Local News

September 11, 2013

Skater hate?

Local skaters want more park, acceptance

With a cigarette in one hand and a Monster energy drink in another, 23-year-old skater David Lazo can ride easily holding onto both.

Hitting the brakes before hitting another skater is often what takes real skill at the Dalton Skate Park, he said, with or without anything in your hands.

“Watch where you’re going,” one skater barked at Lazo as Lazo came a little too close one Wednesday morning. His reply? “Sorry, but there ain’t a lot of room, man.”

Lazo, along with several other local skaters, wants a bigger park.

The skate park on the northeast side of the Dalton Parks and Recreation Center off Glenwood Avenue isn’t big enough to handle the usual traffic there, several skaters said, noting it can hold about 20 to 30 skaters before things get crowded and dangerous.

Enter Kate McAtee, a mom of 3-year-old skater Jonah who is picking up the basics at the park. McAtee, too, wants a bigger park for her son so she has rallied several skaters to unite under the Dalton Skate Park Expansion Project, a group asking officials with the recreation center to expand the park.

The approximately 5,000-square-foot park was built in 2011, costing about $100,000, and sits beside a few unused acres of grass skaters think would be ideal for expansion.

“We want something skaters can ride on one go,” McAtee said. “We want something fluid, something that flows, something where skaters don’t have to stop.”

Several skaters say the layout of the course hinders riders because the squared corners are too rigid. A curvy “street skating” design, built to allow non-stop riding, would be more ideal, McAtee said.

“We are not complaining,” she said. “We would rather have a park than not. But when I came out to see the outdoor park for the first time I thought, ‘This is really small.’”

That seems to be the general consensus among local skaters.

“It’s tiny,” 22-year-old skater Jonathan Leberman said. “They have a lot of room to expand though.”

Jordan Loving, who lives in the neighborhood across from the park, said he was “let down” when he first came to the park.

“It needs flow,” Loving said. “You hit this, you hit that, eventually you’ve got to brake. It’s very stop and go.”

Text Only
Local News