15 Jul Transition skateparks to shred on your cruiser skateboard!
So, you have some cruising experience under your belt and now it’s time to take it to the next level. While some cruiser skateboards are best left on the sidewalks, other boards from brands like Dusters or Santa Cruz feature deck shapes and performance components that can feel right at home in a skatepark. However, there’s no better skatepark for a cruiser board than a transition-oriented skatepark. That is, a skatepark with plenty of different size bowls and pipes, allowing you to surf the concrete like your cruiser was intended! While there are thousands of skateparks which can be a lot of fun on your cruiser, we’ve put together a short “bucket list” of amazing parks specifically for transition-lovers to shred.
Each park has been rated on a difficulty scale from 1-5 (1 is suitable for beginners and 5 is for advanced skaters)
Several parks are only recommended for advanced skaters, but you’ll also find parks which are awesome at any skill level!
Pick up all the gear you need in the Cruisin City online shop and start planning your next vacation to one of these beautiful skate destinations!
Black Pearl Skatepark – Cayman Islands – Difficulty: 3
As if a trip to the Cayman Islands wasn’t exciting enough, bring along your cruiser to skate this seriously massive park! The park design is primarily transition-oriented and suitable for all skill levels. It features smaller bowl sections with a snake run as well as massive vert sections including over-vert channels and a complete full-pipe/loop in the back. For old-school backyard pool rippers, some areas of the park feature concrete pool coping while other areas have nicely-set metal coping. Entry to the park costs $10, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth as there’s more than enough to skate for a full day. Plus, the park is managed by the Cayman Islands Skateboard Association, which always keeps the park clean and well-maintained. If you’re just learning to skate, protective gear can be rented at the park entrance.
As an added bonus to this awesome park, the famous “Seven Mile Beach” of the Cayman Islands is just minutes from the park. If you just can’t get enough of riding a board, be sure to bring your surfboard too!
SMP Skatepark – Shanghai China – Difficulty: 2-4
If you’re ever in the Shanghai area and you want to be absolutely amazed, check out SMP Skatepark. First completed in 2005, SMP covers 147,465 square feet, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. As you can probably imagine, practically everything you could ever want to skate is here, including an astonishingly huge area of bowls and transition elements. Since there’s so much transition, this is literally a concrete dreamland for cruiser-lovers. The park is so big that it will take you several minutes to skate from one end to the other, basically allowing you to cruise without end. If the massive full-pipe and over-vert sections are a bit too much for you, don’t worry. SMP features elements that all skaters can enjoy, even including a mini-bowl section for learning. The park is open daily from 10am-6pm and costs 80-100rmb to enter. SMP is a true bucket-list skatepark to visit. So. Much. Concrete!
Frisco Skatepark – Frisco, Colorado – Difficulty: 2
The Frisco Colorado Skatepark is a flagship skatepark design from renowned skatepark construction company Evergreen Skateparks. What makes this park truly special for cruiser lovers is that Evergreen skateparks are often designed in a unique way that utilizes smooth, flowing transitions that resemble waves. Their parks are constructed with momentum in mind and feature many curved quarter pipes and rolling speed sections. Frisco is one of Evergreen’s largest and most design-heavy parks, set amongst a scenic backdrop of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. The park features a street section on one side and a massive, flowing transition section on the other. The transition section is unique in that it has many smaller bowls all molded together, meaning you can spend hours shredding through the park and constantly discovering new lines to hit and ways to pump through the curves. As described by Evergreen founder Catherine Coulon, the Frisco park features a “lunar landscape” to flow through on your board.
Kona Skatepark – Jacksonville, Florida – Difficulty: 2
Kona may not be the prettiest skatepark on our list, but it’s definitely one of the most special! Kona currently holds the record as the oldest privately-owned skatepark in the world. Built in 1977, Kona is a true piece of skate history, having hosted many of the earliest skateboarding events and helping to shape how skateparks are designed today. Why the park is especially notable for cruisers is because, well, cruisers are similar to the boards people skated when the park was built! Kona is best known for their massive snake run which ends in an old-school bowl section. Having the honor to cruise this historic run on a cruiser board is something every true skater should experience in life. In addition, there’s a traditional bowl, vert ramp, mini-ramp with spine, and even a complete street course. Day passes are $10, a small price to pay to experience skate history!
Hamilton Skatepark – Hamilton, Montana – Difficulty: 3
As the second skatepark designed by Evergreen Skateparks on our list, Hamilton Skatepark in Montana impresses in many of the same ways as the Frisco, Colorado park. The Hamilton park has just opened on July 8th, 2019 and Evergreen has implemented many of the successful elements of their previous parks in this updated design. The park is described by the company as “Western Montana’s roller coaster ride” and is almost completely made of rolling transition elements, with the exception of a classic “pool” and street/line section on the sides of the park. Also similar to the Frisco park, the park is surrounded by beautiful, snow-capped mountains which just adds to the amazing vibes of shredding this park. Even though Montana might seem like a remote location for a good skatepark, there are actually several other skateparks within 30 minutes of Hamilton to make the trip worth it!
FDR Skatepark – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Difficulty: 5
You may have read in the intro paragraph that some parks on the list are recommended for advanced skaters. Well, this is one. FDR is a legendary east coast transition park, known for its super gnarly DIY-style and the rough group of shredders who reside here. Chances are, if you have lived through the era of Bam Margera’s fame, you’ve definitely seen footage of him ripping the huge quarter pipes and hips here. FDR is a transition paradise and most of the park is nicely hidden under a bridge overpass, just be prepared to go big or go home! The park itself features a 7-8” bowl section, a massive quarter pipe with a hip divider in the middle, an insane over-vert bowl corner, and most of the bridge pillars have been turned into wallrides or other elements. There’s many more sections as well, just watch some old 411vm video features on the park to get hyped to skate it!
Burnside Skatepark – Portland, Oregon – Difficulty: 4
Like FDR, Portland’s Burnside Skatepark is another gnarly, DIY-style park with a lot of history. The park is around 28 years old and has been in “development” nearly ever since it’s inception. What began as a small quarter pipe under a bridge has evolved into a good size park consisting mainly of transition elements. Also like FDR, you’ll need to bring your A-game if you’re thinking about shredding this park and it’s only recommended for advanced skaters. If you’re confident in finding lines and grinding some concrete pool coping, Burnside is a legendary park to skate. In fact, this park is credited as being one of the most influential parks in the early days of the DIY-skatepark movement and it’s been featured in many big skate videos such as Transworld’s Sight Unseen and Element Skateboard’s Elementality.
Berg Fidel Skatepark – Münster, Germany – Difficulty: 2
Similar to Kona, Münster’s Berg Fidel skatepark may not be quite as impressive as many modern skateparks, but it’s certainly lived through a lot of skate history. Berg Fidel skatepark is Germany’s oldest public skatepark. Originally constructed in 1989, Berg Fidel skatepark has been home to several skateboarding world cup events in the early 1990’s, even hosting pros like Tony Hawk, Danny Way, and Christian Hosoi. Over the years, the park has lived through several re-surfacing projects and even a reconstruction. However, just a few years ago it received a complete, professional resurfacing of the concrete, leaving the park smooth and fast. In addition, the park features practically every height of transition – from a deep vert bowl to a tiny quarter pipe section at the end of the awesome snake run. You can spend hours finding all the different lines to carve and friendly locals will be glad to shred with guests. A visit to Berg Fidel skatepark is totally worth the trip if you’re near this region of Germany.
Prado Bowl – Marseille, France – Difficulty: 3
The famous Marseille Prado Bowl is where beauty, history, and great skatepark design come together. The park has been located right next to the Prado beach in Marseille for over 25 years and been the home of many international pro contests since the early nineties. The “bowl de Marseille” is an icon of French skate history and culture and in 2017, the bowl underwent a renovation project that upgraded the layout, riding surfaces, coping, etc. to a world-class standard. The park features various size transition elements to cater to different skill levels, including connected bowl sections that will be a blast to carve on your cruiser. Keep an eye out for the Red Bull Bowl Rippers contest each year for a chance to see some of the top European and International pros rip the park. We really can’t think of a more perfect day than cruising Prado and ending the session relaxing on the beach nearby…
Lake Cunningham Skate Park – San Jose, California – Difficulty: 1-4
Don’t be intimidated by the massive vert wall and huge full pipe, Lake Cunningham Skatepark in San Jose is packed with so much awesome transition to shred! This giant park (literally described as a “jumbo” skatepark on Google Maps) is located just south of San Francisco and it features practically every transition element you could wish for. Basically, the full pipe is connected to a deep bowl next to another deep bowl with two over-vert/loops. Both of these bowls are surrounded by four other bowls of varying size. If that wasn’t enough, the other side of the park features a street section and four additional mini-bowls connected by spine sections. The only downside to this park is that protection gear is required. However, if you’re thinking of skating the deep sections, loops, or vert wall, protection gear might not be a bad idea!
Venice Beach Skatepark – Los Angeles, California – Difficulty 2-4
While the park might not be entirely transition, Venice Beach Skatepark is one of the most iconic skateparks in the world and it does feature a lot of great transition sections. Located directly on the beach, it doesn’t get much better than a sunset session with the Venice locals at this park. There are essentially three main bowls lined up in the center of this park, each with different depths and features. The middle bowl of the three is linked directly into a “snake run” style section with rolling concrete hips. On the Southeast end of the park, the snake run section begins in a mellow “roll-in” area, allowing you to rip through the hips and into the bowl section, an especially fun ride for cruiser boards. Considering the skate history that has happened right in this area, Venice Beach Skatepark is a must-visit location for cruiser lovers!
Text by Skatetexter.