Hwy. 80 to the Gilman Exit. Take Gilman east for a couple blocks, cross over the RR tracks, and turn left on 4th or 5th Streets. Either one will get you there, the park is one block off of Gilman on Harrison, between 4th and 5th next to a bunch of soccer fields.
The Berkeley skatepark is finally done, after years of bullshit including groundwater contamination, redesigns, and costly delays. So it's done and while it may not be as good as the original designs slated for the spot, it is still arguably the best skatepark in the SF Bay Area. Which still isn't saying much, but it's pretty fun and 10 min. from my house so fuck it. The bowl has a 4' mellow shallow end (kind of like the small part of Ripon) and the deep end is 8' with no vert. Kind of like Ripon. No vert. But other than that, the Berkeley park and Ripon have nothing in common and are completely different. Ripon is probably still better, but it's hot as fuck out there most of the year, and the kids have rat tails and smoke cigs. Or is that Modesto? Anyway, the bowl is ok, the cement contractor kind of blew it and there are lumps in the deep end of the bowl and all over the flat banks in the street course. Speaking of the street course, it's pretty fun and wide open, similar to an Arizona park. That is because the Site Design guys designed it, and they're the ones who do the AZ parks. There's a bunch of lumpy flat banks and weird hips to pop off, a euro-gap thing, a pump bump turtle shell thing, a roller/fun box thing that has a vert wall next to it (the only vert in the park, one foot of vert) abd a couple of cups/corners to whip speed lines through. And you most certainly can haul ass and get some speed lines going in the street course, but if there are more than 2-3 people riding it at the same time get your elbow up and get ready to take some kids/bladers/kooks out. Very bad for crowded sessions, very fun for before school gets out or night sessions. And the park is lit up with a whole grip of lights, so all of you old fat lurkers can get your skate on after work, until 9:30. The sign says pads (helmet most likely) are required but it is unclear whether this will actually be enforced. Hopefully not, but have a helmet on hand just in case.-D. K. If your traveling to skate this park call ahead. It has had repeated closures due to hazardous materials seeping into the park: 510.981.6700
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