Tuesday, May 20, 2008
New Park Off Racetrack Road
Sometimes, when someone tells you about a new park, you may get a certain feeling of childlike glee in that you will soon have an exciting new place to skate. But sometimes, you may notice that the glee has been replaced by dread, because of all the badly-built skateparks you've been to lately. Having said that, let me tell you about my experience with the new park off of racetrack road.
Isak from Board City had told me about this place a couple of times. Because he is a local superstar in the OP area, he appreciates the park's remote location far away from anything civilized. (well, unless you consider sprawling yuppie psuedo-golf communities to be counted as 'civilization', I certainly don't.) I probably think that this is the extent of likeability here. I was skeptical on my way out to the park, but I wanted to see it for myself to be sure.
Now to the pros and cons--I'll start with the pros first. This place is probably never crowded. The concrete slab the park rests on is smooth as anything you would want to skate on. The ramps are sturdy, and aren't made of splintery wood. Also, this is a great place to work on your farmer's tan when the weather is nice. As far as the cons are concerned, there are a few: The park doesn't really have many ramps or obstacles, and the ones it does have seem to be spaced out a good bit. The ramps themselves are pre-fabricated, so no surprises there, although the coping on the pyramid ledge is made out of that picnic bench plastic, which will be instant death to those with less-than-stellar truck positioning skills. The mini-ramp has just one panel of flatbottom. Seriously, it feels rediculous to skate on. I don't know what the name of the ramp manufacturer is here, but whoever is responsible for this should be ridiculed. The park has no flow to it whatsoever. Basically, what you are skating is a wedge starting ramp, a pyramid, and a quarter pipe. The Quarter pipe shares a hip with the miniramp, which as I mentioned before, has a rather significant design flaw. Surrounding the main section of the park are various rails and boxes, which seem to have been added as an afterthought. Another problem here is that there are no concessions or convenience stores nearby, but there are bathrooms and a shaded pavillion for your use.
With all the open space available at this park, there certainly is room for improvement. Overall, I'd say a trip to this park could be a fun diversion, but as far as free parks go, it doesn't really offer much for you that you won't get from a park like the OP public park, or from Cuba Hunter park off of Emerson in Jacksonville. Stay tuned for directions to the park...looks like the street name doesn't yet exist in google maps.
For more images of the park, see my flickr account here.