Build a Skatepark to Surf Better!

Build a Skatepark to Surf Better!

We're all getting pretty excited that the reality of the Pacific City Skatepark being built is getting closer.

In addition to being great for the community in general, it is especially nice for the surfers who live in or visit Pacific City.

There's a good reason that surfers like to skate so much. Skating and surfing have been closely linked since the beginning of skateboarding in the 1950's. Skating became a popular thing to do after surfing, or when the surf was flat. The maneuvers mimicked the classic surf style of the time--Cross stepping, nose riding, drop knee turns, and smooth carves. While that style is still relevant today, especially for longboarders (I actually learned to cross step on a skateboard before a surfboard), the shortboard revolution molded skateboarding into what it is today.

The Z boys (of Dogtown and Z boys fame), were the catalyst of all of this. They were all surfers first, and they used skateboarding as an extension of their surfing. They were deeply influenced by the innovative style of the shortboard pioneers, and used asphalt hills as their waves. Their low powerful turns, style, and speed translated well to skating in pools, and eventually onto ramps and half pipes. They eventually started to get air, and it was time for surfing to take some cues from skating. Modern high performance surfing certainly wouldn't be what it is today without the skateboard influence. Anyone who gets air on their surfboard today was influenced in some way, if not directly, from skateboarding. And many of the top surfers (John John Florence and Joel Tudor, just to name a couple) also skate really well.

It's no secret that the waves aren't always good in Pacific City. Sometimes the sandbars aren't right, the wind is howling, or it could be either way too big or too flat to surf. Having a place to stay active and stoked while waiting for the waves to get better will be very welcomed, and it will likely make us all better surfers. Just remember that the ground isn't as forgiving as the water, so wear a helmet and pads to stay healthy.

Check out this video to see how the red bull surf team finds a fun way to use a skatepark to practice their airs:

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