boston Medical Banks, turtles, or planets.”

“Would love to see a street plaza at the new park under the Zakim. Been living in the city a Lynch family skatepark Bostonwhile now and love the skate scene here. East coast skaters deal with the worst of the worst and having a nice park would be rad! Keep charging East Coast skaters!”

“Skatepark on mission hill!!!!”

“Bring back metals, turtles, BCH, and copley square. Maybe Neiman Marcus benches.

“We need indoor skateparks in the city.”

Boston is a ledge and street skateboarding heavy city for obvious reasons, so i think the most successful park would contain a lot of street terrain and features. Hope all this helps, and im hyped that the park is finally happening! Let’s get some DIY spots happening!
The best of luck to you guys!!!”

“I would like Skateboarding to never become legal because then it can be regulated. Rather, I would like it be decriminalized kind of like what was done with pot.”

“I would really like to win the deck. I am going to need a new deck very soon! I hope me Know the ledge volume 2owning a skate shop doesn’t disqualify me, I buy skate decks just like everyone else.”

“LES style skatepark with a bowl would be ideal”

“Haven’t been skating much but hope to a little more this year but would love the idea of a flat bank at a skatepark to roll up do a trick and ride down good for practice maybe more manual pads too.”

“Everywhere else in America AND the East Coast have had nice, well planned out, large, and well constructed skateparks for YEARS. Boston is home to many legends in skateboarding and it is a travesty that we are just now in 2015 getting one. 10+ years overdue, sad.”

“Awesome idea! I just moved to Boston, and I’d love to get involved in the skate scene. Looks like its gonna be a big year for Boston skateboarding.”

“The skateboard scene in Boston has been alive and well for decades. To say there is no official skatepark in the city is a shame, and the best parks to skateboard safely and with no fear of being ticketed or arrested by police have recently been created by the skateboarders themselves since the city has kept their back turned this entire time.”

“All of mass needs new parks”

Love skateboarding wish I didn’t stop for so many years. I’m back into it now I support Chini stix the video Promoeverything Boston based skateboarding”

“Give the kids a park”

“Double edged sword-the more skateparks they give us the more they can take street skating away and make it illegal.”

 

Kick-It Forward Boston!


BostonSkateboarder.com will continue to improve our ability to capture and amplify the voice of skateboarders while working closely with a variety of partners, park & recreation officials, and others in the community.  Leave a comment or share a thought about the results in the comment box below.

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