Here are some answers I received from 10 quick questions I sent over to Craig Raines who is lead on the Planning, Construction and Maintenance Division, Department of Recreation and Parks, Los Angeles CA. I am doing several of these so you readers can point your cities representatives who have fallen behind the times to get up to speed on building multiple skateparks across urban cities. Starting with Los Angeles CA., who has 16 skateparks now in operation and they are a variety of Prefab (being replaced!), small Skate Spots, Street Plaza’s, and full blown skateparks. Read more
QUESTION: List your five personal favorite skateparks. And tell us why they rank tops on your list.
1964 – This is the earliest skateboard article I have ever seen. Coming from Popular Mechanics magazine in 1964, I loved the read. Even more then that I loved the fact the skateboarding was fun even back in 1964. Given all the commercialism, greed, attitude, and lameness that can creep into everyones skateboarding existence, having fun is still at the heart of skateboarding 46 years later…. (thanks to my Brother-In-Law Mike for spotting this and sending it my way) Read more
Q1: How many parks have you skated?: 30 or 40 maybe? There weren’t a lot of parks in the 80’s and then I had a while where I wasn’t skating much around the years all the newer parks came out, so that just means I have a lot of places that I get to skate for the 1st time now.
This park is very mellow and smooth. Its a real fun place to learn tricks and just roll around. It has a round bowl connected to a square bowl with a 6 ft spine, and a nice little flow area.
… I started out as a critic too. I came to PR to help and to try and constantly improve our designs. I’m here to represent the seasoned skaters… Read more
– the project was 6 years in coming, but the partnership between the 2 cities and the local youth, symbolized how we can work together as a team, and enhance the quality of life for everyone. Read more
In no particular order, I would go to any of these:
1) Queto Equidor. its a Dinosaur of South American concrete craftsmanship. just a amazing place to ride snake runs, bowls and a full pipe.
2) Anaka Bowl Japan. old key hole that has been there for many moons. fine old crafted concrete. if your into the ways of once were this is a must.
3) Ram or Haro in England old snake runs nothing more to say really but old snake runs. Legends have rolled here.
4) Upland Skatepark, Upland CA.- Full pipe in upland California. It’s just one of the fastest full pipes I’ve ever ridden. Makes your eyes water when you ride it. So ya, it makes grown ass men cry.
5) kona skatepark. Jacksonville Florida. old legendary park many many hot moves have been done here. snakeruns old concrete vert ramp bowls. every thing a skatepark is supposed to feel like.
6) Dodge skate park in Columbus Ohio? well when there was no concrete any where there was only a few spots that you could find create dodge was the one to hold out in the Midwest. sick snackish run. a must in Midwest still standing concrete
7) THE TURF. No need to explain. If you want to know do your studies!
Here’s a little Spotlight on a small company making an impact on skateboarding that you may not have heard of yet. I put together a small questionnaire and sent it to Rich Moorhead for answers about his company and goals. Read on… Read more
List your 5 current personal favorite skateparks and why.
1) Dennis “Polar Bear” Agnew Memorial Skatepark, Venice Beach, CA. – I absolutely love the snake run and just the idea of going fast with tricks being secondary to the ride itself. It’s a great warmup to ride the pool afterward and to go back an forth between the snake run and the pool. It also caters somewhat to all types of skaters which is important to me.
Jim Gray frontside ollie @ Ayala Skatepark, Chino CA.
2) Volcom Skate Park Of Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa CA. – Well, I had so much to do with it personally and really focused on designing it to accommodate a large number of skaters functionally at the same time, which is where a lot of parks don’t work. I could point out it’s flaws too, but one thing most people ever tell me about Costa Mesa is that they have a good time, and that is the most important thing to me…
3) West Linn Skatepark, West Linn, OR. – I just love that park and how it flows for me. I would never design a park that way because it fully limits how many users can ride without killing each other, but as one big run, few have ever made me happier than flowing through the course at West Linn….. The coping grinds well, lots of fun little pockets to pump through, roll ins and outs at speed, cradles, steep spots, mellow spots, just a damn good variety. It works there. It would be a death trap in California unless that whole park was just one run in a much bigger park.
4) Ayala Park, Chino, CA. – I Just like the small tight pool and the big open flow bowl from a variety standpoint. It is a well designed park that allows for a lot of users overall both street and transition. Again, has plenty of flaws, but I always have fun, and it works for me.
5) Cunningham Regional Skate Park, San Jose, CA – Ok, so first you got a massive full pipe. That’s enough to get me anywhere. Then the smaller pool is really fun and I could ride that all day and be happy too. Then it just keeps going. The bigger pool, though not my favorite in the world is also lots of fun, then on to the cradle/flat wall extension bowl etc… and basically if you can’t enjoy yourself here, you should stop skateboarding.
(Bonus Park) What is your all time favorite skatepark? Why?
Big O, Orange CA. (R.I.P.) – Favorite of all time has to be Big O, in Orange. Why? Because I could loosen my legs up in the reservoir, hit three quarter pipes, relax in the Holiday bowls, then step up to coping in the clover, the Keyhole, and the capsule. Even the wacky stuff gave me hours and hours and years and years of pleasure and life long love for skateboarding. This is where it all blossomed for me and addicted me for life. It was just a good place to hang out.
1) Montclair skatepark, Montclair CA. – This park is very mellow and smooth. Its a real fun place to learn tricks and just roll around. It has a round bowl connected to a square bowl with a 6 ft spine, and a nice little flow area.
Josh Rodriguez frontside boneless @ Vans Skatepark in Orange CA.
2) Vans Skatepark, Orange CA. – With the new combi pool made this place has become one of the funnest places to skate. The concrete is so smooth, you can do whatever you want in there.
Josh Rodriguez frontside air @ the Upland CA. Skatepark
3) Upland Skatepark, Upland CA. – This park is where you wana come if you like to flow, go fast, high, and down to ride a full pipe. It also has a pretty nice street area.
4) Glendale Verdugo Skatepark, Glendale CA.k – This park has a super fun snake run, a cool kidney pool and a pretty god size tri bowl with an oververt round wall. Its in a park surrounded by a bunch of trees. One place to come to for a fun sesh.
5) Cunningham Regional Skate Park, San Jose CA. – This park has everything! Its very smooth and big. It has a nice sized peanut shaped pool, a real big pipe snake run that is fun to blast airs and go fast in, the street and flow area is nice and big, there’s another flow area with a cradle and a sphere lookin thing with a big vert wall and a clam shell and there’s also a nice little pool next to it.
Montclair skatepark, Montclair CA. –
My all time favorite park would have to be Montclair skatepark. Everything I know I’ve learned from there..its my 2nd home.
Q) When was your company established?
We started GreenIssue in 2007.
Q) Who is the owner of your company?
Paul Wisniewski is the principal right now.
Q) How come you started this company?
The name GreenIssue is taken from the olive GREEN standard ISSUE fatigues worn by militants throughout history. We wanted to take that militant attitude and inspire people to stand up for what they believe in, give back to the community and to support the shops parks and companies that support skateboarding. We want to be a positive influence in skateboarding, promote free thinking, put out the best products and provide the best customer support.
Q) Where is your company based out of?
GreenIssue is based out of Carlsbad, CA.
Q) How has your company changed since it was started?
We really have not changed that much since we started besides the growth that we are experiencing. Our direction remains the same.
Q) What products are you offering?
We have shapes from 7.75- 8.5 and will be adding a few bigger boards and old school shapes & cruisers as we have been getting quite a few requests. We also have a line of Tees, Hoodies, Jackets and caps.
Q) What is the #1 charity you have donated proceeds to so far?
We do a ton with Grind for Life by giving products for their events and volunteering for them. We have also been able to donate hundreds of dollars to the Red Cross Haiti relief thanks to all of the people who have purchased our Haiti relief Tee.
Q) Who are your team riders and what are their qualities you liked to bring them on board Green Issue?
Our team right now includes Jordan Richter, Evandro “Mancha” Menezes from Brasil, Derek Krasauskas on the east coast, Paul Wisniewski & Del Mar Skate Ranch Legend Owen Nieder. It’s more of a family than a team, we all skate together, travel together and back the vibe and direction of GreenIssue. We are also working on the addition of a few select Pro and AM riders to round things out.
Q) How tough is it to get recognition for your company?
It’s a challenge for sure. We have great products, in fact we use the same wood and the same Tee shirt blanks as as many of the top brands but we do not have the marketing budgets to put our message out there in the same ways. This forces us to be more creative and think of different ways to communicate our message. GreenIssue is a skater owned company so a lot of the recognition that we get is from all of us just going skating, shooting photos,/video and meeting people. We are set for slow solid growth, we know we gotta pay our dues.
Q) What are your company’s hopes for the future?
We’d like to get to the point where we could help support shops, parks, events and riders by investing back into skateboarding and our communities.
Q) Is there any kind of motto your company is based off of?
“Stand For Something” is our call to arms, so to speak. It’s about getting off your ass and speaking your mind and standing up for what you believe. Skateboarding has always been made up of free thinkers, punks and militants, we want to keep that alive.
Q) What’s the best part of the experience been?
Writing the Check to the Red Cross made me feel like we are on the right path & are able to play a part in making a difference. Also, having skaters that I have looked up to since I was a kid and some of the top pros in the world tell me they are feeling what GI is all about is real solid.
Q) What’s the worst experience been?
I really can’t say I’ve had a worst experience, you know there are ups and downs every day but there is a true satisfaction when you are doing something that you love, so you tend to take a lot in stride. If I had to pick one thing, it would be trying to deal with vendors that do not have the same level of passion for what you are doing and miss deadlines.
Q) What’s the funniest experience been?
Haven’t had too much go down on the comedy front… most of the funny stuff happens when we are out skating.