After almost three years, South Lake Tahoe’s Skatehouse Skate Park needed a change.
The street-inspired collection of ramps and rails had grown stale, and fewer skateboarders were coming through the doors, said owner Shon Baughman.
So, with the help of skateboarder and employee Javier Sequoia, Baughman began tearing down the old park in October, intent on changing the style of skateboarding offered at the Skatehouse.
And, after three months of often-exhausting effort, the Skatehouse opened its new skate bowl Jan. 10.
The oblong bowl features concrete pool coping on its taller end, an 8.5-foot tall section inspired by San Francisco’s Potrero del Sol skate park, Sequoia said in between runs at the public opening of the skate park.
“I wanted to replicate it, pretty much, because every time I go there I love it,” Sequoia said.
With the deep end as the anchor, and Baughman and Sequoia knowing they wanted the bowl to have a hip, the rest of the design kind of fell into place, Sequoia said. The bowl ended up with two hips and an offset corner. The shorter end of the bowl is about six-feet tall.
The bowl came together with volunteer help from a variety of sources, including scrap wood from South Tahoe Refuse, Baughman said. Much of the wood from the old park was also salvaged and about half of the park is from recycled sources, according to the skate park owner. A bowl was initially what he had in mind when he opened the skate park. The style of the park, the only indoor skate park in South Lake Tahoe, will likely be a closer fit for many area skateboarders, he said.
“It’s just raw and it’s fun,” Baughman said.
The setup offers a much more surf-life skating experience than the previous park, Sequoia added.
“You’re just weightless. It’s almost just like a wave,” the 17 year old said.
About a dozen skateboarders took turns dropping into the ramp Jan. 10, whooping it up for just about anyone willing to give the bowl a shot and slapping skateboard tails on the deck for a particularly high air or long grind.
The one-at-a-time style of skating at the bowl fosters a positive atmosphere for skateboarders, said Minden resident Jon Schurke.
“I’m real excited to have this because it brings people together in a session format and gives it a lot more energy,” Schurke said.
Nineteen-year-old skateboarder Jordan Mullen summed it up even more succinctly.
“It’s rad,” he said.
The Skatehouse Skate Park is located at 867 Eloise Ave. in South Lake Tahoe. Prices start at $10 for two hours. Hours vary. For more information call 530-542-1608 or 530-318-6806.