SK8 Charleston draws hundreds for grand opening

(Source: Live 5)
(Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A new facility could put Charleston on a new map of attractions here in the Lowcountry.

SK8 Charleston opened to the public Saturday, drawing hundreds of people from outside of the state.

"It's a regional sized skate park and we assume it's going to be bringing people in from the region and from outside the area here today," said Sarah Reynolds with the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission.

"It's been a long time coming," added Jim Leaphart, a professional skateboarder. "The scene has really been starving for this... It's gonna put Charleston on the map. People are going to come from Virginia, Florida, Colorado myself."

Leaphart is just one of many people who traveled to The Holy City for the official opening.

Having skated is places all over the country, he said this new park is top notch.

"The uniqueness of it, the size, the different venues from the big pool to the snake run, the street area, it makes it an all-around complete park for every level; from beginner to expert," he said.

According to CCPRC, the park has a 200-foot-long snake run, an 11.5-foot-deep pro bowl, a seven-foot-deep intermediate bowl, and a 315-foot-long street course. The facility also features a building with a large viewing deck, a small skate shop, restrooms, seating, and food and drink concessions.

"The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission has always looked to provide world-class facilities for the public we serve," said CCPRC Executive Director Tom O'Rourke. "SK8 Charleston is the next in a long line of great facilities."

"They seem to think having a skate park of this magnitude is going to develop the skills of the skaters in the region," Reynolds said. "So we're hoping it will do that."

Even young kids are looking up to some of the others just a few years older than them for tips.

"It pumps me up and it's fun," said Curren Atterbury, of Wilmington, NC.

So far leaders with CCPRC said there haven't been any major hiccups since opening.

"We had a couple people who weren't happy about having to wear a helmet," Reynolds said. "For us it's just a matter of safety."

"I've had major head injuries and it can happen so easy," Leaphart said. "Just because you're good, doesn't mean you're unsusceptible to getting injured."

All ages and abilities are welcome to participate. Helmets will be required for all who are skating or biking. Pads are recommended, but not required. Children 12 and under must be under the supervision of an adult at all times, and all visitors must complete a Hold Harmless form (signed by a parent or legal guardian for those 18 or under). In addition to being open for daily use, CCPRC's future plans for SK8 Charleston include special events, competitions, camps, skating lessons and more.

SK8 Charleston's hours of operation will be 2-10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Skateboarding and in-line skating will be the only activities allowed every Wednesday through Monday, with each Tuesday designated as a BMX biking-only day.

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