Skate parks provide safe, attractive haven

Other Staff

Both male and female skaters often rid themselves of stress and frustration by skating at local skate parks. Many counter cultural teens and young adults try to visualize themselves as sponsored skaters as they practice kickflips, 360 flips and other tricks.

“Skating is an adrenaline rush,” Ashley Redfern, ’06, said. “It helps to relieve everyday stress from school and friends, while still having fun.”

Pain, endurance, and speed are key factors to skating. Injuries do occur whether the skater is a first timer or a professional.

“Everyone gets hurt,” Tyler Charest, ’05, said. “One time, I landed on the back of the board, then it came up and hit me in the chin. I had to get ten stitches.”

While some skate parks are government run, and free to skate in, others charge fees. The East Rotary Park, on Cedar and Sierra, is free to skate in.

“I think that paying to skate in skate parks is fair,” Chase VanSchoonhoven, ’04, said. “It costs people a ton of money to build them and keep them running, so it’s only fair for us to pay them back for supplying our needs.”

Many skaters travel out of town to skate at famous parks such as the Vans Skate Park in Bakersfield, but the only problem with going farther away is the cost of transportation.

“Skate parks are fun,” Josh Risch,’03, said. “It’s not everyday that you get to skate ramps; not everyone has them. It’s a change from regular old street skating.”

However, some skaters cannot make it to parks and have been banned from skating in their neighborhoods.

“The owner of Quail Lake and the homeowners association held a meeting on this issue,” Layden Lazar, ’03, said. “I don’t think the board of directors at the meeting though, took to heart what the 11 of us had to say. They banned skating in spite of how we felt.”

Since then Lazar has purchased a shirt and hat which seems to demonstrate how he feels.

“I bought the shirt in protest that says ?legalize skateboarding’ and a hat that says ?skateboarding is not a crime’,” Lazar said. He went on to say that he rarely skates now because there are so few places to do it legally.

Ground Zero Skate Park, in Madera, is another local skate park that teens enjoy. It has a safe environment for skaters of all races, ages, and genders.

“Here at Ground Zero, we don’t promote using drugs or bad language,” Peter Maskovich, Manager of Ground Zero, said. “We promote the good vibe. If someone is being a jerk, then we kick him or her out. Parents feel safe dropping their kids off here. Everyone is accepted.”

Skate parks are usually crowded on weekend afternoons, so going later, or after school will allow for a more peaceful skating experience.

Most parks require the skater to wear protective gear, and some parks sell their own.

A skater needs a deck, wheels, trucks, bearings, grip tape, the right shoes, and lots of love. Copeland’s, Onshore, and Sugar Hill are just a few of the stores that sell skate gear. Some skaters prefer to buy their gear online or from magazines, such as Transworld skate magazine, or from websites like

For more information about skate parks and skating equipment, see, or