The stormy weather forecast was not enough to keep the dozens of skateboarders from coming out and giving the county’s first skate park a try last month.

The park opened its gates at 10 a.m., and within the first hour, the new 11,000 sq.-ft. “obstacle street and bowl” skate park, located at 5720 Providence Rd. in Riverview, was practically at capacity as skaters appeared to have the time of their life.

“It’s just amazing,” said 13-year-old Valrico resident Jacob Beebe. “I love the way it’s built. Very technical, and challenging but doable.”

The lower section includes a granite bench set at an angle, curved ledges, a cone pole jam, a manual pad, a small but long set of four stairs, a brick-stamped bank with a flat bar on top, a handrail and flat rail.

This area also has a very wide quarter pipe with steel coping, including a 12 foot pool coping extension, a smaller pyramid with a bull-nose granite flat rail and a steep bank and hip.

The lower section is connected to the upper section with a series of banks, including a step up that connects to an escalating-transition hip. A series of transition elements include a six foot corner quarter pipe that leads to a long and low A-shaped quarter pipe, and ends at a series of moguls that are located throughout.

A third level takes skaters to the bowl, which at its shallow end is six feet deep and at its deep end reaches more than nine feet deep with one-and-a-half feet of vert. The entire bowl has pool coping and tile. This area is also connected with quarter pipes and more moguls that range in heights from two-and-a-half feet to five feet.

The park was built with the help of  local skaters, who worked with county officials during the planning and design process to input ideas for the course.

Judging by the turnout and the comments made by those that were willing to pause for a moment to give their opinion of the end result, the park seems to be satisfactory.

“It was definitely worth the wait,” Beebe said.

The park is open Tuesday-Friday from 2-10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (10 a.m.-12 Noon is under 12 skate only) and on Sunday from 12 Noon-8 p.m.
Skate fees will be $4 per day. Annual skate park passes are available for $150.
A grand opening ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 12, at 12 Noon.
For more information on the Brandon Skate Park, contact Parks, Recreation and Conservation at 635-3500.

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