Skateboarders write about their sport, why they want skatepark

October 30, 2003

Editor's note: We asked the skateboarders who traveled to Florence recently to write essays about their sport and why they want a skatepark in Danville. Here is their work.

Keipher McKenzie, 9

Hi, my name is Keipher. I think a skatepark should be built in Danville because I get tired of going from one place to another. Like, just the other day, we had to go all the way up to Florence just to skate. So, please help us build the skatepark. My cousins and I would enjoy it, so please help us. You would be making a lot of people happy.

Dillon Sirimongkhon, 14

I love skateboarding. I guess it's just the way it feels when you drop in on a half pipe and get air for the first time or land a 50-50 grind.

It makes you feel great. It makes me feel great.

Skateboarding is my way of relaxing, and it is the same with the other skaters, too. People don't understand how hard it would be not to be able to enjoy skateboarding because you aren't allowed to skate uptown or not having a skatepark to skate in. Not having this feeling or natural high would be like you not having your coffee in the morning before you go to work or not being able to play your game of football because they said the liability was too high, but I bet you haven't put skateboarding in your shoes. Yes, it's a new sport and people are scared, but if you just give us a chance. Skateboarding keeps us on our feet and doing something with our lives. To some kids, I know skateboarding is all they have, and if you take that away from them then they wouldn't have anything else to turn to. So, please support us.


We really aren't asking for much, just a couple of ramps, that we won't and can't get kicked out of, a place we can consider our own. I personally would like the skatepark to be placed at Jackson Park since we already have the surface and we only have a budget of $50,000 and the concrete would take from that money and enable us to have less ramps. I think all the skaters would like to have a mini-ramp, which is a vert ramp or half pipe, but smaller, a spine ramp, a couple of rails, a fun box, quarter pipes, at least two, a bank, a pyramid, a picnic table, a couple of ledges, curbs and some kicker ramps.

Some people were complaining about the liability issue. Well actually it's very simple. In fact it's just as simple as having a soccer field. We had asked around other cities about the liability on their outdoor parks and they said it was just the same as any soccer, baseball or football field. The only time you would need to have insurance on your park would be if you had one inside and then the skaters would have to wear helmets. Thanks for your time. We need your help and that's straight from the horse's mouth.

Luke Sirimongkhon, 12

I have been skating for about two years and every time I land something new I feel real good about myself. Like if you go to a park and do everything you wanted to do then when you leave the park you feel full and confident. About two weeks ago I jumped three stairs and when I landed it, I got butterflies in my stomach.

I just think that if we got a skatepark then people would know how it feels to get butterflies in their stomach. The people who know how to skate can get better and those that don't know how to skate can learn. Maybe when we get a skatepark it would be half vert and half street.

Wil James, 15

Editor's note: Sk8er's Skateshop on Third Street has closed because of a family illness and declining sales.

My name is Wil James. My father, Chris Sepko, is the owner of Sk8er's Skateshop. I have been skating for about three years. When we opened the shop we were hoping to bring in a new generation of sports to the youth and community of Danville.

People think we want the skatepark for the benefit of the shop. Actually me, my family and my fellow skater friends want the park because we are tired. We are tired of being put off of public property for skating.

Yes, skateboarding is a new sport to the community of Danville. Skaters need a chance to express our athletic abilities just like any other football or basketball player in this town.

If we do get a skatepark I would like a mini ramp, rails, fun box, picnic tables and a pyramid - nothing cheesy.

P.S. Thanks City Council. This town has another empty spot on Third Street because of their quick reaction to getting a skatepark.

P.S.S. To whom it may concern, skateboarding is not a fad.

Christian Lamberth, 14

Hi, my name is Christian Lamberth. I am 14 years old and I have been skateboarding since the skate shop opened, about a year. I have never been so happy in my life. Skateboarding has opened a whole new world for me. I don't know what I would be without it.

If we do get a skatepark, I want one that everyone would like. It would be a skatepark that pro skaters would come to. It would be free to get in. In the skatepark I would want a miniramp, a couple of quarter pipes, a spine, a pyramid, some rails and a bank.

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