SKATE PARK SAFETY
A good skate park is a location of endless fun, however skate parks can also be very dangerous if used incorrectly. Session Atlas recommends that everyone use safety gear, helmets and pads when appropriate. Most skate parks have posted rules and signs that list the details for that specific park. We recommend that you locate and observe the posted rules when travelling to a new park.
Park etiquette is a no brainer, but it’s often something that is forgotten. Our general rule of thumb: You are free to do whatever you want if you’re having fun… As long as that fun is not preventing someone else from having their own fun. It all comes down to respect. If you are at a public park, you are sharing that space with other people. Always remember that everyone has a different style and approach and may use a ramp or park feature in a way that is totally different from everyone else. Respect the space, respect the park, and most importantly… Respect the locals.
When arriving at a new park, take a second to observe the locals and how they use the park. This will give you a sense of where everyone is, and how they’re moving around inside the park. If someone is using a ramp don’t stand in a place that blocks that setup. Don’t stand on coping if you are waiting to drop in, don’t stand or sit on ledges, flat bottom, or anywhere that blocks a park feature. Make sure that you wait your turn, as no one likes a snake that cuts in before everyone gets a chance to session. When dropping in and using the park, think of it like crossing a road: You wouldn’t jump out into traffic without looking both ways, treat a skate park the same. Remember that some people may use a ramp in a way that you’ve never considered. When in doubt, observe, pay attention and show respect. If you can do that you’ll be welcome anywhere.
DRONES IN SKATE PARKS
Drones are an incredibly powerful tool that allows us to create a new perspective, enabling us to show skate parks in a true to life format. Sometimes using a drone isn’t an option, and safety should always be the first concern. There were parks in the list that were too close to airports or controlled airspace to fly a drone, and in those situations we opted for ground based cameras, gimbals and even a helicopter. While drones are an incredibly useful tool, they can also be very dangerous when used incorrectly.
Session Atlas works within air traffic control and safety guidelines to capture parks in a safe and controlled way. Several of our contributors hold both TC Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) licenses for Canada, and Part 107A UAS licensing for the United States. We work closely with local cities and municipalities to make these park videos happen, working to maximize safety during the shoots. We often shoot parks early in the day while parks are completely empty, which allows for a clear and open park free of distractions, while also allowing for a safer shoot. In larger cities we typically have city employees present along with bylaw park officers to keep a controlled environment. All people present in the park during these shoots have been informed and have consented to being on camera.
If you want to fly a drone in or around a skate park, remember to keep it safe and respectful. Observe your local drone regulations, along with the cities rules and laws regarding the use of drones in public parks. Do not fly over large groups of people. Do not fly a drone at a low altitude through a park when it is busy and in use, without first communicating your flight intentions to everyone at the park. People will often happily move out of the way and wait so that you can get a controlled and safe shot. The last thing anyone wants is an injury or crash due to a drone in a park. Keep it respectful, keep it fun.