This year, we’ll likely see two more: Bowness and Genesis Centre (northeast).
City staff have informed us that these two new parks will go out to tender/bid in March so that ground can be broken as soon as the construction season starts in late spring. Construction times of skateparks vary a lot due to size of the parks and weather, the latter which can be very unpredictable in Calgary.
In addition to Bowness and Genesis, the new Rocky Ridge rec centre will have a skatepark. The facility is scheduled to open in 2018.
We’ll continue to keep you informed on the latest developments of these new parks.
“Over the course of the last 25 years, Enoch has been blazing a trail of quality through the clutter of medocrity. Through skateboarding, art, and confidence, Enoch has been constantly elevating standards with a style and flair that has taken him all over the globe. In a world full of one trick ponies and two dimensional views, it’s so refreshing to still witness his relentless gift of progress. His contributions to skateboarding in Calgary were cemented long ago, when claiming “doing it yourself” wasn’t a flag of pride to wave around, but the only way things got done.”
Where were you born and when did you start skating?
I was born in Montreal, Quebec 1974. I started skating around 1986 but still rode freestyle BMX most of the time till about 1989.
Why did you start skating?
In grade 7 I started at a new school (Queen Elizabeth Junior/ Senior High School) and had to take bus/train to get there and wasn’t gonna walk so I started riding my skateboard (Jesse Martinez SMA).
Queen E was a big school so there was a lot of skaters from different age groups that would go skate, practicing grinds on parking curbs, ollieing over garbage cans etc. There were a lot of good spots right around school. Seeing all these other skaters motivated me and challenged me to prove to them that deaf guys can skate too!!!!!
Another reason I started to skate was being sick & tired of repairing hundreds of flat tires on my bike.
You were part of the Underworld crew. Can you tell me more about that?
What do you want to know about it? There is lots to tell. If you know anything about the Vancouver Red Dragons, Underworld was Calgary’s version on a smaller scale.
Do you still keep in touch with any of those guys?
I’m still in contact with one guy. “Cue” was his tag– Rob Brandt.
Did you have any sponsors?
I was first sponsored by FreeWheelin’ when Chuck Bell owned it by Wendy’s on 17th for a few months but he closed down. Then in ’92 or ’93 a new shop opened in Kensington called “THE SOURCE”.
I was only team guy for about a year then The Snowboard Shop got bought out and turned into MISSION. I went to ride for them cause they gave me better deals. I’d get free Mint decks anytime, they told me I was on Vans team but never got any Vans gear. I remember a contest in Chinatown for some reason I didn’t have my board so I borrowed somebody’s and got booted from team.
Shortly after that in about ’95 I moved to Hong Kong partly cause the heat was on too much from cops about the manslaughter case that another Underworld member was involved with. I came back to Calgary in ’97 for some reason lost motivation to skate, most of UW guys were gone and other friends that skated were doing other things.
Did you compete at all?
A few street contests.
Where did you get your first board from?
My first board was a Sims Steve Rocco, a birthday gift from my Grandma.
What were your favourite spots to skate?
The court house (gone now) was the most popular spot in the city. Petro Canada building, James Short parkade, Eau Claire. Hong Kong had killer spots– best I’ve been to.
Do you still skate?
Not really, once a month maybe.
What keeps you busy these days?
Ive been tattooing for nearly 8 years and continuing… making art and sometimes spray painting walls around the world.
Calgary’s newest skatepark location has been announced! Bowness skate spot will be located in Queen Elizabeth Park, also known as 77 Street Park. Engagement from 2014 will be honoured so preliminary designs will be released early in 2017!
You may recall that the original location near Our Lady of the Assumption School was kyboshed last year for various reasons. The new location has the support of the community association, councillor, and Calgary legion located nearby.
Watch for more information in the near future.
Matt Allen put together this sick video featuring a lot of Calgary’s best skateboarders at all the new skateparks. Enjoy:
Do you think Calgary’s skateparks should have staff?
The word “staff” can give the wrong impression. These aren’t “park narcs” that will tell you to put your helmet on or stop swearing. The staff at Millennium Park were all skaters and loved skating at Millennium. They had access to the small office in the building at in the middle of the park. There, they replaced bearings and hardware, tightened/loosened trucks, and did first aid for minor injuries. Usually they had extra helmets and wax for whomever needed them. Most of the staff were quick to grab their broom and dustpan and sweep out areas where debris blew in– before the Parks staff got there. They also called 911 in the rare case it was needed.
Another function of the Millennium skatepark staff at was to record how many people were using each area of the park: beginner, intermediate, expert, and general observers. This was done hourly. These statistics are valuable as they actually show how well-used the skatepark is.
Perhaps the most important job of the “skatepark hosts” was educating users and observers. Whether it was telling someone why they shouldn’t sit on a ledge or spit where everyone stands, the hosts made a difference. Etiquette was at the forefront of their duties, including teaching newer users the flow of the park and how to take turns. Novice users would be directed to beginner areas where they could hone their skills at an appropriate level. We know that the Millennium skatepark staff taught more than a handful of skaters how to drop in.
They also taught observers about the history of the park and even helped introduce some of them to skateboarding.
Let us know: should Millennium and the newer skateparks have staff?