On June 11, 2011, the City of Atlanta opened the first public skate park built in Atlanta. Although there are several around
Atlanta in the outlying suburbs and cities, Atlanta did not have one within it's city limits. Through the tireless efforts of long-time locals
such as Thomas Taylor of Stratosphere skate shop and a generous grant of $25,000 from the Tony Hawk Foundation, a skate park in Atlanta became
The skate park itself is actually park of a much larger multi-use park, and that park is actually part of a larger multi-year
project called the Atlanta Beltline. Per their site "The project provides a network of public parks, multi-use trails and transit along a
historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling downtown and connecting 45 neighborhoods directly to each other." Think of it like if Central Park
wrapped around New York. It's a big undertaking to say the least! It also means that this is probably the first of other skate parks that will
be included in other areas of this project. It is a good time to be a skater in (or near) Atlanta!
For opening day, I made the trip over with other friends and Alabama skaters, Jay Salillas and Mark "Shreddings" Eddings.
We got to the park around 2 pm as it opened, and I immediately ran into Lenny Byrd and Chet Childress ripping up the big bowl (known as "the Humbler"
and for good reason!). I got a bit of low down on the bowl from Lenny...as he said "better pad up...this is BIG". I wandered around a bit checking out the whole
park and getting a lay of the land. The flow bowl looked really fun! The smaller flow bowl seemed to appease the smaller kids and street skaters. The street
section was pretty busy already. Walking around, I practically ran right into Tony Hawk as he was getting photos taken and talking to locals between breaks
in skating. I caught a little bit of Justin Brock, Dan Plunkett and Grant Taylor absolutely killing everything they hit in the park. If you ever get to see
Grant Taylor skate in person, you are in for a treat! I had enough of walking around and watching...time to skate!
I warmed up in the flow bowl a bit, but it was crazy packed. As I said, the big bowl is BIG, so there were way less people there. I spent most
my day skating that bowl. I figure I can always come back another time to play around in the flow bowl and other areas if I wanted too. Just about every skate park
has similar areas like that. Skating the Humbler, however, was a chance that does not come often though. This bowl is like no other I have ever seen or skated
at any skate park. As Death skateboards pro, Dave Allen, put it quite well "there are no other bowls out there right now like this except Bucky's...this is
the next level of skateboarding...this is big".
Through the day, I ran into many old friends and made new ones. Skaters from all around the southeast made the trip for this event. I am sure
I will miss some, but off the top of my head, I saw Atlanta legends and rippers, Load, Jimmy O'Brien, Malachi Smith, Mark Tucker (and sons), Rob Tidwell, Shawn Coffman,
Chris Coffman, Fred Reeves, Martin Marshall, Dave Allen, Dan Plunkett, Thomas Taylor, Grant Taylor...other GA skaters, Jerry Bundy, Parrish Green,
Ken Forsyth (the skate ambassador of the South!), Russ Mullis, Scott Crawford...Alabama skaters, Jay Salillas, 50 year old ripper Mark "Shreddings" Eddings...
visiting pros, Justin Brock, Chet Childress...and of course, Tony Hawk. It was a great day to be skating out there!