The city of Pomona, California opened their new skatepark to the public this past weekend on Saturday August 2nd, 2003 (or at least I think so).
I drove out with long-time friend (and Ohioan) Big Dan of Tracker Trucks, Chris Troy, and Andy Beaumarchais. Chris skates for Audio, DNA, FKD, Phantom, Krew flow, Surf Ride, and Polydent. Andy skates for Nike flow, Sandlot, Tracker, and Surf Ride. Now, as soon as Andy and Chris got in the van, the name-calling and ball busting began. By the end of the day Andy was known as turtle-lip, and Chris was the little old lady with dentures. I know this happens on all the trips skateboarders go on, nicknames and such, but it's always fun and I'll never get sick of it either!
It was a good thing we had a late start making our way out to Pomona; the temperature there can easily reach the 100-degree range. So, after some unhealthy lunch at a local Del Taco, and missing our exit, we backtracked and arrived at the Pamona Skatepark around 6 p.m. As we skated up to the park, it was hard to tell if it was an actual grand opening or not, but after seeing the scooter kids and all the young kids with the weird shaped boards in full butt board mode, I knew it had to be an opening day. It always makes me laugh when parents go out and buy the weirdest toys with wheels and take their kids to a skatepark thinking that it is a playground. Yeah, I guess it is a playground of some sort, but if I had a kid, I'd know better than to put him/her out there on a 3 wheeled scooter for the first time. I guess it's a good thing that we as skaters keep an eye out for these things and can anticipate when this danger lurks behind a corner or after a rail. I can honestly say that if we didn't have that sixth sense of sorts, there would have been at least thirty or more collisions in the two hours we were there. And the park was pretty much empty!
The layout of the park is pretty good. It's definitely more of a street oriented park with not too much transition at all. There is an almost perfect replica of the Pier 7 ledges from the San Francisco area that will have you skating like Rob Welsh or Henry Sanchez in no time. All of the hips and bumps are super small but way fun! A garbage can is always a choice obstacle to set up, which was the case when we were there. The park also has multiple ledges and rails, which are all well designed.
My favorite thing there was the mini double set of stairs, which is a perfect warm-up spot for those who will be taking it to another level later in the day.
The only weird thing about the park is the bump to Jersey barrier. I really can't see too many people being able to skate it, maybe Donny Barley or Chad Bartie. I overheard park officials talking about how that was the only mistake they made and at least the acknowledged it.
As for the pad rule, I believe helmets are required, but when we were there no one was enforcing it. If you're going though, I'd take the pads just in case. The best part is, no bikes are allowed! and I personally witnessed that rule being enforced. The few bikers that showed up could only watch from gates until the park officials left the scene. But of course after they left, the bikes went out and got in everyone's way.
All in all, we actually had a lot of fun skating the park and I'm still not sure if it was the grand opening or not. By the time we arrived it was late and everyone had already left. But does it even matter? We heard of a new park and we wanted to go skate it, and that's all that should really matter. So go skate it for yourself and tell me what you think.