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 😉