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Research

SKATEBOARDING IN MAUI

Maui County currently has 6 skateparks available for skateboarders and like-minded athletes. Of the 6 skateparks island wide, only 1 is available to residents of Central Maui, which serves the largest population on the island. The current skatepark was constructed in 1998 and is about 9000-square feet with a 11-foot vert ramp. The park exhibits a lot of areas that are worn down which can pose dangers to park visitors and lacks features that appeal to diverse skill levels.

To serve the skateboarding community on Maui, the city and county officials of Maui County are urged to consider the construction of a new skatepark in Central Maui. With your help we can draw community awareness and support for this initiative. 

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Youths ages 5-18 in Central Maui

ONE

Skatepark in Central Maui

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Occasional or Active Skateboarders

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Youth skateboarders in Central Maui

PROPOSED LOCATION FOR NEW CENTRAL MAUI SKATEPARK

This convenient location provides easy access and high visibility to park visitors in Central Maui and nearby populations.

WHO ARE SKATEBOARDERS?

Skateboarding participation appeals to all kinds of people, which widely varies among age, gender, ethnicity and demographics. A nation-wide skateboarding survey that was conducted in 2017 by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) reports that there are slightly over 6.3 million skateboarders in the United States. Youth, ages 6-17 account for the majority at 3.4 million, while young adults ages 18-24 represent 1.3 million, and 1.7 million over the age of 25. These numbers go up and down from year to year but on average has seen a steady rise since the 1970’s.

The SFIA differentiates between skateboarders based on the frequency of participation. Skateboarders are defined by “casual skateboarders” and “core skateboarders”. A core skater is defined as having skated more than 26 times in a year, while a casual skater will have skated 1-25 times in a year. Although teenage males represent the majority of skaters, female skaters account for 23.9% of all skaters. Casual skaters participation will vary and is likely based on skateboarding trends influenced by peers or social media. Nearly all core skaters start out as casual skaters and the percentage of core skateboarders has been steadily rising for over a decade. Millions participate in skateboarding while team sport participation continues to see a decline. In most cases skaters develop their skills without coaches, leagues and organized practices but are self-motivated through trial and error by their passion for skating.

Mind & Body

SKATEBOARDING IS HEALTHY

Skateboarding is a physical activity that provides lots of health benefits such as lower obesity rates and improved academic performance.

SKATEBOARDING FOR PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH

There is a preconceived belief that skateboarding is a dangerous sport. According to a sports injury study of over 200,000 participants and 20,000 injuries, skateboarding only accounted for 399 of the 20,000 injuries (2%). Other sports included in the study were basketball, soccer, football, baseball, ice hockey, archery, and fourteen others. It seems that skateboarding is not nearly as dangerous as it is perceived.

Similar to other sports skateboarding offers many health advantages. Besides the obvious physical benefits there are secondary benefits that can be gleaned including coordination, resilience, flexibility, self-confidence and perseverance.

In a groundbreaking 2020 Case Study, survey participants were asked, “Why do you skateboard?” the top two reasons indicate a correlation between skateboarding and mental well-being: to have fun and get away from stress. Other reason’s for skateboarding were: learning tricks, creativity, socializing, exercise, transportation and solitude.

Skating to have fun might not seem like a significant finding. It finds importance when considered in conjunction with statistics about the societal challenges young people face today. The U.S. is facing unprecedented rates of teen depression, suicide ideation, and death by suicide. Research continues to show that a large majority of U.S. teens (70%) reported that anxiety and depression is a “major problem” among their peers. According to a National Alliance for Youth Sports survey conducted in 2016, around 70% of youth in the U.S. stop playing organized sports by the age of 13 because “it’s just not fun anymore”. This shift away from organized sports at a critical developmental moment in teenagers’ lives is particularly concerning with the aforementioned challenges. – and emphasizes the potential of skateboarding as a mechanism for adolescents and teenagers to stay active and find community.

Community Investment

A SKATEPARK IS A COMMUNITY ASSET

Skateparks provide a vital space for people to stay active and be a part of a unique community. Well-built skateparks have proven to be a valuable community asset in cities around the world with tremendous benefits.

group-at-skatepark

These are the top benefits of a public skatepark in the community:

  • Provides a safe environment for skateboarding and related recreation and sport
  • Reduces illicit behavior
  • Skateboarding provides significant physical and mental benefits
  • Reduce damage to private property
  • Skateparks positively impacts the economy

The skate culture impacts those from all races, backgrounds and demographics. A new skatepark will be enjoyed by many across a range of skill, experience and generation.

2009 thf

LAW ENFORCEMENT STUDY

To examine the impact of public skateparks from the local law-enforcement perspective, the Tony Hawk Foundation surveyed law-enforcement officers in communities where THF has contributed to the construction of a public skatepark. Each municipality included in this survey has had its skatepark open at least one year.

These are some of the findings from that study:

believed the skatepark is an asset to the community.
90%
significant decrease in complaints regarding skate-related incidents and crimes
86%
reported no major issues at the skatepark, such as bad behavior or crime
91%
decrease in overall youth crime since the skatepark opened
47%
reported a positive impact on the relationship between law enforcement and local youth
41%

The majority of law-enforcement officers surveyed believe the skatepark has been a positive addition to their community. Some officers reported that their departments are actually working with the skaters to improve the skateparks and to promote them in their communities.

PROFIT & GAINS

EMPLOYMENT & ECONOMICS

Skateparks present the need for relevant businesses, like skateboard shops, bringing new jobs and revenue to the community; skateparks create the opportunity for new skateboard teaching and instructional jobs as well. Youth programs in the community can also offer skateboard lessons and camps, which creates a win-win environment for the skaters, instructors, and community.

SKATEPARKS & SAFETY

It’s often said that if your city doesn’t have a skatepark – your city is the skatepark. The majority of skateboarding injuries happen outside of skateparks, skateboarders will not usually venture into a skatepark until they are fairly comfortable with their skill level. Only about 5% of skateboarding injuries are severe and most of these occur from an accident involving a vehicle. In the U.S. an average of 40 people die in skateboarding accidents per year. The most common reason for fatalities is the collision with a motor vehicle. Skateparks provide a safe space for skateboarding. That is not the case when riding in the road. Skateboarders are always at risk of encounters with surface irregularities and motor vehicles without a designated area to pursue their activities.

Skaters can reduce the risk of a skateboarding injury by wearing the proper skateboard equipment, continuously practicing and staying physically fit. While skateparks can reduce injury, not every injury is preventable. To advocate for the safety of skateboarders local and state officials can pass requirements for the use of safety gear and skateparks can also implement gear requirements to use the facility.

PROBLEM SOLVING

SKATEPARKS ARE THE SOLUTION

Skateboarders need a place to go. A park is a gathering place for the community. A skatepark is a gathering place for local skateboarders. Skateboarders are brave and athletic individuals with a passion for skateboarding, and skateparks fulfill a need for the skateboarding population.

SKATE CULTURE: DIVERSE & INCLUSIVE

The uniqueness of skateboarding culture is that it is welcoming to anyone that approaches it with genuine intention. Class, race, gender, weight, and other hobbies are irrelevant. Skateboarding is all inclusive. As an individual sport, the success and enjoyment of skaters is not dependent on other skaters’ performance. There is nothing to gain or lose from seeing otherse land a trick for the first time except for the shared celebration of success.

"It’s so weird how with skateboarding, it doesn’t matter where you are. You’re a skateboarder and I’m a skateboarder; we’re cool. I really don’t understand how that works. But that’s one of the blessings of skateboarding where it’s just neutral.”

HELP US TO REACH CITY OFFICIALS TO BUILD A NEW SKATEPARK IN CENTRAL MAUI

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