Kids love the thrills and freedom of riding on a board and the self-confidence that comes with mastering a new skill. Skateboarding has many physical benefits, including coordination, concentration, balance and exercise. And it helps children develop an understanding of the importance of practice, patience and dealing with consequences.

Skating on a sidewalk, parking lot or street is not the safest option. Instead, try one of these skate parks in metro Atlanta and Athens. Most skate parks do not have supervision, so parents will want to stay close by.

Best for Beginners

Arthur Langford, Jr. Skate Park: A 6,500-square-foot park catered to beginner skaters, with lessons offered on Saturdays (temporarily suspended due to COVID-19). Atlanta. Free. 404-546-6813.

Biggest Park

Kennesaw Skatepark: This park, the largest in Atlanta with 40,000 square feet, is the first ever permanent skate park to feature elements modeled on a competitive street skate park plaza design. Kennesaw. Free. 770-422-9714.

A Bit of Celebrity Cachet

Historic Fourth Ward Park: The park offers world-class skateboard amenities as well as a playground and multi-use athletic field. The 17,000-square-foot skate park is sectioned off by skill level. Skateboarder Tony Hawk contributed to help build the park. Atlanta. Free. 404-546-6813.

Great for Younger Kids

Fowler Park: This 30,000-square-foot suburban park has specific hours for ages 12 and younger only: Mon., Tues., Thurs. 4-6 p.m. and Sat. 9-11 a.m. Cumming. Free. 770-886-4088.

Go with the ‘Flow’

Brook Run Skate Park: This park has concrete bowls and half-pipes in a “flow” style, which combines elements of bowl parks and street plazas throughout its 27,000 square feet. Skaters must sign a waiver. Children 11 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Dunwoody. Free. 678-382-6850.

Skate a Big Bowl

Skate Park of Athens: An outdoor skate park with a 10-foot bowl as the central feature with 14,000 square feet to skate on. Children 11 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Athens. Free. 706-613-3991.

More Parks to Skate

Glenloch Recreation Complex Skatepark: A 4,050-square-foot park accommodating skaters of all ages and skill levels, which was designed with input from local skaters. Peachtree City. Free.
770-631-2525.

McKoy Skate Park: This park offers pipes, rails and ramps. Decatur. Free. 404-377-7231.

Master Park: Built in 2020, this small skate park features ramps, rails and more. Hapeville. Free. 404-669-2136.

In Gwinnett County:

Bay Creek Skate Park: A 20,000-square-foot skate park with skateboard and BMX ramps. Good for all skill levels, with a bowl and a plaza. Loganville. Free. 770-978-5271.

DeShong Skate Park: Features a twisting and winding streetscape to explore, complete with stairs and grinding rails with 10,000 square feet. Stone Mountain. Free. 770-822-8840.

Duncan Creek Park: This skate complex is the largest skate park available in Gwinnett County with 20,000 square feet, offering community users a safe environment to practice their sport and multiple bowls to choose from. Dacula. Free. 678-277-0855.

J.B. Williams Park: A 9,600-square-foot skate park with ramps and elevated platforms. Lilburn. Free. 678-277-0179.

Mountain Park Park: Skate the volcano, a flow bowl, handrails and more at this 8,000-square-foot park. Lilburn. Free. 770-978-5271.

Pinckneyville Park: This park has a free skate area, as well as a roller hockey rink. Peachtree Corners. Free. 678-277-0920.

Ronald Reagan Skatepark: The 10,000-square-foot street plaza skatepark is within Gwinnett County’s Ronald Reagan Park. Lawrenceville. Free. 678-277-0179.

Settles Bridge Park: This skate park has a smooth bowl with shallow and medium depth, along with a street section in its 10,000 square feet. Suwanee. Free. 678-277-0910.

How to Get Started

Purchase proper gear to ensure that your son or daughter has the safest skateboarding experiences possible. Your child will need:

Elbow pads ($14-$30)

Wrist guards ($13-$25)

Knee pads ($20-$40)

Skateboard ($150-$180)

Helmet ($25 or more)

When buying your skateboard, make sure to purchase at a store where employees have a good knowledge of skateboarding. The size of board should be matched to the size and weight of your child. Purchasing the wrong size skateboard could lead to injuries or cause damage to the board.

Beginners should take lessons to learn safe skating techniques. Kennesaw Skatepark and Brook Run Skatepark offer periodic group lessons. Skateboard shops sometimes offer group lessons and can recommend instructors for individual lessons.

– Jennifer Wilson

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