July 27th – Bondi Skate Park

Skate Park 4

Do you prefer the beach or a pool? Why not go to Bondi where you can have both.

I hold the utmost respect for skateboarders. As a kid who was reasonably co-ordinated, I was capable on maintaining my balance on a thin plank with wheels. The benefits of growing up in a suburban cup de sac.

But when riding a skatey became about manipulating the deck through the air with a sequence of well timed moves, I knew it was time to find another hobby. Clint Eastwood rule – I knew my limitations.

It was time my overly-heavy, uni-directional deck with Tron wheels was retired.

The skateboarding community has been maligned for as long as I can recall, and only recently has the call for properly built and maintained skateboard recreation areas been realised, making headlines as recently as today.

Let me introduce the Bondi Skatepark. First opened in 1991 featuring just 2 ramps, it was largely featureless. In 2003 a major redevelopment of the site took place, featuring several ‘street’ objects and a deep pool. Reviews on the web seem to attribute the words “vert” and “speed” frequently.

There was one standout thrill seeker on the day we visited. According to a local Mum this pint-sized adrenalin junky was 5 years old, which was a matter of debate – he still thinks he’s 4 because he didn’t get a birthday party. But apparently dropping-in from 15-odd feet was no problem.

I asked this Mum how she managed to balance skateboarding and school with her son (who was active in the bowl at the time). Her answer was simple – do your homework and you can skateboard to your hearts content. There was a fair congregation of mums and dad’s who all seemed to know one-another.

One thing you can say about skating is how social it is. Riders congregate in these parks and all seem to get along, including one troupe of youngsters who spotted my camera. They weren’t shy and started rattling off tricks.

Some days it’s hard to take a photo to post, others it’s hard to decide which one to post. I’ve created an album on Flickr from our visit. I hope you enjoy the photo’s.

On a final note, I’ll leave you with this – Tony Hawk gracing the Bondi Skatepark Pool in 2012. Similarities in the cover picture to my own pic completely coincidental!

 

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