Feature Article

Bobcat Canada Report 12/97

Bobcat does a little schooling about Canada and give the dirt on some new parks up above the border.12/8/97

Canada Mania!

Welcome! I’m Jason a.k.a. Bobcat, an East Coast transplant now residing in the Seattle for about five years now.

I remember pictures from way back in the days of like Richmond Skatepark, the outdoor snakeruns, and Expo 86 – and longed to go there and check it out myself – so I did. Wow! In the last 3 years, there has been an explosion in new skateparks in the Vancouver, BC area alone ( 14 within an hours drive and 6 more in the works). I highly recommend everyone to at least check out a couple parks, you’ll pleased you did. Here’s a little lowdown on our Mysterious neighbor to the north:

Canada is a commonwealth country. That means it’s part of England, but has it’s own Prime Minister (President), and rules. The people up there are generally more accommodating than Americans, are proud to be Canadian, but secretly can’t accept being Americanized. There are few Canadian TV stations, and one Canuck friend stated to me recently how funny it is that mostly all Canadians know more about our First Lady’s hairstyles, but don’t even know the name of their first lady!

Healthcare is free, so don’t worry about broken bones or the like. If you can, get a Canadian to give you their Health card and say you’re them. It’s really easy. The honest route will get you a bill, but there are no ways possible for them to collect. The money’s different. It feels so good to go to a restaurant, pay for food with an American twenty, and get food and a Canadian twenty back! The best places to exchange your money is as follows: Liquor store, McDonalds, Burger King, the Banks, Subway. Ask first – a good exchange rate is usually around 25-30%. Don’t get burnt at bars. Highways suck. A Canadian highway is like, 2 lanes with no left turn lanes and too many stoplights (a normal sized street for us Americans). Drive defensively, there are way too many crazy immigrant drivers with fake licenses!

Here’s the Canada News as of December 2:

Club Aviva:

Brand spanking new as of this week, a private all-ages club with a gymnastics area on one side and an indoor park on the other! When are the heads going to realize that skaters and little girls don’t mix!! (ha ha). Stats: 6′ high, 16′ wide mini. One side is flush with a bank roll-in for transfers. The street course consists right now of a long 6′ Quarter that has an escalator in the middle taking it up to 7′, alongside of which is a huge vert wall. Rounding out the park is a rounded pyramid and a couple other little hips, grinder things, and a long bench. Upgrading on the park is done constantly, with a lot of new ramps to be added. I found no kinks, holes, or problems with this place! Kick Ass! Price: $5 Canadian for a membership, $5 each session. One Time non-members price $7. Helmets required: rental $2. Full pads also available for wussies. Nice bathrooms, water, pop machines, skate shop.

New West

Location: Port Coquiltlam, by New Westminister. On Hwy. 1, take the Brunette Ave. Exit (East) to Lougheed hwy. Go past Lougheed to Toys R’ Us — take right, then a left at the United building onto United way. Follow about a mile to Brigantine. Take right, 3 story building on right. Contest in late Dec. Flyer to be posted soon. New Westminster Outdoor Skatepark / Bowl: New West, Vancouver’s version of Bellevue, has a new unique styled snakerun. It’s kinda hard to describe, but I’ll try. Stats: Starting with the North end is a sunglass- shaped bowl with coping set in real bad. The bowl is not transitional, but banked, never the less still fun for figure 8 carves and a good hip. South of that starts the snakerun, with starts about 2ft deep, to a 4ft hip, then does a 180 degree turn into a 6 ft deep reservoir. The reservoir then ends up with a pyramid leading back to the 2ft deep area. There’s various sized grinder bulkheads and goodies you can slappie/ollie up onto. I’ll try to get some layout pictures next time I go up there and if I can stop skating long enough to do so.

Price: Free. Not lighted at night.

Directions: Several ways to New West. On Hwy 1, east or west, take the Brunette Ave. Exit BUT NOT Brunette Ave. Instead, veer off to the sign marked “New West/ Pocatello Bridge”. Go over freeway, take first right onto 6th. Follow over a hill, past a shopping center, then take a right on 6th. (about 2 miles). Park on right almost immediately, skatepark is across street next to ghetto looking Youth Center trailer home thing.

White Rock Street course:

White Rock is a affluent suburb directly north of the main border crossing known for it’s beautiful beachfront, and now has one of the hottest new concrete playgrounds in the area. Less than half of the course is done now, with another asphalt layer being put down in mid-December. Costing around $200k Canadian, this project is being done by skaters for skaters, so you know it’s going to be done right. I talked to the foreman, and he explained how the skaters are getting work experience, college credits, and a paycheck for this project! Damn!, and to think they also get a street course they built with their own hands!Stats: The bowl itself is about 2 years old. It goes from 5ft to 7 to 10 feet deep with a pair of hips located at the inclines. It’s pretty fast when dry but dries slow due to heavy shading, and many a person has wiped out on frost that is known to cling to one corner during the winter months. The street setup (actually stuff you might find street skating), includes a quarterpipe to bank, a huge honkin’ Battlestar Galatica thing ( my term for the large bulkhead / bank / handrail monstrosities that are commonplace now) that has to been seen to be described, and a bumpity bump thing that’s just fun to pump over and get tons of speed. The other half, being finished in January, looks promising. A long 4′ high transitional bank running along one side curving and ending up with a hip, a ‘taco style’ 3′ high quarterpipe, a long curved fat rail, and a couple transitional quarterpipes will round out this park. Wahoo! Price: Free, sucka! Only the insane would ride the big bowl at night.


First exit off hwy. 99. Follow to city center. Start heading in a Northwest direction to the intersection of 148th and 20th. On 20th westbound look to the right and you’ll see it. Trust me.

That’s the first installment. Feedback or related stories would really be cool, so I can be motivated to update this more. For more info on BC skateparks check out http://www.skullskates.com. E-mail me thru SkateNW or Bobcat!

Skate and Destroy!

Bobcat with the Misfits!