Thanks to increased exposure from the X Games and Tony Hawk, skateboarding is more popular than ever. In fact, more and more skate parks are popping up throughout the country. Here are five worth checking out.

VANS Skatepark, Calif. — AKA "The Block"

Location: Orange, California
Opened: 1999

This world-class skatepark offers a mix of terrain for both professional riders and beginners. Whether you're just starting out or have been skating for years these ramps, mini ramps and street courses will both challenge and help you advance your skills. In case you need to sharpen your moves, this skatepark, known as "The Block," offers camps and private lessons for a small price. And don't worry, if you forget your board you can rent one for just five bucks a session.

Park Features:

  • 20,000-square-foot indoor wood (birch) street course
  • Stair sets, banks, rails, ledges, and manual pads
  • A replica of the original Combi pool (believed to be one of the best pools in skateboarding history), which was located at the Upland Pipeline Skatepark in California
  • Outdoor concrete street course with movable obstacles that can be set up to the skater's choice
  • More Info: vans.com

      

     

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    Louisville Extreme Park

    Location: Louisville, Kentucky
    Opened: 2002

    One of the finest skateparks in the country, the Louisville Extreme Park is home to 40,000-square-feet of outdoor skating surface and a 20,000-square-foot building for indoor skating. One of the park's biggest draws is the 24-foot full pipe. The park is also open to in-line skaters and bicycle enthusiasts. Are you an insomniac boarder? Then you're in luck—Extreme Park is open 24/7.

    Park Features:

  • 24-foot full-pipe
  • 40,000-square-feet of outdoor concrete skating surface
  • Wooden vert ramp
  • Open 24 hours a day, year-round
  • More Info: louisvilleextremepark.org

      

     

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    VANS Skatepark, Florida

    Location: Orlando, Florida
    Opened: 2002

    This 20,000-square-foot indoor course features many obstacles even for the most advanced street skaters. With stair sets, rails, ledges, and ramps, you can push yourself to learn a few new tricks or keep perfecting the ones you know so well. Lessons and rentals are also available here, and there is a special pee-wee area designed just for beginners. If you need a break from all that skating, there is an arcade area with the latest games.

    Park Features:

  • A 25,000-square-foot indoor street course, which includes pyramids, step-ups, rails, ledges, and hubbas
  • Cement Dough Boy Bowl, which features depths from 4 to 8 feet
  • An 8,000-square-foot warm-up street course, which includes all the features of the main course
  • A 15,000-square-foot outdoor concrete street course, featuring manual pads, six-stair set, 10-stair set, multiple bowls, hips, and handrails
  • Two mini ramps that are both surfaced in skatelite
  • A competition vert ramp (40' wide with 10' 3" transitions and 1' 9" of vert surfaced in skatelite)
  • More Info: vans.com

      

     

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    Kona Skate Park

    Location: Jacksonville, Florida
    Opened: 1977

    The world's oldest privately-owned skatepark, Kona still boasts it's original concrete Snake Run from the late '70s. In the 30 years since it's construction, Jacksonville's legendary park has made its mark on the world of skating by playing host to some of the sport's top shredders, including Tony Hawk, Bob Burnquist, and Christian Hosoi. But don't worry if you're new to the sport, Kona offers free classes for beginners every Saturday morning.

    Park Features:

  • Snake Run, which drops 100 feet by the time you travel its 700 yards from top to bottom
  • The Tombstone: a six-foot wall attached to a 12-foot deep bowl
  • 15,000-square-foot X-game style course with metal surface
  • 10-foot-deep kidney pool
  • 30-foot-deep bowl with 6'' tombstone extension
  • More Info: konaskatepark.com

      

     

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    Magdalena Ecke YMCA Skateboard Park

    Location: Encinitas, California
    Opened: 1990

    In the 18 years since it was built, the Ecke YMCA skatepark has become a top destinations for hardcore enthusiasts—it's not unusual to see guys like Bucky Lasik, Pierre-Luc Gagnon, and Shaun White practicing their moves at this extreme sport Mecca. That's because the Ecke features one of the greatest vertical ramps in the country. In fact, it's the same one that was used at the 2004 X Games. But if you're not a hardcore vert skater, the Encinitas park is also known for having two of the best cement pools in the country.

    Park features:

  • 37,000-square-foot skate park
  • Backyard-style kidney pool
  • Multi-tiered clover bowl pool
  • 25,000-square-foot street course with quarter pipes, bank ramps, roll-in ramps, pyramids, hips, handrail stations, slider boxes 12' vert wall
  • 80' wide, 13' tall vert ramp with a 19' roll-in, 15' extensions and a 15' floating platform
  • More Info: ecke.ymca.org

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