Opening Day At The Etnies Skatepark

Saturday December 13, 2003 marked the grand opening of the etnies Skatepark. The new park is one of the largest free parks in the country, yes I said free, and all the heavy hitters of skateboarding showed up to help break it in. The festivities got under way at 11:00 a.m. and continued until after 4:00 p.m.

The Time Capsule Drop

I didn’t have any idea what this was at first, and the little I write is only going to add more questions that I can’t answer. Anyways, the time capsule turned out to be a hole in the skatepark where memorabilia was placed and sealed inside. I’m not sure what was actually placed inside, maybe some special shoes, boards, Koston’s mojo, or a ham sandwich. I showed up right as they were sealing it, so I couldn’t even say for how long it will stay sealed for. I warned you that I wouldn’t have the answers. Maybe I’ll call and ask, nah—too much hassle. I’d rather hear the rumors.

The demo

The question is, who didn’t show? All I know is almost everyone from the Sole Tech squad was present signing autographs and skating all day. The etnies and Emerica teams ripped the park endlessly. Andrew Reynolds, Chris Senn, and Ed Templeton were all cruising around hitting every new nook and tranny. From etnies you had Ryan Sheckler, Rune Glifberg, and Stefan Janoski all smoothing out the new cement with their buttery styles. Other standout rippers of the day included Geoff Rowley, Diego Bucceri, Jim Gagne, Josh Evins, and too many countless AMs to name. Seeing that the park is located right behind Sole Tech, I’m sure that every day will have a demo like presence.

The Transworld Skateboarding Best Trick Contest

Transworld Skateboarding sponsored the best trick contest and dished out $1000 to the winner. The contest was originally planned to last for thirty minutes but with all the energy and hype it evolved into sixty plus minutes of reckless abandonment. Seriously, it’s funny what money does to skateboarders, it gives us that added incentive we need to commit to a trick—well, that plus the amazing new park. Best trick contests now a days seem to be more for the Ams and up-and-comers, it gives them a chance to shine. All the Pros know what it’s like having already wrecked doing these events. Most seem to stay away from these sort-of contests and now value their health more than the loot—passing the “shine on to someone else.

The obstacles involved in this contest were the double set of stairs, the hubba ledges on either side, and of course the handrail. The majority of the tricks that went down were flip tricks down the stairs. A few of the younger kids used the handrail, but only one skated the hubbas—that being Jim-O Gagne. Jim landed a noseslide nollie flip and a perfect noseblunt slide. His hand was swelled up pretty bad afterwards and I think he may have broken a bone during one of his bails. I actually saw the fall and it was amazing to see his reaction—it pissed him off even more and it seemed he skated harder afterwards. He didn’t win any money but he did earn the satisfaction of persistence, and in my opinion, landed the best trick. The other best trick went to Tony Tave who landed bolts on a perfectly executed switch frontside 180 heelflip. It was damn impressive and the judges awarded him $1000 big ones. After landing the switch heel, Tony tried to one-up himself with a nollie backside heel. Unfortunately time ran out, and he was forced to stop skating so he could be awarded his well-earned cash. Sick moves Tony, congrats!

The Music Stage

NITRO Records recording artists, RUFIO, broke away from their tour schedule in order to play a free show celebrating the etnies Park long anticipated opening. After a full day of covering the event and not getting to skate, we all felt the urge to go skate somewhere. So we left and missed the band. I’m sure their performance was incredible, but we needed to shred instead.

It”s frustrating at times trying to separate work from play. Being able to cover an event like this is amazing and it is fun, but going to a skatepark opening and not being able to skate it just sucks! But, if one person reads this, then it was worth it, for you anything!

None of this would’ve been possible without etnies, the city of Lake Forest, and all the generous donations and contributions from Southern California Businesses. Thanks go out to all! The park rips!


Located at the corner of Lake Forest Drive and the 241 Toll Road, the etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest is easily accessible from all directions and is only minutes away from I-5.

From the 241 south bound, exit Lake Forest Drive and turn left. The park is on your immediate left.

From I-5, exit Lake Forest Drive and travel east for approximately 4 miles. The park is on your right hand side just before the 241.

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