It’s not unusual
When people talk about how it’s good for skating to get as big as possible—and usually these are the people who have a vested interest in selling skateboard products to the sons of Joe Sixpack, of course—they talk about how it’s more money in pros’ pockets, more support for skateparks, and more recognition for skating in general. Never mind that this money probably finds its way into the pocket of a pro who’s already leasing a luxury SUV (as opposed to your Joey Peppers or John Igeis), or that the new skatepark is yet another modular three-foot-high tennis court conversion, and you’re still getting kicked off the local manual pad by a sweaty, moustachioed fellow in a fake cop car who angrily refers to your sweet ride as “them rollerboards.”
Separate from all of this are the little indignities suffered when this skateboarding way of life, if you can call it that, is squinted at, hmmm’ed over and sadly misinterpreted by any number of parties who wouldn’t bother if not for the prospect of a quick dollar. With that in mind, behold the Men’s Fitness guide to five of the best skateparks our nation has to offer. Wouldn’t you know it, they manage to name-check Tony Hawk and the X-Games in the first sentence.
Men’s Fitness on the Vans park in Orange: “Don’t worry, if you forget your board you can rent one for just five bucks a session.”
On the “Louisville Extreme Park”: “The park is also open to in-line skaters and bicycle enthusiasts.”
On the Vans park in, uh, Orlando this time: “If you need a break from all that skating, there is an arcade area with the latest games.”
On the Kona skatepark in Jacksonville: “15,000-square-foot X-game style course with metal surface.”
On the Encinitas YMCA: “It’s not unusual to see guys like Bucky Lasik, Pierre-Luc Gagnon, and Shaun White practicing their moves at this extreme sport Mecca. That’s because the Ecke features one of the greatest vertical ramps in the country. In fact, it’s the same one that was used at the 2004 X Games.”
Coming next month: Our “extreme 15” list of must-haves for an afternoon BBQ/session at Portland’s notorious “Burn Side” skatepark, including Lil’ SmokeyTM grill (don’t forget a couple packs of Ballpark FranksTM for the bros!), ErgoLoungerTM Aluminum Portable Chaise LoungeTM, syringes, and a “grip” of PowerBarsTM and PowerAdeTM!