I gotta tell ya, as someone who graduated a recording engineering program many years ago, sound is very complicated! I have lived next to, used, and helped build skateparks since I was a little prepube, and I have always been a huge supporter of the skatepark at Crowell or Living Memorial Park. I never thought skateparks were as loud as oppositional neighbors across the country always made it seem, however I was pretty surprised to see how similar or even quieter they are to noise levels produced by Baseball fields, basketball, playgrounds, and traffic. Unless someone can refute this data I think it’s time that noise levels stop being used as an argument against a skatepark in mixed recreational parks near neighbors. Some of these web addresses aren’t producing a hyperlink, so just copy and paste them to your browser!
Here is a gerneral sound chart for every day noises. Spoiler alert: your chainsaws and vaccums are louder than a skatepark!
“Most people’s experience with skateboarding noise is associated with the act of skateboarding across city sidewalks. The majority of this noise does not actually come from the wheels rolling across the surface of the concrete, but rather from the cracks in sidewalks and other rough surfaces and inconsistencies.” Sound levels from this example are around 70db from 50 ft away.
“Because vehicles and other city noises were louder than noises coming from the skate park, the average noise measurement doesn’t represent the noise of skating. However, looking between noise peaks caused by vehicles and sirens, the skate park (at a distance of 70 feet) appears to generate sound levels ranging between 50 and 68 dBA.” This has a chart of SIX DIFFERENT SKATEPARKS at various levels away.
“Concrete had the lowest noise levels and steel the highest but at 100 feet from the park there was little noise above the surrounding ambient noise no matter what surface.” You have to scroll down to view this data, which is extensive and varied. Db levels from 30 ft range from 65 to 70 with 50 participants in a concrete park.
This is a video of someone with a db measuring tool. This probably not a valid study, however it does give a good idea of how these studies are done. The video compares traffic (75 Dbs) a skatepark (71.9 Dbs) and a baseball game (68 Db)
Finally, the BASIC study, which I’m sure everyone has already read through, right?!
Somone light a candle and let’s have a moment of silence for the passing of one of our most beloved arguments.