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Costa Mesa Skatepark Costa Mesa California

The Costa Mesa Skatepark is located at 900 Arlington Ave Costa Mesa, CA 92628
 Costa Mesa Skatepark Costa Mesa California

I was told yesterday at about 5PM that this morning would be the day. I called a couple people and told them, but very few, yet there was about 50 people in the gates by 9:30am. I was let in to be the first skater by Jana Ransom, the recreation manager for the City of Costa Mesa–thanks Jana!! I skated three times today and each time more and more people began to build up. At about 8pm there was at least 150 people in the park, and probably closer to 200. When the lights went out one at a time (starting about 8:40 which is way too early) there was still at least 100 people in the park. The park closed at 9:00pm and the sessions were awesome. Their hours are supposed to be 8am to 9pm, but the signs say 9am to 9pm. We’ll see what happens there, and we’ll definitely work to make sure the lights don’t start going out 20 minutes early–that sucked!! Hopefully, after having to ask 100 people to leave everynight at 9pm for weeks on end, maybe we can convince the city council to keep the lights on until at least 10pm, but we are going to need you guys all to be very mellow for that to happen. Don’t vibe the police or park rangers when they come to lock up. They didn’t make the rules, but if you piss them off, they’ll make it harder to change the rules. Keep that in mind!! All the skaters left the park quietly and peacefully tonight, so things started out smoothly.
 Costa Mesa Skatepark Costa Mesa California

On a really good note, there were people skating every single inch of the park. I guess Costa Mesa did need a park after all–hahahahhahahahaha(yeah–like three maybe)!!! Everybody seems to be happy as there is something for every one to ride, although the park is far too small for the number of skaters we have in this area, but we had to start somewhere. Now we need to start working on park #2. The concrete as smooth as butter thanks to the great work of California Skateparks. We were very lucky to have them work on our park, and hope we’ll get to ride more great parks poured by them in the future. Rancho Santa Margarita wasn’t so lucky. They opened their skatepark last week, and the concrete work sucks. You get what you pay for, and when you just take the lowest bid without confirming the contractor is actually qualified to do a good job, then you get what they got. I do hope they make the contractor who poured that park come back and fix it for the sake of the skaters out there. Thank you to the city of Costa Mesa for listening to the skaters and making sure the bids included pre qualifying contractors to make sure only qualified skatepark builders could pour our concrete—good job!!!!
 Costa Mesa Skatepark Costa Mesa California

Now comes the fun part–the pad dance. Yes, Costa Mesa requires Full Pads–Helmet, Elbow Pads, and Knee Pads, so you can expect to see Police officers and Park Rangers enforcing those rules. I am sick of answering this one, so hopefully a few people might read this and understand how and why they do this and stop talking smack about the city when it’s not their doing. Ok, just so you guys know the real truth, here’s how it works. The state passed a great law a couple years back, adding skateboarding to it’s list of known hazardous activities. What that did was acknowledge that skateboarders know they are doing something dangerous while skateboarding and therefore holding them accountable for knowing that the danger to get hurt exists and not holding the city liable for all of that danger. That allowed the cities to feel comfortable and protected in building a skatepark for skaters, and that’s why we see skateparks popping up in cities all over. But, the downside of that law is, that within the same law that helped us get skateparks built, the writers of the Bill said that the cities were protected provided that they posted warning signs stating that you are participating in a hazardous activity, you know it’s dangerous, etc, etc, etc…. blah, blah, blah. It also said within that Bill that created the law that the cities must post signs and enforce the wearing of Helmets, Elbow Pads, and Knee Pads. WHAT????????
 Costa Mesa Skatepark Costa Mesa California

Yes, the city must post signs and enforce the wearing of pads, or they may not be covered by the law, and you wouldn’t have a new free skatepark to ride. So, we are benefitting from this law getting us new parks built, and crying because the pad portion of the law is really, really, really, really, really LAME!!!!! OK, so I am not even going to argue the helmet portion cause I can tell you now that part will never ever be changed, and if someone builds me something awesome to skate that I can hit my head on, and lets me skate it for free, then asking me to wear a helmet is something I will just do, so don’t cry to me about that one. If they didn’t make me, then I might not wear it, but I am not even going to argue that point. OK–SHUT UP!! I can hear some of you who think you have the right to do anything you want anywear you want calling me a kook or whatever, but that’s my opinion and it’s least it’s based in reality, not fantasy. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, so if you’ve got one, then speak it, but don’t cry because you read one you don’t like. If you think you can change the law, the go for it. I don’t think it’s going to happen as far as helmets go, but I am definitely going to do my part to help do where I can when I can to get that law altered, and I hope you will do the same, and stop just standing around complaining about it.
 Costa Mesa Skatepark Costa Mesa California

Now, when it comes to knee and elbow pads, that’s a different story. I asked the Senator who wrote this bill why knee and elbow pads were on it, and for the most part that answer was something like “because we thought that’s why the general outfit was”(I guess they saw too many McDonalds commercials with kids riding down the sidewalk in full body armour). He also said we thought it would help us get the bill passed with less fighting from the Trial Lawyers Association. Yeah, those are the guys who want to make sure they can sue for things, so they never wanted skateboarding added to the list, so the pads were sort of tossed in there trying to give them less to argue. That’s how it happened for the most part. So, while I think we shouldn’t have to wear elbow pads and knee pads at the skatepark, especially if the tennis players at the tennis courts next door don’t have to wear googles, and the basketball players in the city gyms don’t have to wear ankle braces, mouth gaurds, etc….., it still doesn’t mean I can expect to skate without my pads without getting a ticket, and neither should you. I’d love to see them write a ticket to a guy on a basketball court for improper equipment just cause it would be funny to watch someone else get messed with for once, but let’s stay serious about that one.

I will be watching and doing whatever I can to change this law at sometime in the future, but hopefully this little education can help you focus your anger towards changing the law instead of bitching about how lame the city is for making pad laws. It’s a State law, and the city didn’t make it, so let’s work on changing it for the future. So put some effort into the right fight, and don’t be ignorant about what the law really is. I am sick of listening to it and so are the recreation people in the city. We’ve talked about it many times, and if we can change the State law, then I think you’ll stop being harrassed, and hopefully it will mellow out over time anyway, but anyone who’s ridden a Southern California Skatepark when it has recently opened should know the pad police cycle and should be used to dealing with it by now, so stop bitching about it. Consider yourself educated, and bring your pads if you don’t want to ticket. Maybe someday it won’t work that way, but for now, that is reality. Now, get out there and enjoy the skatepark, and if you don’t like it, go skate somewhere else!

Jim Gray

Posted from Costa Mesa, California, United States.

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