Portland, Oregon

There may be no better place to be a skater than Portland, Oregon, particularly for those old enough to drive. Portland has loads of skateparks in and around it.

DIY

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Burnside

Few skateparks are as well-documented as Burnside. The park continues to be the central inspiration for hundreds of others. Every aspects of the place evokes an urban skateboarder aesthetic. There are few equals when it comes to skater-built DIY parks. For the full Burnside story, check out this article.

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Brooklyn Street

The concrete is practically still wet on this newest spot. Measuring about 80-feet by 30-feet, it’s as tiny as possible. Built without the city’s permission on land that was essentially unusable by anyone, the materials were paid for through fundraisers and private donations. All labor, of course, was also donated.

Portland Recreation & Parks

Ed Benedict

Newline’s street plaza gem has enjoyed lots of positive reviews in the press and buzz among skateboarders. The park is significant in several ways. Most significantly, the design appeals to street skaters. The size of the structures perfectly mimic the kinds of structures one might find “in the wild” and are not exaggerated to create an artificial challenge. Furthermore, there are several elements in the park that interpret common street forms in new and interesting ways. Around the plaza there are ample ledges, banks, and benches to skate on or just take a breather. The park is positioned near an arterial within a popular city park so there is lots of visibility and social interaction with the general public. The park features environmentally responsible features. Rain sheet-drains into a bioswale in the middle of the facility. Water that isn’t absorbed runs out through a small channel in the skating area that can be ollied over. (A smart design feature is a steel plate that bridges the channel for those who choose not to ollie the gap as well as for those that do but lack the confidence they will clear it. If one ollies over the gap at the steel bridge and don’t quite clear it, you are rewarded with an audio cue that you didn’t make it.)

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Gabriel

This Airspeed design-built park is characterized by a flowing snake run and is the fourth park in Portland’s 19-park plan.

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Glenhaven

This park is 11,000 square feet and split evenly between a pair of bowls and a flowy street course. It opened in 2007 making it the second of Portland’s 19-park master plan.

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Holly Farm

This is the smallest park in Portland’s system. Its most significant feature is a faux-brick channel leading into a large flow bowl. In an interesting design decision, rather than a traditional pump-bump in the flat-bottom of the bowl there is a curving spine.

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Pier Park

Pier Park was renovated as part of Portland’s city-wide skatepark system and re-opened in 2006 and its first major milestone towards completion of its master plan. The park is dominated by a group of bowls with a street run along its side. The walkway approaching the facility also features skate-able elements that serve as an inspiration to other designers and communities.

Vancouver, WA

Vancouver, Washington has been bold in developing a variety of skate spots. For a complete description see the Vancouver article. The Vancouver skate spots include: Endeavor, Tenney, Little Prairie, Harmony Ridge, and Gretchen Fraser. Vancouver also boasts two full-size skateparks.

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Pacific Park

This 10,000-square-foot park was designed and built by Grindline in 2007.

Waterworks

This 12,000-square-foot skatepark was designed by Wormhoudt Skateparks and built in 1998. Its success was early proof to the people of Vancouver that skateparks are important.

Around Portland

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Battleground

Another Grindline-designed park that garnered lots of attention among skaters as it was one of the largest skateparks along the I-5 corridor, (the freeway linking Seattle and Portland). At 27,000 square feet it features a generous street area, a micro-snake run leading to a cradle, and a classic pool replica. Battleground is located a few miles northeast of Vancouver, WA.

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Beaverton

This 18,000-square-foot skatepark was first opened in 1999. The facility is split between a concrete street course and mini bowl on one side and enormous prefab ramps on the other. The original ramps are remnants of an ESPN X-Games contest from some years ago, or so the story goes. The ramps appear to be more popular with BMX riders while the concrete section favors skateboarders. The concrete portion was designed and built by Grindline in 2008.

Donald

The world-famous Donald skatepark is featured in this article.

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Gresham

The skatepark in Gresham is only phase 1 of 3. The master plan calls for additional terrain and a cover. It is currently 5,700 of its allocated 14,000 square feet. The skatepark hosts some interesting programming, including a limitation of skaters 10 and younger on weekend mornings. It was designed and built by Lincoln City-based Dreamland Skateparks.

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Tigard

The Jim Griffith Memorial Skatepark in Tigard features two large flow bowls, a mini bowl, and a concrete dinosaur designed and built by Dreamland Skateparks. The park is popular with skaters of all ages and skill levels, and has hosted several contests and professional demos. The park opened in late 2007 at an estimated cost of $370,000, with $65,000 coming from grassroots fundraising. The park is named after former mayor Jim Griffith who led the Youth Task Force that initiated the project. He passed away in 2003.

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West Linn

The West Linn skatepark, designed and built by Grindline Skateparks in 2003, had a bumpy start but by the grand opening they knew they had a world-class skatepark. While parks of this style are more available today, at the time it was truly unique and attracted people from all over the west coast. Like Tigard, West Linn has hosted several contests and pro demos.

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West Linn Skate Spot (“Little West Linn”)

This 4-obstacle skate spot is nestled in the trees of the large Robinwood Park.