The Only Place to Ride If It Rains in Los Angeles

Check out The SkateHouse: L.A. county's only public indoor skatepark available for BMX riding.

Nathan Sykes, one-foot invert; Matt Cordova, table
Nathan Sykes, one-foot invert; Matt Cordova, table© Jeremy Pavia/Red Bull

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:

Justin Henninger, crank arm
Justin Henninger, crank arm© Jeremy Pavia/Red Bull

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.

Andrew Lazaruk turndown transfer and tire slide
Andrew Lazaruk turndown transfer and tire slide© Jeremy Pavia/Red Bull

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.

Mikey Tyra, suicide no-hander
Mikey Tyra, suicide no-hander© Jeremy Pavia/Red Bull

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.

Dillon Lloyd, pegs to switch whip
Dillon Lloyd, pegs to switch whip© Jeremy Pavia/Red Bull

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.

Stephan August, 180; Erik Engstrom, foot plant
Stephan August, 180; Erik Engstrom, foot plant© Jeremy Pavia/Red Bull

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.

Mike Saavedra, turndown; Miles Simone, seat grab
Mike Saavedra, turndown; Miles Simone, seat grab© Jeremy Pavia/Red Bull

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.

SkateHouse's outdoor zone: Matt Cordova, superman
SkateHouse's outdoor zone: Matt Cordova, superman© Jeremy Pavia/Red Bull

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.

Dillon Lloyd, barspin to ice pick
Dillon Lloyd, barspin to ice pick© Jeremy Pavia/Red Bull

Open seven days a week, The SkateHouse offers something unique, yet old-fashioned, as Deluxe's Mike Saavedra says, “I think I’m just old school, so I prefer wood over cement.”

“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.”

By Jeremy Pavia