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KaBar2

Houston just opened the largest skateboard park in North America

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No idea where there might be a larger one (Australia?) but the new 6.5 MILLION DOLLAR, ten-acre Spring Skatepark opened Thursday, August 14 on Kukendahl Road (pronounced KOOK-en-doll) by the Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority. This is Houston's second large, publicly-owned, free skatepark. It has 78,000 square feet of riding surfaces and includes a huge pipe, a 12-foot vertical ramp, a ten-foot deep, keyhole bowl, a bowl shaped like Texas (of course), and a "lazy river" pathway accessible to even the most novice skateboarders. The first major publicly-owned, free skate park was the 25,000 square foot Lee & Joe Jamail Skate Park near downtown Houston, a favorite of "urban" skateboarders.

 

Spring Skatepark is on a ten-acre piece of land that also includes "Dylan's Park," a playground designed for special-needs children. The designer of both skateparks was Grindline, of Seattle, WA. Both parks were designed to improve Houston's chances to win the bid for the 2014 Summer X Games. (Ultimately, the bid went to Austin, Texas, instead.)

 

It's located in a pretty depressed area. That part of Kukendahl is mostly vacant lots, crappy strip malls, scattered businesses (a gas station, a doughnut shop and a drug store) north of the Greenspoint Mall. There was once a gang war there partially sparked by a gang called the Greenspoint Posse. The skatepark is intended to give kids something interesting to do.

 

How these skateparks got developed is pretty interesting. They had this piece of land in Spring. The closest high school was Aldine High School (a low-income school with a tough-ass reputation), so Greenspoint Redevelopment group went to Aldine H.S. and asked the kids what they would want if they could have anything. More basketball courts? Athletic fields? Swimming pool? The kids overwhelmingly voted for a skateboard park.

 

Within the first hour, over 100 skateboarders signed in. By noon, it was over 400. They're calling Houston "Skateboard City" now.

 

We tried for years, back in the 1960's to get somebody to build a skate park in Houston. Nothing. We also tried unsuccessfully, to get the City and County of Galveston to drop some artificial reefs off the beach at 25th Street and 37th Street to create surf breaks. Again, nothing. They basically told us to beat it. We did build a couple of plywood half pipes, but the neighbors bitched to high heaven because of the noise. I'm glad the kids have got somewhere cool to skateboard now.

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Biggest in the world was built by an Australian, but it's built in China. Around 180,000sqF

 

Always good when a project gets completed.

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that's really really cool. 10 acres, goddamn.

 

imagining all that concrete baking in the texas summer sun, that would be toasty

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Probably. But with ten acres of park it ought to be easy enough to avoid people you don't like. Or not.

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BTW, although that photograph of Patrick Swayze does look pretty faggola, he was a serious martial artist. He was from Houston, and his mother owned a large dance school here (ballet, jazz, etc.) Not only was he a first class male ballet dancer and strong as fuck, he was a kick-ass black belt in two or three martial art disciplines as well. And his wife was pretty hot, too.

 

The picture does suck, though.

 

Go watch "Red Dawn," the original one. They had to make all the Soviet military equipment in that film from scratch, because the Cold War was still on, and the U.S. had "zero" trade or communication with the Soviet Union (Russia, et al.) You couldn't buy an AK rifle for love or money, and I had never seen an actual AK or any actual 7.62x39mm ammunition. I had only seen a war trophy SKS in a gun shop, and they wanted $350 for it when the minimum wage was about $4.50.

 

This has nothing to do with skate parks.

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