The skaters in Calgary are a tenacious bunch. Though it is the third-largest city in Canada, it sits in the foothills of the Rockies its weather tends to be cold, particularly by many American standards. The temperature of Calgary has never broken 100-degrees Fahrenheit and the winters can be long. The average temperature in July is 61 degrees F.
In most ways the Calgary Association of Skateboard Enthusiasts (CASE) is the kind of skatepark organization that we are all familiar with: A group of dedicated skateboarders that have volunteered to work with the city and find ways to better meet the needs of their youth. Vital stuff, as always, and we applaud their courage and commitment to the cause. However, they’ve added something a little bit different to their effort.
With Calgary’s chilly conditions one might think there would be indoor skateparks all over the place. That’s not the case. However, if CASE has its way, that will soon be fixed. It’s somewhat uncommon to have a skatepark advocacy organization have any interest in indoor facilities but for the skaters of Calgary it makes perfect sense.
As a side note, one other thing that is interesting about Calgary’s situation is that backyard ramps are illegal. Visit the CASE website to find out how you can help repeal this unfortunate ordinance.
Calgary currently has three outdoor skateparks. One of these of course is the Shaw Millennium Skatepark. This park is a large regional facility designed Spectrum Skateparks. When it was built in 2000 it was the largest in the world and remains one of the largest in North America, measuring in around 90,000 square feet. The park is divided into three distinct areas, each designed to appeal to a particular terrain style. There is a large-radius transition area featuring a full-pipe and clover bowl, among other things. The central section is a mix of street elements and banks. Off to one side there is a roly-poly flow section. The three distinct “rooms” are an design approach that Spectrum also took for the Burnaby skatepark near Vancouver, British Columbia. The conscientious division of the park essentially creates three smaller skateparks in one facility and produces a higher capacity than those parks that are dominated by a central flow section. (In other words, three distinct sessions—if not more—can occur at the Shaw Millennium Skateparks simultaneously.) This skatepark was voted the best skatepark in Alberta in a poll conducted by SkateparkTour.CA, (with Chinook Winds-Airdrie placing a close second).
There’s another outdoor skatepark operated by the Westside Recreation Center. It’s a slab-style design with some modular and/or precast elements placed strategically to make the space look exciting. While the street section seems a bit uninspired, the large miniramp is the facility’s true attraction. The facility is open seasonally and requires helmets.
The two other skatepark, Chestermere and McKenzie Towne, are uninspiring prefabricated structures that rest on remote slabs in the middle of fields. These two parks exemplify the worst that can happen and we hope those communities fix this terrible situation.
CASE Mission Statement
Through strong partnerships and leadership, CASE fosters and supports the growth of skateboarding in Calgary.
Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts: Calgary skateboarders have access to free world-class facilities where they can skate safely, develop their skills and enjoy skate-related events.
- Primarily Outdoor Facilities
- Indoor Facilities
- To provide consultation for future skateboard park projects
- To provide resources and expertise to further the goals of this society
- To provide program opportunities to encourage participation and skill development
- To raise funds to achieve the goals of this society. This includes: grants, gifts donations, legacies, bequests and inheritances
- To establish skateboard park facilities