So, the short answer is "nope." However, skateparks CAN be a lot of fun! So, while you don't NEED to go to them, I'd suggest that any skater should stay open to the idea, and at least give it a shot. Skateparks offer a different kind of terrain, with more flowing curves and less dangerous edges. Simply riding around can be a lot of fun, not to mention learning to drop in and all of the other skills unique to skatepark skateboarding.
If you don't want to go because you don't have friends to go with you, and you're worried, then here are some options:
- Try it out at a time when the park isn't packed with skaters. Sometimes during the middle of the day is good, as most people will be at work or school. Night can work as well, if the skatepark is open that late.
- Why not bring some friends who won't skate, but who will at least hang around so that you'll feel less intimidated? Of course, friends who skate would be even better! But really, friends help make pretty much everything easier to do!
- If you don't want to go because you're worried about getting hurt, then take is easy the first few trips - there's no need to push yourself too hard. Check out Skatepark Skateboarding in the Beginner's Skateboarding Guide for some tips. But keep in mind, you will probably fall a few times, and you might get hurt, but as long as you're careful you should be just fine! Never let fear keep you from doing what you love!
Finally, skating on ramps, on streets AND in skateparks is a good way to get some variety in your skateboarding, and to improve your overall skill. This is how it works - if you get used to any activity or sport, and you do it once certain way over and over again, your body learns how to do that thing really well, and you reach what people call, "a plateau". This is where only changing something up will help - and the same thing can happen in skateboarding. If you only skate street, then you might end up leveling out at a certain level. Sure you'll be good, but you could be BETTER! That's where skating at skateparks can be very helpful - it's a very different kind of skating.
Here are some good skatepark tricks to try out, if you go to a skatepark:
- Learn how to drop in - this works on ramps, and on the edges (coping) of a skatepark
- How to drop in video - it's the same information, but in a video!
- Rock to fakie - this is a great early trick to learn at a skatepark, or with a ramp. It's not too tough, and will get you used to skating on ramps and inclines.
- Rock and roll - the rock and roll is the next step up after the rock to fakie. It's a little tougher, so try it after you've got the rock to fakie mastered.
- Nose stall - this is where you ride up to the coping, and stall there on the nose of your board, and then ride away. It's another intermediate trick, and one that's best to learn after you've mastered the rock to fakie!