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Carlsbad: The Park that Brought Skateboarding to Life

By Andres Pachon

A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.

 

California was the birthplace of many of the skateboarding “firsts” of course, being its birthplace is something you would expect. People all over the world dream of being able to visit some of the most iconic spots out there, places where world records have been set, and where the discipline evolved to become what it is now. How would you like to visit the spot where the first ollie was made or check out the first rail that was slid and the first gap that was jumped?

Some of these places no longer exist and most of them have been replaced or reimagined by modern society, but Californian’s are very much interested in preserving their skateboarding history, just by paying a visit to the Skateboarding Hall Of Fame you will be able to see the insane amount of skateboarding memorabilia that has been collected over the years to display the impact in California’s culture! It is important to preserve and know this history, since more than a sport, skateboarding is a lifestyle and a worldwide movement.

The town of Carlsbad was one of the first ones to make history in California by creating what was going to become the first skatepark in the sunny city of skateboarding.

 

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A Skateboarding Landmark

There had been a couple of places built before Carlsbad skatepark was born, we can count “SURF CITY” as being one of the first skateparks in the world, and another unnamed location in Washington DC, these 2 before Carlsbad, however, they are not nearly as close to the impact and history that was made in skateboarding that CS did in the brief time it was functioning.

The park set the bar for what was going to become a storm of parks that were to be built not only in the USA but also across the world!
It was opened on March 3, 1976, and by the next year, The World Skateboard Championships were being held in this iconic spot, a witness of many of the skateboarding firsts, back then contests were focused on freestyle tricks, a style that developed and evolved to have some of the biggest names in skateboarding to make history by jumping the first ollies and even doing the first flips, some of them even flicking the board while being barefoot!

In this particular year, Bob Mohr took home 1st place and $3000 for the victory while “We are the Champions” by QUEEN was playing on the background, these guys were doing some cinematic SHIT® before it was even considered huh?

The place was filled with transitions, it was much like you would imagine a mini desert with lots of mountains but these were made out of smooth concrete you were able to skate on, the place definitely shaped what was to become of current skateparks.

 

The End Of Carlsbad

The spot only operated for 3 years and eventually became private property and was buried and abandoned for over 15 years with the threat of being bulldozed, Californias skateboarding community tried hard to save the park and especially a dude called Dave Bergthold (founder of Blockhead Skateboards) who sat down with the local council and proposed to have a skatepark/museum dedicated to Californias skateboarding culture built in the area, however, it seems that at the end it was money the one who spoke as the land were the park was buried was worth over 2 million dollars, the park was dug out and destroyed in 2005 to give room to an industrial complex.

The Parks Re-Birth

Yeah, some people might not be satisfied with the way the story of the park ended, but that’s real life my dudes and dudettes.

The city ended up building back the park in a different location, maybe with the intention to preserve what was once the brief history of a park and the beginning of many.

The current skatepark counts with many features for local beginners that want to learn and it is still promoting skateboarding culture among California’s youth.

 

 

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Features

  • 10,500 sq. ft. lighted facility
  • Curved and flat ramps
  • Two pyramids
  • Two stairways
  • Kidney + spine bowls
  • Pipe grinding ledges
  • Beginner’s area
  • Picnic tables
  • Restrooms nearby

 

Restrictions To Skate

Anywhere within the downtown Village Redevelopment Area
On the promenade walkways, landscape barriers or walls near Armada and Lego drive, between Cannon and Palomar Airport Road At City Hall, including surrounding sidewalks, landscape barriers and the parking lot
At the Senior Center, including surrounding sidewalks landscape barriers and the parking lot

Along the ocean bluff top walkways

On hard court surfaces such as Tennis/Basketball Courts

On the lower seawall

On school grounds

In business areas open to the public, when the prohibition is so posted

The park it’s free and open from 8 am to 10 pm daily to the public and it’s illuminated at night. Helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads are required.

Economy and bureaucracy its a bitch! during the ‘90s. Recession and an increase in the cost of insurance closed many skate parks, lucky for us, times have moved forward and public skateparks are almost a basic need in every city! It is very rare to go to a place where there isn’t one, but they are out there!

This might not come as a concern for those who skate in the streets since the skatepark is a second option, but those who are just learning to skate do have the need for them. Many communities have gathered to bring a solution to this problem, hopefully, in the near future, there will be no city or town in the world without a quality, free, safe local skatepark.

There you have it my dudes and dudettes a little bit of skateboarding history for you guys, do you know the history of your local skatepark? If you do, let us know! We would love to hear it from you!

 

 

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