Park Spotting – Washington Street Skatepark

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Where is it?

It’s near downtown San Diego, California-a few blocks west of the I5 Freeway.

Directions?

From the I5 go west off the Washington Street off-ramp. Drive past the train tracks, and turn left at the intersection. The park’s under that highway bridge right across from a bus stop.

What’s in the park?

When you walk into the park you can go two ways. If you go right you meet the berm-the berm’s similar to the shallow end of a pool; it leads to a four-and-a-half-foot very vert wall up toward the back of the park. If you go straight when you walk into the park, there’s a wide-open section that has round and flat walls divided by round and square hips.

There’re two love seats in the park. One love seat’s in a corner that connects an eight-foot wall and escalates up to about eleven and half feet. The other love seat’s on a smaller flat wall, which is the wall closest to the street. Opposite the street love seat is a channel, which is cut out in the middle of the big vert wall. Next to the channel is a round pocket that escalates down and connects to a tall cinder-block wall with square bricks for coping on top. That’s the Gore Wall. In the middle of all this is a long snake-shaped bump in the middle called “The Dong.”

Behind the Gore Wall is the middle bowl, which has an elevated shallow end, a tall tombstone, and a deep end with a rollover that leads to another part of the park. In front of the rollover is the only metal in the park (besides what’s playing on the the radio). There’s a flatbar next to a small vert quarterpipe. You can skate the back of the quarterpipe like a ledge. Surrounding the small quarterpipe is a tall bank with a hip, a cinder-block wallride, and another elevated shallow-end pocket in the corner. There’s a parking-block spine connecting this part to another part of the park. On the other side of the banked hip is a seven-foot quarterpipe that leads to a round hip, which faces the thirteen-foot over-vert pocket. Behind all of that is a snakerun that has a square pool-like corner, round and flat walls. The snakerun ends in a smaller over-vert pocket that’s about seven feet tall.

Finally, at the top of the park is a bowl that has a good round deep end, two side pockets (one with a pillar to ride), and a wide-open shallow end. Every transition in the park’s topped with some sort of concrete-pool coping, bricks, parking blocks, et cetera.

Who designed it?

Whoever was there when each part was poured.

Hours?

Around 9:00 a.m. until dark. The gate’s locked at night.

Does it have lights?

No, it’s not open at night.

What’s good about it?

1. It was built and designed entirely by skateboarders. 2. There’s actually some vert in them trannies. 3. It’s free to ride. 4. Barbecue. 5. Usually some good tunes playing. 6. No metal coping! No bikes! No ‘Blades!

What’s bad about it?

1. It was built and designed entirely by skateboarders. 2. There’s too much vert in them trannies. 3. There’s usually some horrible music playing. 4. No metal coping anywhere. 5. It’s within walking distance of a mental hospital. 5. There’s not enough room on the deck to get a good ollie to the flat of any of the bowls.

What pros skate there?

You’re likely to see Joe Pino, Jimmy Acosta, Sam Hitz, Edwin Wagner, James Edward Broderick III, Peter Hewitt, Luke Gorman, Steve Bailey, or Matt Moffett. There’re many others who destroy the park who’re there every day.

Any admission fees?

Hot dogs and road soda.

Do you have to wear pads?

It’s up to you.

What about cops?

There’s a really cool cop who looks out for the park named Troy. He keeps the mental patients and bums away.

When does it get crowded?

Any given day-ASR trade-show weekend is always the worse.

What are the chances of getting beat up?

Don’t blow it and you’re cool.

One to ten rating?

A nine-there’s always room for improvement.