Kevin Cody

Manhattan Beach skateboard park opens to hundreds of skaters.

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Jake Odle placed first in the expression session at the opening of the Manhattan Beach Skate Park on Saturday. Photo by Kevin Cody

“This is perfect skateboarding terrain,” former pro skateboarder Kanten Russell thought the first time he visited the Manhattan Beach civic center to meet with city officials about designing a skateboard park. The civic center has dozens of stairways with rails, benches and ledges.

On Saturday, two years after that meeting and 16 years after talks began about a Manhattan Beach skate park, a skate park strong on street skating features finally opened in Marine Park, on the eastern edge of the city.

Hundreds of skaters, accompanied by their families and civic officials attended the opening.

Though only 5,000 square feet, the triangular park’s strategically placed transition areas, which mimic swimming pools, enable 50 skaters at a time to jump stairs, slide down rails and grind ledges, explained Russell, whose Stantec’s Action Sport Group planned and designed the skatepark. The park was built by Spohn Ranch Skate Parks.

Saturday morning was set aside for free skating. In the afternoon, following a ribbon cutting, an expression session was held, sponsored by Spyder Surf and Kinecta Federal Credit Union. Gabe “Rat King” provided color commentary and “Berky” headed the judging.

Jake Odle placed first and Brent Williams was second. Koan Dornhoffer won best trick honors by going backwards off a ledge and then spinning the board 180 degrees.

A bench on the edge of the park was dedicated to Tom Allard. He and newly elected City Councilwoman Nancy Hersman were on the Parks and Rec ad hoc committee that two years ago renewed efforts to get the park built. Allard passed away a year ago, shortly after funding for the park was approved.

The Manhattan Beach Skate Park is located at 1625 Marine Avenue, Manhattan Beach, in the Marine Avenue Park, between Sepulveda Boulevard and Aviation Boulevard. ER

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