Mustang Daily Staff Report
It may be against the law to skate at Cal Poly, but don’t toss away the boards just yet — the South County Skate Park is reopening after more than a year of closure, and under the San Luis Obispo YMCA, it’s said to be better than ever.
Located in Grover Beach, the now YMCA-run outdoor skate park is more than 13,000 square feet and features deep cement bowls, a pyramid and rails for skaters to practice on.
“They don’t really have a skate park in SLO, it’s just a small little park with a couple of ramps,” South County YMCA youth sports coordinator Jerome Jones said. “But here, even if you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced skater — the park is great for everyone.”
While the park itself has not changed since its original debut in 1999 under the city of Grover Beach, Jones said the “brand and philosophy” behind the skate park is very different.
“Now there are skate camps and summer series,” Jones said. “And we hired some great gentlemen. It’s just a fun time where you can meet new friends and skate.”
Jones said since the reopening on March 1, the park has seen 25 to 30 skaters a day, but expects that number to go up after the grand opening on March 23.
At the grand opening, there will be a disc jockey, free giveaways and free skating — normally $5 for each three-hour session.
“It’s really affordable,” Jones said.
And with plenty of restaurants and the beach within a few blocks of the park, “a lot of kids come down from Cal Poly, skate for a few hours, eat with new friends, then go hang out at the beach. It’s like another adventure. It’s something new to do around here that’s outside SLO, like going to Avila or Pismo,” Jones said.
Art and design junior Evan LaForce created the park’s new logo design to represent the park’s new vibe in a contest held by the San Luis Obispo YMCA.
LaForce said the palm tree in the logo “represents California and the area we live in,” and the logo contest was a “good opportunity” for him as a former skater to “help out that skating community.”
“I used to skate a lot, so I knew what young skaters would like,” LaForce said. “I wanted to portray the sport in an exciting way to draw people in.”
While LaForce has not yet been to the skate park, he said skating (he does shortboard and longboard) “is really good recreation, fun exercise and a cool sport.”
“It’s a good break from studying and to get away from it all,” LaForce said.
LaForce plans to attend the grand opening, “but whether or not I decide to skate will be up in the air — I’m a little rusty.”
Currently, the park is open Friday through Sunday, but Jones said more days will be added soon.
Allison Montroy contributed to this staff report.