If Not Concrete, Then Why?

Posted: August 5, 2010

New requirements in effect for Tony Hawk Foundation skatepark grants.

Los Angeles Ca

New developments in the skatepark industry have resulted in lower-cost, durable concrete options. Here, local youth enjoy the custom-concrete Garvanza Skatepark in Los Angeles, California (Photo: Miki Vuckovich).

Tony Hawk Foundation grant applicants hoping for funds to help build their skateparks will need to review their plans before completing the new application. Revised guidelines require that most skateparks receiving Foundation funding be built from concrete.

In an effort to promote more durable, permanent skateparks, the Tony Hawk Foundation is requiring that all grant applicants whose skatepark budgets are more than $50,000 build their projects from concrete. Applicants whose project budgets are $50,000 or less must demonstrate that they’ve at least received estimates for concrete options, though they may apply to fund steel-framed modular parks in that price range.

In surveying applicant projects since 2008, Foundation staff have noticed a decline in the average cost of concrete skateparks, which in many cases were less expensive than modular skateparks of similar scale. Developments in both the design and building sectors of the skatepark industry have contributed to this trend, and communities with smaller-scale skatepark projects that were previously limited to modular options have been successful in finding creative concrete solutions.

“Our goal has always been to assist communities in developing the best possible skatepark for their budget,” said Tony Hawk Foundation Executive Director Miki Vuckovich. “Possibly because of the slow economy, what were previously higher-cost concrete options have become much more affordable. Ultimately, the true cost of a skatepark is realized over several years—the initial construction plus the long-term maintenance. Concrete skateparks have historically outlasted ramps and require the least amount of maintenance. Those are important considerations, particularly for the lower-income communities where we work.”

Among the new Tony Hawk Foundation grant-application criteria are the following:


  • Skateparks located on an asphalt surface (i.e. modular ramps on an asphalt tennis court) or built from wood-framed ramps are not eligible to apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation grant.
  • If the total cost of the skatepark is more than $50,000 it must be built from either custom concrete or modular-concrete products.
  • If the total cost of the skatepark is between $25,000 and $50,000 it may be built from steel-framed modular ramps, but applicants must receive estimates from two design firms for a concrete skatepark.

The Fall 2010 Tony Hawk Foundation grant season begins August 15. Full details of grant-application criteria are listed in the Grant Application section of the Foundation’s Web site.

Word document version of this story.


Public Skatepark Development Guide

Public Skatepark Development Guide
Second Edition Released!

The Public Skatepark Development Guide, the indispensable handbook for public-skatepark advocates, is now available in an updated and improved second edition. First published in 2007 by the Tony Hawk Foundation, Skaters For Public Skateparks, and the International Association of Skateboard Companies, the ultimate guide for community-skatepark advocates was available for free, and supplies quickly disappeared. The new 128-page second edition features updated information and expanded chapters, including skatepark vision, advocacy, fundraising, design, and management, plus several supplements and visual aids.

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