Anyone that has ever opened or operated an indoor skatepark facility knows it's no easy undertaking — everything from scouting a building, planning, designing the layout, constructing ramps, dealing with insurance, city ordinance and all the details of making the idea become reality — but the efforts are often a great way to bring riders together in a tightknit community.
“I enjoy interacting with riders and seeing them progress their sport in a park made for them,” says SkateHouse owner Rod Cornette.
In a city with countless outdoor concrete skateparks and plazas, Cornette took on the challenge and successfully opened in October of 2014 and has been steadily spreading the word of Los Angeles's only indoor riding facility that allows BMX riding ever since.
Below are 9 reasons to visit L.A.'s SkateHouse:
No one else was doing it
The SkateHouse is the only skatepark open to the public in the entire city and county of Los Angeles. If anything, its rarity is a great reason to see what its all about. Not to mention, the fact that they have over 13,000 square feet of space to ride.
Good intentions equal good results
“Our motivation was L.A.’s need for a supervised indoor park. There were no indoor parks open to the public,” says Rod when asked about the early intent for the Skate House.
The big picture
The SkateHouse has a pro shop and carries a variety of BMX and skate goods from complete bikes to frames, aftermarket parts, skate decks, trucks and wheels. They also carry a range of soft goods. This not only gives riders access to parts from some of the best companies out there including Cult, The Shadow Conspiracy, Colony, Sunday, BSD, Federal, Fly, Lotek, Merritt and Odyssey.
Skateparks help shape the future
There is nothing better than an indoor skatepark to help a scene grow and the opportunities are limitless for the locals to push their riding to the next level. Many top BMX pros today have a local indoor park that helped shape their riding and elevate their career.
Teamwork equals results
A small crew of dedicated local BMX riders and skateboarders helped get the park built using roughly $70,000 worth of lumber. It is an all-wood park that features a European birch top layer and they also have an extra 8,000 square foot outdoor section that has flat bars, a big box jump set-up, as well as a few quarter pipes and grind boxes, too. A crew of locals are always sharing their ideas and working to keep things fresh and up to date.
Variety is key
The park was originally designed by Mark and Greg Rosolowski along with input from local riders and skateboarders and boasts a variety of obstacles, including a vert wall, mini ramp, hubbas, rails, a box jump, ledges, flat bars, banks, pyramids, bowled corners and more. There is plenty to keep any rider busy for many sessions to come.
Inspiring the younger generations
The best part about having a local indoor skatepark is watching the younger riders get inspired. Everyone that rides can usually remember the moment they saw their first pro ride and how much it influenced them. It is a never-ending cycle and will continue to be so long as the skateparks are around. They also offer one-on-one instruction with pros, which is one of the unique features they have going on.
If you build it, they will come
When you have a skatepark within Los Angeles city limits that means the many pros of Southern California will be coming. Every pro based in the area knows all of the available parks to ride, so having a new place to check out is a treat to any locals that happen to be at the park at the right time. Catch a session and potentially ride with your favorite pro.
More things to come
They have plans to continue charging into 2016 and will be hosting a variety of contests, events, pro demos and jams in the coming year and beyond. They also plan on expanding the pro shop, as well as dialing in the SkateHouse's social pages that will make up the network — so stay tuned.
“Indoor parks are an awesome thing for a scene to have — a spot to ride inside, out of the elements, or even just when it's dark outside is an amazing thing," says Free Agent rider Andrew Lazaruk. "Having ramps made of wood is also rad because that means you can always change them up or re-make an obstacle if you want. My local park growing up would change their set up a little bit each year, which always kept it interesting.”