Copyright © Skate Park Association

The Skate Park Association, a 501 c3 non profit,  was founded in 1996 by Heidi Lemmon and shortly after Tim Payne joined forces with his newly produced Airwalk S. Park Video. At this time there were only 3 public parks in the USA and all 3 were very small with 18 inch height restrictions.

Heidi Lemmon set up a program for insurance for private skateparks. In 1996 rates started at $30,000 a year and went up to + $60,000 a year with a $10,000 deductible. By developing safety standards and a membership SPA was able to get the rates down to under $1000 a year for a non profit and $2500 for a private with zero deductible. Today the rates are higher because of a few claims but still much lower than 1996 rates with parks starting at $3500 a year and event coverage starting around $500 per day for grass roots events.

SPA also organized the skatepark builders into a group and started lobbying for public skateparks. It wasn't long before there were enough qualified builders and designers to start working on skatepark construction standards which were later adpoted by section F08.

Heidi Lemmon and Wally Hollyday were able to convince PARSAC (california joint insurers) to drop the height restrictions as long as the park was designed and buit by a professional.

It was still very hard to get a public park built so SPA formed a team of riders (BMX & Skateboard) and started doing events in Los Angeles and around the USA, Canada and Asia. They worked with rec and parks and city council districts around the USA and a few abroad. This turned out to be the best way to get a city interested in a public park. Once parks were built the older riders, little kids and girls started riding.

Over the last +20 years SPAI has accomplished:

Insurance Programs

Construction Standards

Safety Programs

Coaching Certification

AM Events and Series

Risk Management Programs 

Issues today include:

Scooters are crowding the parks and this is an issue cities need to address. The parks many cities built are not big enough and they find they need more and more neighborhood parks to keep up with the demand.

Preparing for Olympics in both Park & Street by building better parks.

Setting up coaching programs and beginner lessons.

BMX is still a huge issue in the USA and needs to be dealt with.