It’s fast. It’s thrilling. It’s challenging. There’s an element of danger. It’s a great workout. Justin and Austin Adams have plenty of reasons why they enjoy skateboarding at a skate park.
But the two Tempe youngsters had nowhere in their area to enjoy their sport. That changed this year when the Tempe Sports Complex Skate Park opened.
"I love this place," said Justin, 12, who visits the park nearly daily with his 11-year-old brother, Austin. "The bowl is really fun, and it’s not all expert. It’s like for intermediate and people that aren’t as good as everybody else. It’s got little stuff and big stuff."
The 26,000-square-foot skate park opened in late February at a cost of approximately $650,000.
"It took about five years to get it done from the first discussions," said Jerry Hall, a Tempe recreation coordinator. "We had a lot of kids and ASU students come to us and say they have no place to skateboard.
"We have a lot of use of it."
The park, open to skateboarders and in-line skaters of all ages and skill levels, is a streetoriented course featuring skate bowls, pyramids, rails, grind boxes and the like. Obstacles on the street course include curbs and stairs.
Josh Ferrat said the facility is so good it is worth it to come all the way from Mesa to use it.
"This is better than all of them," said Ferrat, 12.
The city tries to keep the facility safe. To that end, there are plenty of rules. Skateboards cannot be longer that 35 inches. Foul language is prohibited, as is aggressive behavior, and adding ramps, jumps or obstacles. No food, beverages or smoking is allowed in the park.
While the park mostly attracts youngsters, it also is utilized by adults. In fact, the Adams’ father, Jeff, 36, is a regular user.
"He’s pretty good," said Austin of his dad. "He had a big crash once, though."
While it looks like pure fun riding up and down the bowl walls, sliding down a railing on a skateboard or in-line skates and trying to keep your balance while zipping down stairs, keep in mind it is plenty of work. In fact, the youngsters said they leave the park ready for some rest and relaxation.
"If you try hard on stuff, it’s a workout," said Dylan Loos, 14.
TEMPE SPORTS COMPLEX SKATE PARK
• Where: 8403 S. Hardy Drive (north of Warner Road)
• What: 26,000-square-foot skateboard and in-line skating park
• Admission: Free
• Hours: April-September 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; October-March 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Amenities: Restrooms and drinking fountain