Skate park is still the place to hangAug 23, 2021 10:27AM ● By Greg James
Brandon Rosen travels from the upper Avenues to spend time with his friends at the skatepark. (Greg James/City Journals)
By Greg James | [email protected]
Nearly five years ago the city opened its first skate park and it has become a gathering place for skaters, families and spectators of the sport.
“I am here every day,” Hunter High sophomore Havik Walsh said. “It is a great place to hang out with my friends. I really think this is the best free skate park around.”
Walsh and several of his friends took turns jumping and twisting out of the large center bowl at the city skate night community jam with music, water and cookies. He completed a trick on his scooter called a nothing front scooter flip. In the trick the rider takes his feet off the scooter and rotates it in the air attempting to land on the other side of the obstacle.
“I think this place has great ledges and rails. I like the obstacles that I can jump,” Walsh said.
The skate park has become a play destination for youth from all over the valley. Each athlete performs his or her version of a whip, tail grab or 360 before landing and skating away perfecting the trade of boarding.
“I think it is good for the community,” Jim Vesock said while watching several skaters maneuver around the park. “I am glad the city encouraged the building of this facility. It has become a center point of the community.”
Frequent visitors to the park include enthusiasts who bring tools and replacement parts to help the younger and inexperienced athletes repair their equipment.
“I go to East High, and I love this place,” said 16-year-old Brandon Rosen.
The park opened in October 2016 and cost the city approximately $1.2 million. The park contains several features designed for experienced skaters and also structures for intermediate and beginners. The park allows skateboards, inline skates, scooters and bicycles.
It contains five fun boxes (swimming pool type holes). The boxes have rails for grinding the ramps to provide speed and obstacles, tricks and jumps.
The city administration reports the facility only needs light maintenance. A park official stops by weekly to collect the garbage cans and check the facility.
Terrain in streets and shopping centers have long been enticing for young skaters. Centralizing these items into one park makes a safe place for these athletes to practice without outside danger.
Even without performing elaborate tricks; pushing the board around and maintaining your balance can elevate your cardiovascular system. According to mensfitness.com, eight-12 calories per minute can be burned in its participation.
“I think everyone should try it out,” Walsh said.