By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
First opened in 1977, Kona Skatepark in Jacksonville, Florida is one of the most iconic skateboarding parks in the world, and you can skate it in Arlington’s neighborhood.
The Fall and Rise of Kona Skatepark
Photo: Jason Lee (Unsplash)
In it’s beginning Kona Skate park had some falls, with two bankruptcies in just two years, in consequence, they had to be shut down for a while. In 1979 the Ramos family stepped in and bought the property, re-opening the place. The Ramos family wanted the place to be for the youngsters of Jacksonville, so they dedícated to make the park safe for kids to explore their skateboarding passion while forbidding drinking and smoking. The Ramos family’s ownership made Kona one of the most iconic parks in the country.
Kona, Influencing the Skateboarding Culture
They had the first Vert Ramp ever built, a combination of a half-pipe and a flat bottom portion, and also held the first professional vert ramp competition. So you can imagine how many pro skaters started in Kona. The park had a lot of concrete hills and a “snake run”, letting it’s visitors to be as creative as they want while skating.
If you have played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater the skate park appeared in the fourth edition. Kona has existed for more than 40 years now, surviving practically everything, like economic downturns and the decline of skateboardings popularity during the past years. This has made the park the ´longest surviving privately owned skatepark´ in the world, according to the Guinness Records.
The Ramos family are still the owners of Kona, and the park cotinues to be a crucial part of the Jacksonville skateboarding scene. I has been the host of more than one generation of local skaters. Skateboarding is still popular in Jax and Kona has contributed a lot to keep it that way. There are a lot of skate parks in the world both public and private, and there will be a lot more. But we can assure you that it will have to pass a long time until any of them has the type of history and skate culture Kona can be proud to have built through all these years.
Read also: Top 7 Skate Parks In The USA