If you go:
- The Carmel Valley Skatepark is located at 12600 El Camino Real, between High Bluff Drive and Townsgate Drive
- Hours: Monday-Thursday, 1 to 8 p.m.; Friday 1 to 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Sundays
- Helmets and pads are required of every rider
In the brand new Carmel Valley Skatepark bowl on Saturday, there was a front side air disaster.
This is much better than it sounds.
Riders of all ages took spins in the bowl, the skatepark's flashiest feature, pulling off tricks that drew awe and applause from the crowd. An emcee narrated the action, taking note of the front side disasters and other lip tricks that an untrained eye might miss.
At least 100 people showed up to welcome the new skatepark at the grand opening ceremony, which featured a pro rider demonstration followed by two hours of free skating for the public.
In addition to the bowl, the 33,000-square-foot park features marble ledges, brick banks and steps in its "street" skate area.
When pro skateboarder Cory Duffel showed up, children mobbed him like a rock star. And he was dressed the part too, in tight, skinny black pants with his dark shock of hair spiked and perfectly mussed.
Pros like Duffel, Bucky Lasek, Sergie Ventura, Tony Mag and Cara Beth Burnside gave the park a test run as local skaters watched and waited for their designated chance to ride.
Torrey Pines High School freshman Jack McParlane and sophomore Matt Delgiudice couldn't take their eyes off the action, mapping out what they were going to do once the doors opened to the public.
"I'm really excited to skate that handrail," Delgiudice said.
The guys said they usually skate at a set of steps across the street at the Carmel Valley Recreation Center but they now have a more appropriate place to ride.
Delgiudice said they would come to the skate park every day after school.
Vendors like Osiris and The Skateboard Mag had tents set up at the event and a raffle gave away new decks and other skater-friendly prizes.
A traditional ribbon cutting ceremony allowed recognition for the people who got the park rolling: people like city project manager Alexandra Corsi-Morgan, San Diego Parks and Recreation Department, the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board and locals like Mark Takahashi, who fought for the park for years.
"I think it's going to have a positive impact on the community," said Capt. Kathy Healey of the San Diego Police's Northwestern Division, located next door to the park. "There hasn't been many places in the community for kids to go."
The park's close proximity to the police station is a plus, Healey said, as they can keep an eye on things.
Supervision was planned for the park, but if Mayor Jerry Sanders' proposed budget cuts to parks and libraries are approved, the park's supervision will be among those cuts.
Outgoing City Council President Scott Peters said Carmel Valley residents are fortunate to live in such a great community,
"Today it's an even better place for those who know how to ollie, grind and kickflip," Peters said.
A city proclamation named Saturday Carmel Valley Skatepark Day in San Diego.