Recreation and Parks Department
SKATE PARK HISTORY
The Ocean Bowl Skate Park is the oldest operating municipal skate park in the United States. Following the rise in popularity of skateboarding in the 1970s, the Ocean City Council banned skateboarding on the streets within City limits. This prompted many skaters and their parents to attend the next Council meeting to ask that a space be provided for them to pursue their sport.
By the first week of June, 1976, the park opened. At that time, the facility consisted of a four foot deep asphalt bowl which proved so successful that a larger bowl was quickly added. In 1984 this "big bowl" was structurally weakened by successive tropical storms and was removed the following year. It was succeeded by an eleven foot high, twentyeight foot wide metal-surfaced halfpipe which served not only to replace the lost bowl, but also to respond to the changing demands of skateboarding and the huge popularity of vertical ramps at the time.
The ramp and the small bowl stood for another ten years when finally, in 1997, due to time, wear and the current needs of skaters, the park was again in need of renovations. After long hours of planning and many meetings, the City Council together with a Skate Park Committee composed of local skaters, business people, politicians and parents, came up with the resources to build the park that exists today. The old bowl and ramp were torn down in the Fall of 1997 and the new park opened in July of 1998.
Since the new park has opened in July of 1998 we have been busy with may traveling demos, tours and skating contests. We have both skatecamps and clinics with professional skaters and have also maintained our park with upgrades and complete refacing, including our Bowl & Vert Ramp in 2011. The Ocean Bowl continues the tradition of the oldest Municipal Skatepark in the world and stays current with the ever so changing sport of skateboarding.