Talking with Alex, a 28 year old skateboarder from Ocean Beach, I learned more about skateboarding in our ten minute conversation than I think I knew about the sport in total. But then again, I ride bicycles – not skateboards.
But Alex has a complaint – a major complaint about the OB Skateboard Park in Robb Field, just yards from the end of I-8 and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard on one side, with the San Diego River Channel on the other. Alex has been skating for some 15 years he says, and he’s been at the OB park some twenty times now.
The ocean air, Alex believes, has worn away the surface of the park’s cement so much, that the cement’s pebbles and rocks are now exposed and are causing problems. The cement is too rough now, he says. It’s so rough, that on Friday, the third of August, he broke a wheel on the surface, while doing tricks.
“It’s hard to skate there due to the surface,” Alex told me. “Whenever I go to OB, I have to use large wheels just for that park with the bad surfaces.” And it was one of his large wheels that he broke on Friday.
“It’s hard to push your board,” because of the very rough cement. He sees others at the OB park also having difficulties. Alex says that his friends think OB’s ground surface is the main issue at the park.
I asked Alex to compare OB’s skateboard park with others around the city. “OB has the worst surface,” of all of them he said. “OB is mostly all ramps,” he mused, and he likes more rails, flat bars and fun boxes.
“The city needs to do something,” Alex said. “They’re trying to get a skateboard park in Chicano Park …”
And I quickly added, “And City Heights.”
He’s tried the park at Logan, Logan and 30th Street. It used to be a crime spot, but he thinks the skateboard park has now pushed crime away from that area – not totally, but a lot, he quickly added.
“Gotta ride big wheels if you skating at OB.”