Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sneak Peak: New Colerain Skate Park by Who-Skates

I've been following the progress of a much anticipated new skatepark in Colerain for well over a year. The original Grindline plans were thrown up on the web and what looked like an amazing park went a step further with an out-of-this-world 10 ft vert bowl including tiled pool coping. There are many bowls around town but nothing can really compare to what they had planned. Tom and his crew at Who-Skates (check his site here) were hired to build the park and began work in early 2009. Everyone was hoping to be skating a completed park by the fall. Heavy rains that year caused servere damage. Building was shut down around late summer and did not resume again until summer 2010.

As of now the park is near completion, however, there is still no word on the actual open date. This is a massive new facility that will house the park, huge kids playgrounds, baseball fields, etc...The word is that all this needs to be completed before it will be open regardless if the skate park is finished or not.

I had a few email conversations with the builder, Tom, and he invited me and the kids over to check out the park and have a run on this new, holy-ground of virgin concrete. I have to say that this was a truly generous offer on Tom's part and we're very grateful! Tom has been traveling around the country since 1987 building skate parks of this quality. It was a great experience to meet someone who follows their love and passion with that kind of dedication.

So we made the drive to Colerain in about 40 minutes and Ethan tagged along because he started convulsing when I told him where I was going. The park is amazing, all of it. But the bowl is something that must be seen in person and will possibly give you vertigo. It looked unworldy to me. Beautiful, smooth lines, rounded to vertical. Standing dead center in the deep end surrounded by 10 foot walls felt like I was in a church. Concrete so smooth and fast like only the best parks. This kind of design and building is where the industry is heading. The days of pre-fabricated, metal, death parks are coming to an end.

Here are a few pics:

Yeah, Ethan, sweep it up nice for daddy:

Tom and his small crew built all this with their hands, concrete and tools. It's functional art:

The park isn't just a single, bowl mecca. It's got two amazing, plaza-type street runs and a huge flow bowl. You can see the non-skate related work being done in the back ground:

Here's a shot of the flow-bowl with the big bowl in back:

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