The Dogtown Days of Summer
Six years ago, Sally Bradford of Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority asked a group of teenagers at Aldine High School what type of new recreation space they wanted to see in Spring. The answer? “Not soccer fields, baseball fields or basketball courts,” Bradford said. “They wanted a skate park.”
And she got it for them. At 78,000 square feet, the North Houston Skate Park is the largest in North America and one of the largest worldwide, garnering international attention, drawing enthusiasts from all over the world, and inspiring us to propose a new nickname for Houston: Skate City.
Below, five reasons to visit the skate park to beat all skate parks:
1. Did we mention it’s huge?
The park has a 10-foot-deep competition bowl, a full pipe, a 12-foot vertical ramp, banked walls, speed hips, a Texas-shaped bowl and countless other ramps and rails to try your wheels on. We know–it’s a lot to visualize, so check out this awesome fly-over video on the park’s website.
2. Two parks are better than one
If you’re a regular to the 25,000-square-foot Lee and Joe Jamail Skate Park west of downtown, you’ve only experienced a fragment of what Houston’s skating scene has to offer.
“We designed the North Houston Skate Park to be complementary with Jamail Skate Park,” Bradford said. “We purposely didn’t duplicate their major features, such as a full cradle. We built a 20-foot diameter full pipe instead.”
With the two parks working hand-in-hand and only 20 minutes apart, there’s all the more reason to make a day of it and visit both!
3. Come one, come all
New skaters might be intimidated, but the park was designed with all experience levels in mind. There are plenty of areas for novice skaters to practice without fear of getting in the way.
4. Not a skater? Explore the “park without limits”
Next to North Houston Skate Park is an area known as Dylan’s Park, which has a playground geared toward special needs children. Named after 2-year-old Dylan Newman, who died in 2008 after suffering injuries that left him in a wheelchair, the park features a wheelchair skating area.
5. A new spotlight on Houston
The North Houston Skate Park isn’t done expanding. More events are planned for the future, and after Austin's five-year contract to host the Summer X Games ends in 2017, Bradford says Houston will be a major contender for the competition’s next location. Stay tuned!
North Houston Skate Park is free and open Monday, Wednesday–Saturday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Tuesdays