For many years, there was not a permanent skatepark in the city of Knoxville, Tennessee. The Knoxville area skaters and local skateshop Pluto Sports frequently petitioned to have a skatepark built to keep skating youth off the streets. In 2008, the Knoxville Skatepark opened, and since its opening has been a home away from home for skateboarders, inline-skaters and BMX bikers alike. It’s located in central Knoxville in Tyson Park, and within walking distance from The University of Tennessee. Since its opening, the city has frequently added to the park to fill the area.
When it opened at the beginning of 2008, the park contained various concrete ramps: a banked bowl with a twinky, spine, hips and a bank bowl with square and rounded lips, a flow bowl with corners, hips and a three-quarter pocket, a peanut pool with a 6′ shallow end, 10.5′ deep end and a 9.5′ transition between the two. Last but certainly not least is the plaza area. This part of the park is my favorite because it contains such a variety: Banks, ledges, rails, a 4 and 2 stair, Jersey barrier, taco hip and a flat freestyle area. In 2011, the park added a small flat concrete area where they implemented 6 high-quality plastic ramps that could be assembled/disassembled to fit the skater’s needs. This part of the park will most likely only appeal to street skateboarders, but its inclusion was important to help keep the street skaters off the streets of Knoxville.
All rules of the park are posted at the entrance and are enforced by the Knoxville Police Department. The skatepark itself is unsupervised, and it is important to note that helmets must be worn at all times or skaters could get a ticket from the KPD. People who do not abide by the rules of the park will receive a warning, but those who do not follow the helmet law will get a ticket of up to 500 dollars. Coming from an adult with a career, a mortgage and a wife, I frequent the park and find it very family appropriate. The park welcomes people of all ages, and I have never been witness to any illegal activity or misbehavior. As far as the children/young adults are concerned, it’s all about the skating.
I frequent the Knoxville Skatepark, and find it to be a quality park with an average amount of skaters there at all times. There are definitely more skateboarders here than inline-skaters or bikers, but all three are present for most of the day. Many skateparks that I have been too have given me a “sketchy” feel, but the Knoxville Skatepark is kept clean and remains to be a family friendly park for all ages. Being a local, I enjoy the skatepark because of its location and its atmosphere. The majority of the skaters that attend here are friendly, and I have personally been helped off of the ground by a complete stranger who was also a fellow skateboarder. This park is relevant to local skaters and bikers, as well as those who are passing through Knoxville who have the time to stop for a quick session.