Northwest NEWS

August 21, 2000

Sports

Bothell Skate Park to hold 'End of the Summer Bash'

by Bronwyn Wilson, senior staff reporter

   BOTHELL--For those who like to ollie, kickflip, or execute other fancy skateboard tricks, a skate contest to demonstrate these cool moves and others is coming to Bothell's Skate Park.

   The contest is part of the "End of the Summer Bash" to be held Saturday, August 26, noon to 3 p.m., with sign-ups beginning at 11 a.m. Minors are required to have consent slips signed by parents at sign-up time.

   The contest is divided into three categories: beginner, advanced, and sponsored, such as entrants from skate shops. Each rider will have two 45-second runs. There will be points for degree of difficulty and the run with the highest points will count, with the other thrown out.

   But maneuvers, such as jumping from a moving skateboard, sailing in the air, then catching up to the board with a smooth landing, is only half the fun. The other half is the music of local bands. Bent Richard, Drowning Nin Lethe, and Left Behind will rock the skate park as skaters initiate aerial adventures.

   The skate park "Bash" comes on the heels of the park's closure to repair damage to some of the ramps caused by heavy use. During the closure, a carpenter corrected structural problems, crews pressure washed the court, and a group of volunteer teens painted parts of the ramps.

   "We're going to dress it back up again," said Steven Dahl of Bothell's Parks and Recreation Dept., just before the work began.

   Expected to re-open the beginning of the week of August 21, the park will be ready in plenty of time for the skate contest on Saturday. According to Dahl, the skate park has been in use for one year now, and though the park staff had hoped to wait until after school started to conduct maintenance, the correction of safety hazards couldn't wait.

   Bothell's Skate Park is located at 9815 NE 188th St., across from Pop Keeney Field. The City of Bothell leases the park from the Northshore School District for the grand sum of one dollar per year.

   Closed during school hours, the park is open after school and on weekends. Dahl said that the teens who use the park are very involved in its upkeep. "The teens have been real helpful."

   He added that it was the input of the teens that brought the need for a skate park to the attention of the Parks Dept. three years ago. The teens, he said, were involved with the park's design and helped prepare the site.

   A recent report by the National Sporting Goods Council found that skateboarding grew by 20 percent in popularity last year, and the number of girls getting interested in the sport grew by 23 percent. According to the report, most skaters are between the ages of 12 to 17.

   With the popularity of the sport growing, Bothell's youth will not have to seek busy roads, malls, or parking lots to practice. The skate park is not only a safer alternative, but a fun place to meet other skaters. One of the park’s employees said that there has been as many as eighty skaters using the park at the same time.

   The event on Saturday is free. Helmets are required, pads are recommended. Crescent Down Works Snowboards and Skateboards of Seattle will participate in judging. Minors who need parental consent slips can pick one up at the Bothell Parks and Recreation office downtown, or to have one mailed, call Steven Dahl at 425-486-7430.