Pershing Park Skateboarder Punishment

washington dc by wayan
Photo by Wayan

Skateboarders beware: Pershing Park is seriously strict about your stick.

Like the sign says, not only will you be fined you will also loose your wheels. Interestingly, the same confiscation policy does not apply to rollerbladers.

Is the Park Police worried about kids walking home in sock feet?

Married, mortgaged, and soon to be a father, Wayan Vota is in the fast lane to mid-life respectability – until the day his brood finds his intimate journal of global traveling and curses him with the ever-eternal reply “I’m gonna be just like you, Dad!”

5 thoughts on “Pershing Park Skateboarder Punishment

  1. I believe the concern is damage to the concrete and railings. That’s the catch-22 here. On one side, the skateboarders are just looking for a place to hang out. On the other, a limited local budget has to replace any damage (unless the skateboarders want to kick in some money). The question is – what is right?

  2. No, the point of skating Pershing Park *is* the “damaging” the concrete and railings. It’s not about hanging out, discussing each other’s facebook pages, who’s twittering, and what’s the best illegal download.

    You can’t 50/50, 5-0 or nose grind without making contact with concrete. You can’t rail slide, lipslide, nose blunt slide, smith grind, without making contact with the railing.

    Dc’s only skate park on 10th and Rhode Island is okay for a few pushes, but it’s full of gravel and broken bottles. (which can abruptly stop 54 mm wheels from moving forward – yet the basketball court right next to it, is baby smooth), believe me)

    If you really skate, you can’t be contained – because the things that you want to skate
    - staircases
    - loading ramps
    - planter boxes
    - hand rails

    Are things usually owned by other people, who don’t want you to destroy their property.

    Because of the nature of Street skate boarding (as opposed to Vert, Pool, or Park) is Skateboarders will almost always be at odds with Property owners (private or public)

  3. How about if skateboarders chip in some money to build their own park or else (even better) lean on the city government to take care on the one at 10th and RI?

    I think skateboarding is cool, although I always wonder when I am going to see a shattered, exposed bone. What’s even cooler is not destroying public or private property to do it. If someone were damaging my property, they would be met with a baseball bat on the kneecaps. And I have a good swing.

    Why not seek alternatives?

  4. I was thinking along the same lines as Carl. Get a bunch of skaters together, form a union with membership fees and whatnot, and then do the repairs to whatever you wreck as part of your skating.

    I get that skating’s a lot of fun, and that you need “real world” stuff to skate with, not just some half-pipes for air. I just want to see some ollies off the stairs like I saw at my high school back in the 90s. But, if you want that shot, you get to help maintain what you’re wearing down, and that’s going to take money for materials and labor for repair.

    Hell, make it a trade program in concrete landscaping with a local union or something. But don’t just expect to get a free pass for wearing down the cityscape.

  5. You guys don’t really seem to get it.

    It’s not about skating real world “stuff”, it’s about skating the real world. The X-Games have people fooled.

    And it’s not about good or bad skate parks. (check out Portland’s Burnside project – where skaters got their own concrete and reclaimed public space – construction as vandalization -later sanctioned by the city)

    There could be a skate park on every corner in this city – there’s still a whole world of things to skate between sanctioned skate spots. And if you skate, you see them. That planter box calls your name. Years later as I trek to my law firm, I still see the possibilities.

    I remember skating @ that age and no security guards, cops, anti-skating devices, or skate parks could stop me.

    You get kicked out, you come back again.
    You get fined, you don’t pay the fine.
    They install anti-skate devices – you chip them off.

    The bigger issue is getting a lot of teenage boys full of bravado, rebellion, adrenalin, and testosterone to buy into the social contract.