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San Diego Opens Gates To New Skate Park Just In Time For Holiday Break

Tarryn Mento
Kanten Russell, professional skateboarder-turned-skate park designer, carves through the pool feature at the Park De La Cruz Neighborhood Park skating facility in City Heights, Dec. 21, 2017.

The skateboard that Junior Rodriguez received for his 14th birthday on Wednesday is already scuffed from board sliding at the new skate facility in City Heights. It opened just last week, giving Rodriguez — and his mother — something to be excited about this holiday break.

"I’d probably be at my friends playing video games, which is — my mom doesn’t like that," he said.

The city of San Diego's new $5 million facility gives skaters — from novice to professional — an expansive playground to hone their skills. Officials are planning an official ribbon-cutting in January to celebrate its completion after a years-long youth-led campaign, but it unlocked the gates early to give kids an outlet while on vacation from school.

San Diego Neighborhood City Heights Gets Skate Park For Christmas

The project is the first of a two-phase upgrade coming to the park. The second stage includes a $10 million community center revitalization that was requested by residents.

Keep scrolling to explore some of the features at the new skate park.

Roller, Flow Bowl


Professional Skater and Stantec Project Manager Kanten Russell, who helped design the park with the city and Schmidt Design Group, said the roller feature helps generate speed for skaters through the flow bowl, a smooth basin.

It also features a spine ramp for skaters to practice tricks transferring from one side of the flow bowl to another.

Gap, Rail, Stair and Ledge (Beginner, Intermediate-Advanced)

The park includes a beginner level with rails and ledges that are lower to the ground for novices but also features an intermediate to advanced section that offers experienced skaters more height.

Russell said it was important to include assets that served all skill levels.

“You always want to have something that’s easy and then advanced because you want to keep people here long-term, we want to make a timeless design, and I think that’s what we’ve created.”

He said advanced skaters also make use of the beginner rail to practice more complex and technical tricks, such as a front blunt big flip as demonstrated below by 25-year-old Braden Paynter.


Russell said the pool topped the wishlists of many youth skaters.