Skaters Get Their Own Playgrounds

Skateboarding has been evolving since surfers decided to take surfing waves to surfing cement around the 1950s, according to skateboardingmagazine.com.

In addition to skateboarding being a large part of many people’s lives, the trend of implementing skate parks into communities has been growing rapidly over the years as well.

In previous generations, parents took their kids to throw a football, or kick a soccer ball back and fourth at the park. But now, it is becoming the norm to take your kids to skate at the new skate park down the street as skateboarding becomes more and more common amongst all ages.

7u9a6846-2Boy skates one of many ramps at the SLO Skate Park. Photo courtesy of San Luis Obispo Parks and Rec.

For instance, the local San Luis Obispo Skate Park located at 1050 Oak Street was reopened on Feb. 28, 2015 after being remodeled from its original construction in 1994.

The new skate park was built after residents of the San Luis Obispo skate community “rallied, voiced their opinions, and attended council meetings,” according to San Luis Obispo Parks and Rec Community Services and Events Supervisor David Setterlund.

After the community had put in many efforts for the new skate park, the city was finally in the financial state to start on the project, said Setterlund.

They also had the help of a $25,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation to build the $2.2 million park designed by artists Jed Joyce and John T. Jones.

“The skate park gives people a place to [skate] in a place specifically designed for their behavior,” said Setterlund.

Similarly, the skate park is a great place for people in the community to learn how to skateboard and to improve.

“One thing I love is how [the skate park] allows kids from out of state or different areas to try skateboarding for their first time,” said first year Cal Poly student and skater Jackson Werbelow.

According to Setterlund, it is the busiest park during all times of the day, and he enjoys seeing the visitors happy, skating, and treating the facility well.

The SLO Skate Park, also known as the “Concrete Jungle” was even featured in the Los Angeles Times.

dsc07365One of many artistic features of the “Concrete Jungle.” Photo Courtesy of San Luis Obispo Parks and Rec.

“But overall, this may be California’s most artistic skate park. And, I hope, the start of a trend,” according to the latimes.com article about the SLO Skate Park.

Although some believe that skate parks lead to trouble in communities, the positive impact they have are well researched.

According to research done by the Local Government Association of Queensland in 2004, “Well designed and managed skate facilities will become a hub for community life . . . A skate facility can be a catalyst for healthy community life in which young and old socialize, have fun, develop new skills, make new friends, hang out and much more.”

The skate park offers many Cal Poly students a different form of exercise and enjoyment than going to a traditional gym.

“The skatepark is like my rec center. Instead of going to the gym to work out or play sports, I go to the SLO Skate Park.” — Jackson Werbelow

Skate parks in general allow for connections to be made with people who share a common interest in skating as well.

“Through the skate park, I’ve made many friends. I feel that I’m closer with many of them rather than the other friends I’ve made on campus due to our shared passions and interests for skateboarding,” said Werbelow.

The skate park trend seems to be very beneficial for communities and the residents involved in the skateboarding world. If you are interested in learning how to skate, checking out this sweet skate park would be a great option for you.

Feature Photo: Park user catches air on the bowl. Photo Courtesy of San Luis Obispo Parks and Rec.
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2 thoughts on “Skaters Get Their Own Playgrounds

  1. thesoulsearchingscene says:

    I love the concept of shining a light on the best of the best that SLO has to offer; I had no idea that there was such an amazing skate park so nearby! I think that your blog is not only appealing on a visual level but also super intriguing for anyone wanting to learn more about the SLO area.

    Liked by 1 person

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