Mission Valley YMCA Grand Opening

Eagerly anticipating a fresh park you pull into the dirt parking at the Krause Family YMCA in Clairemont. The first thing you hear upon opening the door is the lengthy barking sound of metal grinding against cement. The new pool is the first with real vert, tile and coping since Del Mar closed in 1986. Any number of pros, past and present might be ripping the pool. Neil Blender, Andy Mac, The Stelmasky brothers, Salba, or many other rippers from near and far will be shredding the smooth trannys.

You are excited because a full, legit bowl with pool coping is rare anywhere. Especially one as good as this one built by Wally Hollyday in this suburb of San Diego. The Vans parks offer the only other good pools in a park, none of which are located in San Diego. Don’t worry, it’s got way more than the pool man, at 53,000sq ft it has something for all.

The pool has been open for a month or two but the grand opening for the whole park took place this past Saturday. The Grand Opening affair started with an hour of speeches and stories of the paperwork required for the YMCA, city, and school district to work out the details. Then Andy and the guy who built the wood parts of the park, Twister, demonstrated the pool, street course and 13′ high, million feet wide, vert ramp. After that various pros and rippers showed up. Paul Zitzer, Frank Hirata and Peter King just to name a few. Of course the local news and political big wigs were there. The “demo” consisted of many people skating the park, kind of like a normal session. Andy, Paul and others sessioned the vert ramp. Andy was pretty much warming up for the X Games, pulling every trick in the book. Hirata skated the pool mostly but also was practicing for X on the street course.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know you want to hear about the stuff in the park not just the people who got to skate it. The pool is perfect basically. It is a ten foot deep egg connected to an eight foot deep square. If you like pools or want to try one, drop what you’re doing and go to Clairemont. The street course consists of several areas. The beginner area has 1 — 3 foot ramps with some rails, pyramids and humps. The intermediate area has five- to six-foot-tall obstacles of all types and the “expert” area has Evil Knievel style jumps and other madness. You can ride the whole street course without putting a foot down, nice bonus. The vert ramp has 11 foot trannys, topped with two feet of vert. There is a roll in from eight feet above the deck of the ramp. Forgot how wide, but it is pretty damn wide. Of course this offers a good alternate to the YMCA for San Diego pros and I think all vert pros are San Diego pros. Andy Mac helped design the park to be “The best all around park” so get it on it!