A quick update from the concrete skate park in Port Elizabeth (currently under construction) – which is coming along nicely and nearing completion. However…
…it would be great if these parks were built with more than just 11 year-old skater-kids in mind.
What I’m getting at is, that, with all the effort and money put into these projects, surely the ‘Powers-that-Be’ would want the area to be utilized to its maximum potential for the longest possible period of time? Can it not be forseen that in 3 years time when little ‘Johnny’ has outgrown a place meant for under 11s’, he will then move onto bigger and better places to skate. Sure, nobody can deny the fun he has had hanging out in the park and the skills he has acquired: grinding; painting… But where to then? The answer is simple……The streets. The very scenario the park was built to help avoid.
It is good to see something happen for a quiet town, but honestly, has the bigger picture really been envisioned? Did the long term goal ever really include comfortable use by regular riders or skaters?
It costs a shit load of money to lay concrete like this, not to mention the cost of lights, drainage, security and everything else it takes to keep a park running. All this effort and the park is barely ‘ok’ for novices to progress on, let alone a rider to make proper use of the trannies. With just a little more research and rider- and skater- input, the place would have been sweet with a possible additional 6ft quarter and/or a neat bowl setup…… but it’s a bit late now.
There are many of these kiddies‘ skateparks around South Africa and although the general intentions are appreciated, is this really the level we are striving for? How can we produce better riders with facilities that do not allow for progression from one level to another in talented skaters and riders? Who do we as skaters and riders need to convince that this situation is not in anyone’s best interests?
Is the BMX and skate scene destined to be stuck in a rut consisting of knee-high ledges and hip-high ramps that serve one purpose only: to entertain the moms and dads who are watching?
Yes?… No?…… or am I just plain ouda line? Comments below please.
Big up to Morne Bezuidenhout for sending in the photo’s and provoking this little rant 😉
8 responses to “P.E Skatepark update”
Before the construction for the upgrading of the beachfront had begun, we as locals were approached by “the powers that be”. We were asked to put ideas of designs together. We did. Riders, skateboarders and roller-bladers altogether with the assistance of an architect.
We brainstormed taking into account all the factors mentioned in the article above, and many more.
Once everyone was satisfied, the design was submitted formally in a meeting with “the powers that be”.
Months later word was received that our design was rejected and that an alternative design was to be used, which was drawn up by someone who had already parks built in Cape Town.
As a skateboarder, I am entirely satisfied with the parks design and layout.
Luckily they have a park to ride and are in not constant fear of being mugged at any time and who is around their stuff. It is clearly built towards the younger crowd which is a bit of a shame but at least its something to ride in peace.
Althoug it is fine, nice,safe, wonderfull for the P.E: locals to have that park soon, I totally agree with Hank. Sure, there is some optoins to increase for riders up to some nice level when it comes to Street Skills in that Park. But even than….there is no way to practise tricks on long, high or whatsoever challenging rails….At some point you are just done with that spot.
And when it comes to getting some skills on trannies….ey, those trannies are a good joke in that park. Why not create a more challening set up? Eveybody who knows how to ride big trannies can ride small trannies as well….but vice versa?
Like Hank said, it is not about not appriciating that a park is build but about the fact that the money could have been used better and wiser – more long term orientated.From my european point of view south african riders (from what I have observed over the last three months) just have a disadvantage compared to riders from europe, states etc. just because you hardly find parks here that have, lets call it, international (competition) standard.
I think it would have been easy to realise a park with the money and space available to suit both – beginners with their mummies and more advanced riders.
I agree with Makl (by the way i emailed you after ghetto Jam but not sure if your mail was right Makl) and Hank there are so few in South Africa and when you hear about a new one being build everyone gets really excited, and then to see it “wasted” by bad planning and, as it will not be utilized and appreciated as much and for as long as it really could have been.
I agree with everything Hank said! I just want to point that theres n big (9 foot i think) bowl and quarter just behind the new park…. But it would definitely be nice if they built the park slightly bigger/higher. But i guess thats the best you can expect from SA.
I think, what we need to remember, is the fact that these parks cost a bucketload of cash money to build as well as the fact that this ain’t the states. It’s not as if we’re exactly spoiled for choice with parks aplenty.
Instead of looking at it and going “oh, well the stuff is a little small” rather just thank them for actually building something that will be there to use and free!
If that still doesn’t make you appreciative, then get involved and start your own park! (That might sound a bit arrogant to say but it isn’t, I promise. How can I assure you? Glad you asked. I can assure you because I, myself, am currently trying to make this dream a reality although the City of Cape Town is a tricky bugger to get a hold of. If anybody down in CPT wants to get on board with this project, mail me at rycology @ gmail . com Could use the support and feedback)
The area designated the for skate park was small and the budget was extremely limited.
The concrete has been poured and is curing. I’ve taken many walks around every bank, nipple, rail and tranny (the workmanship is a slight bit questionable), however, we will all be skating this park for many years.
As locals, we want every day skateable things in our park, not an international standard competition park with (for example) an 8 set hubba we’ll only hit once in a while. That would be a waste of space and money.
If we want to hit up bigger things we simply go skate street.
We as riders need to start a bmx cult, have our own riots….. randomly bombing every possible open space/land with a homemade pallet ramp, not to be mischievous but to get noticed and catered for with regards to the planning/developing of skate parks.
A rider or skater would session any park regardless of its class but having a park built with international class & standards would only allow for progression in any of the recreational art forms performed on wheels, as well as attracting riders, skateboarders & inline skaters from all over to jam a world class park…..