Stowmarket Skatepark is a brilliant example of what can be achieved when enthusiastic skaters and dedicated council staff get together and make something happen. I know this because a friendly fella called Steve told me. I had been rolling around for a little while when Steve cycled over to say hello. He told me about the vibrant skate / scoot / BMX scene Stowmarket has going on. Which was great to hear.
Stowmarket Skatepark has an almost bewildering amount of variety, and I mean that in a good way. It has the transitioned sides of skateparks like Felixstowe and Ipswich NW, and a taste of a Bury St.Edmunds style bowl.
The surface at Stowmarket Skatepark is pretty much perfect; smooth enough to be fast but rough enough to be grippy when you need it. The angle of the transitions are a little whippy for my tastes, but that's more to do with me being a crap skater than there being anything wrong with the angles.
The real highlight of Stowmarket Skatepark for me was the bowl. When I researched this skatepark I thought the bowl was just a place for the BMX riders to turn around after tricking their way down the length of the skatepark. While I'm sure this is a consideration, but the way the bowl is designed makes it a total joy on a skateboard. I don't have the skill (yet) to drop in on a bowl like the one at Bury St.Edmunds so being able to get up some speed pushing up to the Stow bowl, before rolling down into it and whipping around and back out a again is one of the coolest feeling things I've ever done on a skateboard. I want more.
Rumour has it the skatepark you see in the photos below is only the start. Apparently there are some metal ramps knocking about elsewhere in Stow and they might be moved onto the tarmac area beside the concrete skatepark. I imagine this would be perfect for BMX coolsters. There's quite a lot of space around Stowmarket Skatepark, and there's plans afoot to build a full bowl and some other cool stuff. I can't say much more as it's only hearsay!
Stowmarket Skatepark has a whole lot to offer everyone. And I do mean everyone. A few feet from the skatepark there's a cafe and toilets. I can't think of any other public, free skatepark that I've ever been to that has somewhere parents can sit and have coffee and cake while their spawn rip it up on small wheels.