Chico skate park caught in a grind

Dec 13, 2013 6:17 PM

The Humboldt Avenue Skate Park is in a bit of a grind.

During the last year, the park has been closed in spurts adding up to more than a month of no access.

“It seems to close a lot more often lately,” said longtime local skateboarder Cyrus Ruiz. “It’s closed a lot when I come here and it’s frustrating.”

Skateboarding has been an outlet for Ruiz.

“I've been skating forever; girls go away, schools change, jobs change but skateboarding stays,” he said.

But when skateboarding goes away from this park it forces skaters elsewhere.

“They say it’s illegal to skate in the streets so we don’t have any place to skate,” Ruiz said. “I seems like they do if for no real reason. It’s just on a whim; kind of like a power trip thing.”

The Chico Area Recreation and Park District, which owns and operates the skate park, says the closures are more of a safety thing.

“We close it for weather, ice as well as deviant behavior,” said C.A.R.D. superintendent Jake Preston. “Anything from drug use, drug paraphernalia to having cars come in here and drive on the track.”

And while the park closing is bad for those that use it, it's also bad for business.

“Skate is a good percentage of what we do now,” said Devin Vance of Chico Bike and Board. “When no one is coming in getting skate stuff--that can be kind of adverse.”


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