Monday, May 3, 2010

Park Profiles: Gloucester MA (with Skatepark Tours video)

In Park Profiles: Salem MA, I told you all that even though Salem is my home it wasn’t the first park I skated. Well, this one was.

The Gloucester skate park at O’Maley Middle School was one of the first concrete parks to be built on the North Shore, possibly one of the first parks in general. I credit it with motivating cities like Salem, Beverly, Manchester and Peabody to build parks of their own.

I remember how my brother and I used to beg our mother to drive us up 128 because we were too young to drive ourselves. Now that I work in Gloucester, and can obviously drive myself, I take my lunch breaks here, getting in quick sessions whenever I can.

The park is large. I think it is too large for what it contains. On the right, there is a long round rail with a slight kink at the end. There is a flat kicker that launches into the right corner of the park.

The park’s fun box, one with a flat front and banked sides, has a nice round coping but lacks any real roll-in as an approach. In the back right there is a double-bench that has been fitted with a metal-plated edge.

In the back center, there is a 4’ quarter-pipe, that is 3 blocks wide, which rolls towards a large flat pyramid in the middle of the lot. The pipe is too far from the pyramid to keep any speed though, so gaps are not easy to accomplish.

The pyramid is the park’s best feature. It’s two long sides are banked, while the two short are steep-flat roll-ins. It has two round rails from it; one runs off the corner near the fun box and another down the middle of the opposite side’s flat roll-in.

Between the entrance and the pyramid are two flat-top spines that are about 1 ½’ high. One has been fitted with a stone slab, that used to be for grinding, that makes it higher for gaps and stalls.

In the far left corner, a 3-block wide 4’ mini-ramp is the newest addition to the park. It has a flat roll-in on the park side, but this doesn’t lead into any object, so it seems like a waste.

The park also has a flat manual box, that has square metal copings along the long sides. It is placed between the mini-ramp and the pyramid.

This is a decent park, but not as great as I once thought it was. I could have been so much better if it was built in a smaller space with better flow. If you come here around noon on a weekday, you can find me during one of my lunch session; grinding around the park and taking pictures of myself.




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