There would be no rain delays this time for the Castaic Sports Complex skate park ribbon-cutting ceremony. After having to postpone due to weather concerns earlier this month, and after over a decade of waiting, the skaters and scooter-riders of Santa Clarita got their first chance to utilize their new skatepark Wednesday.
And despite this being a rescheduled event and even with a slight drizzle, hundreds of residents, riders and community stakeholders were in attendance for the grand opening.
“You look at the number of people out here right now and you can know this skatepark is going to get used,” said 5th District County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose office helped develop the project. “When I looked at the numbers of people who skateboard, it is one of the fastest-growing sports, and the timing of this project opening is perfect.”
The $1.3 million skatepark designed by Spohn Ranch, a professional skateboard park design and build company, is what skaters might call a “street plaza environment.” It provides stairs, ledges, manual pads, grind rails, a bike rack and an LED-lighting system.
“I’ve been skating for 12 years, and this skatepark is a great one,” said Angel Garcia, a skater from Venezuela who had made the trip out for the event. “It’s got great transitions, good rails, I mean it’s got a little bit of everything.”
The quality of the park was enjoyed and acknowledged by both young and old, amateur and professional skaters alike.
“I’ve skated all over the world from China to Europe to Barcelona to Brazil, and the (skatepark designer) asked me to come out here and give him his honest review,” said Manny Santiago, a 33-year-old professional skateboarder in attendance at the event. “And I told him, ‘I love it.’”
Lance Vaughn was acknowledged along with his son by Barger as the people who dreamed of the Castaic skatepark 12 years ago and made it come to fruition. Vaughn hadn’t touched a board in years, and was standing off to the side, filming the random skateboarders showing off their latest tricks.
“This is like a dream come true, because we finally have something for the kids,” Lance said. “And I’m sure my son, who’s working today so he couldn’t be here, would say, ‘This is excellent.’”
Bikes and any motorized vehicle aren’t permitted to ride the course, and the park is scheduled to be open seven days a week, from sunrise to 9 p.m., according to Natalie Vartanian, recreation services supervisor for the Castaic Sports Complex.