Sunday, January 27, 2013

Memphis Skate Park is a Big Hit

Posted By on Sun, Jan 27, 2013 at 7:09 PM

A little more than a year after it opened, the Memphis Skate Park is fulfilling the dream of its driving force, Aaron Shafer.

"This feels good," said Shafer, as he surveyed the scene Sunday afternoon when some 70 people were using the park that opened in November of 2011. Shafer, a California transplant who pitched the idea to the city and anyone else who would listen and would not take no for an answer even when sports traditionalists, including yours truly, were skeptical. It will be interesting to see if the lighted baseball fields in nearby Tobey Fields get good use come spring or if baseball and softball are strictly yesterday.

On Sunday Shafer was by far the oldest person at the park actually riding a skate board or a BMX bike. Most of the riders were under 20, and all were males. Helmets were scarce despite the warning signs and the arrest of a kid for not wearing a helmet shortly after the park opened.

"These parks evolve," said Shafer.

The newest attraction is "the wave", a curling ramp in shape of a breaking wave. Daredevils have slapped on stickers at the highest points of the curve before pivoting in midair and coasting back down.

The park is located behind the board of education offices next to a dog park that was also getting heavy use. Both investments looks like wise ones. The boys in the photo below are (left to right) Adrian Akin, Macrus Martinez, Zack Cronin, Wyndarius Gandy, and Doran Shafer.

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