A Skate Park is coming in 2015: RUN FOR THE HILLS, THE END IS NEAR! (opinion)

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 9.41.10 AMTo add to the conversation that started in my last post on the topic of skate parks (see – RUMOR ALERT: IS A NEW SKATEPARK COMING TO THE BOARDWALK AREA?). The above image was taken from our city Capital Improvement Plan 2014/15 Capital Budget. I tried to highlight Skate Park in blue, but it’s really hard to see. The city has 300k allocated for a skate park in 2015. It will be a real cement skate park and the city will seek input from the local skating community.

LONG BEACH IS RECREATION

A real cement skate park is key to this whole ordeal. A real cement skate park will attract real skaters to Long Beach, plus who knows what else. Remember before Quiksilver Pro there were rumors of legendary pro Skater Tony Hawk coming here? (www.seabythecity.com/?s=tony+hawk). Yes, I am talking that level. A real cement skate park by the boardwalk by the beach could make for some really interesting entertainment opportunities. Maybe amateur pro skating contests or even more, like how Pro Surfer Kelly Slater surfed in our waters. Yes, I am dreaming, but it could happen.

Just to clarify, It turned out that Tony Hawk was part of the NYC portion of Quiksilver Pro 2011.  Please don’t start ‘Tony Hawk coming to LB’ rumors, I was just using that as an example and we jumped that ship already. 

hawkjump

LONG BEACH IS RECREATION

While I do think a skate park is “cool” and a “win-win,” I am also a believer that not everything needs to be developed for money. One aspect I love about Long Beach (and one of the reasons why I moved here) is access to all the great parks we have. Not just the beach, but all the playgrounds as well.  With my 2 year old, I’m able to my walk from my house to various different playgrounds around the city. So it’s a quality of life issue for me and my family. The “parks are money loser” argument drives me crazy. The last place I would ever want to live in is an overdeveloped shopping mall where there is nothing to do, but buy things. Parks are where people of all ages interact, get fresh air, exercise and grow. Yes, a skate park isn’t for 2 year olds, but it is something for older kids and even adults to do.

On the flip side, it is in the Long Beach best interest to have the best parks around. These amazing parks will attract people to come here and spend money, or residents to have more “staycations.” Oh I hate that term, but it’s true. If everything I could possibly want is already here, why would I vacation in other beach towns like out east, Maryland or Jersey shore?

LONG BEACH IS RECREATION

What are the benefits of a skate park? Here is an article that explains six. I’ll break it down:

1. SKATEPARKS REDUCE ILLICIT BEHAVIOR
2. SKATEPARKS PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR SKATEBOARDING
3. SKATEPARKS REDUCE DAMAGE TO PRIVATE PROPERTY
4. SKATEBOARDING HAS SIGNIFICANT PHYSICAL HEALTH BENEFITS
5. SKATEBOARDING HAS SIGNIFICANT MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS
6. SKATEPARKS HAVE A POSITIVE ECONOMIC IMPACT

That article does fail to talk about the negative effects a skate park can bring: The plague, giant baby-eating locusts and sharknados.

Since many like to talk about nothing, but money, the economic impact would be more of the trickle-down effect: a cement skate park by the beach by the boardwalk is an attraction.  Events, clinics and entertainment are a given, plus put some food near this skate park and you will have a lot of hungry skaters buying food from the local who is selling it. If any of you know anything about economics, you need to keep money flowing as much as possible, but as local as possible too. It’s the best way to help a community out.

LONG BEACH IS RECREATION

As far as “low-lifes,” the term that some of you like to use. I really dislike that term because it’s so generalizing and profiling. I mean, what defines a low-life? Don’t forget, we were all kids once. Just because a kid likes skateboarding over your typical American baseball, does that make that kid a low life? For those who think yes,  it tells me you’re either insecure or afraid of something you’re unfamiliar with. Just let it go and have fun with your life. Don’t worry so much. Life is short. Let kids have a place to hang out and have fun.

If we are going to use the low-life term, I tend to think the influx bars we have around town generate more low-lifes than a skate park ever could. I mean, I love to drink as much as the next guy, but do we really need so many places that serve alcohol? Places where adults get drunk, yell out load, piss and throw up on private property? Why don’t we complain about that? If we are so worried about a skate park, then I suggest we take out everything “fun” in Long beach and do nothing, but stare at walls. What I am trying to say is, there needs to be a place for everybody. Long Beach is recreation, after all. Some like to skate, some like to drink. Can’t we all co-exist and love each other? Last week at the Boardwalk Phase II meeting, this lady stood up and said how she didn’t want any more Minigolf. I just don’t understand how activities like minigolf effects somebody so much.

Sorry, this turned into a bit of a rant, but that’s what I do. I blog.

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23 thoughts on “A Skate Park is coming in 2015: RUN FOR THE HILLS, THE END IS NEAR! (opinion)”

  1. Excellent post and I am 100% on board with what you say. Even though I do not have kids skate park age, recreational activities such as this will be a win-win attraction for our city for the long term!

  2. I grew up in Long Beach, on east Olive Street and Long Beach Blvd to be exact…anyway, I live in Virginia Beach, VA now. I know, I know…another “beach” town…but not the same as Long Beach was/is. We have 4 Primier Professional-grade “street course-style” skate parks here in the City. These are the “cement” skate parks you speak about. One of these skate parks was directly funded by the singer Pharrell Williams and carries his name, Williams’ Farm, and is not only a skate park, but an entire rec center complex as well and is very popular especially because it has exterior lighting making it possible to skate well into the evening after dark. These skate parks are an excellent outlet for so many people, kids and adults alike. There is next to no crime at the parks as they are monitored by an city employed attendant during operating hours and the people that use the parks truly appreciate them and want to take care of them. Residents need to show ID and a “resident pass” is issued. For out-of towners, there is a nominal daily fee that is required for entry or an annual pass may also be purchased for a small fee, somewhere around $20 I believe. Release forms for minors is required to be signed by the parents and those over 18 sign the release on their own. Helmets are required for all as well. These parks have been THE place where my son (now 23) spent most of his free time and developed his skateboarding skills. He has had the opportunity to compete in several Pro-Am competitons held there and has had the chance to see world class skaters come for exhibitions, clinics and contests. The skate parks have been nothing but excellent for the development and maturation of the kids in this area. When I hear that another skate park is slated for construction, I get all excited like a kid at Christmas! SOooooo…I guess what I am saying in all this, is, those of you who have reservations and doubts about having the skate park approved, don’t be worried, it is going to be a surprisingly pleasant addition to the many wonderful parks that Long Beach has. I know change can be difficult at times, but don’t let this be. It will be a positive experience, if you give it a chance.

  3. Any truth that this new skate park will be located on the boardwalk dead end of Washington Blvd? The basketball courts to the west will provide a buffer for the HALB and the parking lot to the east will provide the buffer to the Beachwalk Landing residents. It really seems like the only obvious location….

  4. Thanks for sharing, Paula. Always great to read about positive changes in communities. I am positive the skate park in LB will bring the same 🙂

  5. It’s funny you say that. I was actually trying to think of locations and the only two that come to mind are Washington, or Riverside where the food trucks currently are.

  6. The only problem I see is noise at night. It would be great to have a skate park that isn’t locked up at eight, but perhaps I’m being stupid?

    If it’s lit up, in a well-traveled place without a lot of private hidden spots, it shouldn’t become a hangout for drinking.

  7. that’s my thought too. HALB is going to be sold sooner than later though, so the city better giddy up before new condos with complaining neighbors gets built.

  8. This is awesome as a former skateboard company owner and skater this makes me very happy!! Awesome for the kids and adults alike that still skate. Hopefully it won’t bring in tons of complaints and would be really cool if its big enough to bring in the dew tour or rob dyrdreks new street skate tour. But even if it doesn’t its great to have a good skatepark for the kids of Long Beach. As far as starting to complain about how many bars there are stop that, its not their fault it makes money! Stay positive LB

  9. i think this is a great idea. will keep kids off the streets. its a positive influence and im sure it will bring so much buisness and more people into this town. cant wait to see the blueprints

  10. We already have a skate park in LB. How about a place for our beloved dogs to run and play. Why does everything have to be about making money?

  11. The best place for the skatepark is North Park section east of the railroad tracks. There is a lack of diversity in skateboarding since most of the skaters are lazy whiteboys immitating hip hoppers. Having the skatepark in North Park would bring needed diversity, stability, and equality over there. Maybe there could also be a free skateboard program called obamaboards! Or midnight skateboarding. How about providing free skateboard lessons to disavantaged minority yutes?

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