Kettering, Ohio Skate Plaza Grand Opening

Anticipation has been building for the first Skate Plaza ever since Rob Dyrdek conceived it. And I gotta say, he delivered on all levels. It’s incredible. It’s one of the best skate spots ever built, hands down. It’s easily comparable to Love Park, Embarcadero, or Stalin Square. The ground is smooth, the ledges and rails are perfect height, and the flow and spacing was obviously well-planned. There’re big grassy spots to chill and trees have been planted that will provide much needed shade in years to come. I could go on praising it for days, but the reality is, you need to go to Kettering and skate it for yourself. I think I can speak for all the street skaters in America when I say thank you to Rob and DC for making this happen. Hopefully it will start a snowball effect across the country and every community will have a chance at one. On the cover of the Skate Plaza press kit, it says, “This is every street skater’s dream come true.” I couldn’t have said it better.

Opening day, June 11, saw thousands of kids and their parents show up to see the pro demo and eventually session the park themselves. They got more than they bargained for as Paul Rodriguez, Eric Koston, Stefan Janoski, Darrell Stanton, Chris Cole, Tommy Sandoval, Terrel Robinson, Danny Wallace, Josh Kalis, Grant Taylor, Ryan Sheckler, Ronnie Creager, Lindsey Robertson, and many more tore the place apart. The results of the Red Bull Hammers Vs. Bangers contest are below, but I want to mention a few highlights: Chris Cole has a new handrial trick—frontside 180 over the rail the hard way to switch feeble, come out regs. During the 12 stair contest, Terrel Robinson kickflipped them first try, nollie boardslid the rail in 2 tries and then stuck a couple fakie flips down the set. Chris Cole and Tommy Sandoval sessioning a rail and set of stairs is a sight to behold. I think they intimidated a lot of the competition.

After the contest, the park opened to the public. The kids poured in and started the most hectic skate session of all time. Parents and even cops were kicking it on the grass watching—everyone was seriously stoked. Despite the humidity, the skating didn’t cease until dark. The next morning, kids showed up as early as 6:30 a.m. to shred.

Hammers and Bangers Main Event (12 stair)
1. Chris Cole $18,000
2. Terrel Robinson $10,000
3. Tommy Sandoval $5,000
4. Darrell Stanton $2,000
5. Caine Gayle $1,000

Ledge Session Best Trick
Chris Cole $3000

Best Two Trick Line
Chris Cole $3,000

12-Stair Best Trick
Chris Cole $3000

Best Overall
Chris Cole $5,000

All photos: Blair Alley

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