Our Igor Vukadinović – Poki, the most renowned BMX freestyle driver and ambassador of the Pannonian Challenge from the very beginning, in between training and judging at extreme sports competitions, has taken some time and has given you a tour of some of the best skate parks he personally visited. No surprise, among them, we found a well-known skate park on the left bank of the river Drava. Let’s hear how Poki categorizes parks and which, in his opinion, is the best in the world and in Croatia.
“To begin with, it should be noted that skate parks are mostly constructed of wood, while there are also iron, sheet metal and concrete parks. In my opinion the best are wooden parks, because they are not so hard, so absorbing jumps and falls is not so painful, while in the case of a broken ramp you can easily fix it or make a new one with a piece of wood. According to my experience, concrete parks are much harder and more dangerous to ride because there is no place for mistakes and every drop can be deadly. I also remind you that there are many types of skate parks around the world, but each one is different from other and I believe that there are no two equal parks anywhere.
Now we can start the story with the best parks in the world, and they are mostly found in the United States, which is actually logical because America is also considered the home of extreme sports. As surely the best one, I would have to say the Woodward camp in Pennsylvania. Woodward camp was built in the 70s and it is also the finest skate park complex in the world and all athletes have the dream of riding their BMX, skate or roller blades someday there. The most interesting thing is that every city or neighborhood in the United States has its own skate park, and they differ from each other by its own elements, size, height of the ramps and material.
On the other hand, there are also top skate parks in Europe, where I would single out England, because there are several ideal polygons, from which excellent drivers come out every year. It is extremely important that the skate park is covered, so that riders can ride during the winter season and prepare for the upcoming season. Adrenaline Alley in Corby, offers excellent equipment to extreme athletes of all age groups where they can learn and perfect demanding tricks.
Finally, I’m proud that Osijek is home to one of the best parks in Europe, because with its top-of-the-line equipment, every rider can choose different combinations, lines, equipment and it has the most important thing – the foam pit. Foam pit is a pool full of sponges and is ideal for learning new tricks and I think it is very necessary for progress in sports, because you can throw away your BMX and land safely and try new tricks even though it can be dangerous if the bike falls on you, so you have to be careful. Eventually, confirmation of the excellence of our skate park is constantly coming from the region because its potential has already been recognized by extreme athletes from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovenia and other countries in the region.
There are also several other skate parks in Croatia, which are located in Zagreb, Rijeka, Varaždin and Split. Split is the only place in Croatia that has an indoor type of skate park that gives the opportunity for all-year training and progress. Also, central Croatia will soon receive a new skate park thanks to the City of Varaždin and our world champion Marin Ranteš, who has decided to give his young fellow citizens the conditions he only had in Osijek and at the Pannonian Challenge.”