Skating Through City Hall

Posted: March 3, 2010

How Owens Field Got Its Skate Park Back

Columbia Free Times - Columbia, South Carolina

A boy of about 10 is practicing rail slides, but he can’t land one.

It’s so gusty that every time his board hits the ground at the end of the slide and he stumbles and falls, the wind catches his board and lofts it away from him across the concrete. He goes after it. He skates back around, waits his turn, then goes up again, sliding with the board at right angles to the rail and dropping back to the ground, falling as he hits. And again. And again. And again, arms stuck resolutely out for balance.

It’s a late afternoon day, sunny, very windy and very cold for Columbia, and there are about 30 people at the new Owens Field Skate Park. The oldest is about 40 years old; the youngest, 8. Two-thirds are white; the others black and Asian. All are male.

On perhaps his 15th try, the boy finally lands perfectly, his board hitting the concrete with a rattly, ringing clap.

The first custom-designed concrete skate park in South Carolina is a success even before it’s officially opened. And the story of how it got here is at least five years in the making.

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Public Skatepark Development Guide
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