Skateboard Deterrents

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    Andrew Spiering

    We have all seen images like these:

    What are other options? Does anyone have a detail they would like to share?

    Thanks in advance!

    Kevin J. Gaughan

    Best deterrent for skateboarders is people. I feel that if the space you designed is dynamic and full of people the skateboarders will stay away out of convenience. If your space does not seem to attract lots of people, however, why not let the skateboarders use it. If for no other reason than at least it will look active in your project photos!

    Andrew Spiering

    Philosophically, I agree 100%. However legally, it is a liability to allow skateboarding in certain areas – especially if it is privately owned. Right?

    I hate these brackets and think they are a real eye sore (examples above prove my point)! I have seen alternatives like the rough surfacing and little notches or wedges in the wall cap. These alternatives are less obtrusive and can be an attractive detail within the design.

    Aside from all of that, I am simply looking for a pdf or dwg file I can use…


    Andrew Spiering

    Ok, I stand corrected. Thanks for the tips!




    As a skateboarder..

    Top-seeded concrete really sucks to skate

    Generally, I think it comes down to the paving detail. I’ve been seeing skaters and snowboarders/skiers alike riding rails and ledges with welded skate-deterrents. We’re (they’re) getting creative..But if the paving sucks, it’s not so much fun at all..:)

    Lisa Town

    I agree with the post above that this is normally for maintenance purposes because skateboarders can really tear up nice seatwalls. I also agree that we should LET EM RIDE!

    Therefore, I must show images from one of my most beloved plazas….Heiner-Metzger Plaza in Neu Ulm, Germany.

    This plaza is very small and at the corner of two streets. There is an artistic water feature at the street edge for fun and noise reduction, various cross flows of traffic including people coming and going from the towns public library that has it’s front doors onto the plaza, plus a play area for kids, outdoor fußball table, climbing wall, and large chess set in addition to benches, seat blocks and seat wall. And yet some of the seat walls have been given a rail-like edge that both protects the seatwall and actually gives the skaters a place to go. Some seat walls do not have the rail and instead have wooden benches sitting on top to help differentiate between skater area and sitting area.

    Below is a photo of the seatwall for skaters and then a couple other photos just to show the rest of the plaza. It had just finished raining, literally 10 minutes before I took the photos and immediately people flocked to this place. Notice the lady relaxing on the bench with her umbrella in front of her.

    Andrew Spiering

    So this is what I was looking for… These were taken today at lunch across from the Ferry Building. As you can see, they are still being used. They may be a deterrent to skateboarding but not BMX.

    Here’s a link to the google map:,-122.39411&spn=0.000788,0.002253&t=k&z=20&layer=c&cbll=37.795135,-122.394485&panoid=b3flvB7dLlzlpIurtQ0w6A

    Clayton Munson

    I think the only real solution here is a balance between where it’s ok to skate and not ok to skate. The plaza is a great example. The designer didn’t fight against but for lack of a better term accepted that skateboarding would happen there. To tell someone that they can’t do something but not give them an alternative very rarely works. Also the use of deterrents such as specifying rough materials, saw cuts, or specialized objects that are designed to stop skateboards will deter some but will also provide a challenge to others.

    Rico Flor

    I have to say that this notching thing is quite HIDEOUS! If I have to choose between retrofitting and good management, I’d opt for good building management, via environmental comm, presence of authority, bike patrols, the like.

    My sentiments tend to go for ‘Let ’em ride’, but for the sake of problematizing the issue, I think I’d consider shorter span steps or benches, maybe incorporate bollard-like details.

    Then my mind fast-forwards to possibilities…like…how Parkour enthusiasts would leap from one bollard to the other.

    Ah, democratic spaces and site interactivity. Nothing beats human ingenuity and the celebration of urban life! I like my job!

    Socorro Alatorre

    Some good ideas there, are the walls built? because that limits you plenty, but if you are in the process of designing the wall you can add some texture (split face) on the vertical face of the wall and that stop them as well, you can integrate deeper notches or armrests (which have a bigger impact on the design). What I am having trouble now-a-days is with bikers, they jump over the deterrents very easy and create bigger damage to the walls. So think about bikers as well!


    ha you can stop the skateboarders, but you can never stop the rollerbladers.
    rollerbladers will always find ways to get past these because we are the future

    Andrew Spiering

    : )

    Oona Johnsen

    I worked with a metal artist who developed this skateboard deterrent for a hotel. It is fabricated and forged bronze, bolted into the retaining wall.

    Jeff Waters

    No offense but that is hideous. I hope that detail is blending in with some unseen site features. Not only does it deter skateboarders, but anyone who may want to enjoy the space.
    Can you describe the overall design or maybe show more photos so we can get a feel for the whole design?

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