Skateboard Smart

Finding Unique Places to Skate

skateboardsewerFinding a place to get your thrash on away from the run of the mill skatepark can be difficult. Not only are you constantly on the lookout for business owners who will be angry with your activities, it seems as though cops are out just looking for someone to harass. What better persona to harass than someone with a skateboard.

Let’s be honest. Most skaters carry a couple of tools, maybe a few bucks and sometimes a pack of smokes. A run in with the law usually involves the officers being over authoritative and sometimes even gruff. But believe it or not, there are still some local spots out and any from where anyone can bother you.

A buddy of mine who owns a local plumbing company has turned me on to many spots across the city that are totally rad.  Getting to them, and out is sometimes tricky but once you find your groove it can be total Narnia.

But you don’t have to be friends with a local plumbing contractor to be able to find such a place.  There are maps that can help you find larger pipes that are fun places with a skateboard and a few friends.  Few being the keyword here as some of these places require you to hop a fence, walk across a field or private property.  Trespassing is serious so take my advice and just don’t do it.  Otherwise you could end up in jail or with a fine.

Some of the things you want to look for on the map are where the creeks are.  No my buddy doesn’t route sewer pipes directly to the creeks but he does have a map of the entire storm and sanitary sewer systems. You want the one with the storm sewer data on it if possible.  This is usually public information and can usually be obtained from your local municipality office.

If you don’t want to go and ask weird questions that may raise suspicion then there are other ways of doing a little research. What you need is a topographic map. You want to find the larger drainage areas within your town or city and then begin exploring the pipe outfalls near the creeks.

The larger the drainage basin, usually the larger the drainage pipe or ditch. Bear in mind that impervious surfaces or areas with lots of roof tops and paved roads and parking lots will drain much larger volumes of water than areas where there is a lot of grasses and trees and parks.

Do a little bit of exploring around your local streams and look for pipes and ditches that may be draining to them. Don’t endanger yourself or your friends by crawling into a storm pipe. Especially avoid these areas during rains or potential upstream thunderstorms. These areas tend to flash flood. Waters quickly rise and can wash away everything in its path.

As long as you take extra caution you may find a new skate spot or two in your locale. But make sure you keep your locale to the super locals. Word of mouth can let these spots leak out and then everyone starts going there. Not only will it become crowded but it will also begin to draw attention from the authorities. This could lead to the spot being shut down or fenced in for good.

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