The Alex Skate Park was always a popular spot for those wishing to hone their skills or just fool around for an hour or two. Yet there were two things that always struck me about the place. First that it should have such a magnificent beachside location. When you think about it, it’s an incredible thing for a council to maintain such a youth focused facility within such a valuable site. And good on them I say. The second was the diversity of the skaters. Sure there were the hard core riders grinding the rails or leaping skyward, but there always seemed to be room for the younger kids just starting out too. Maybe it was the family park atmosphere but the vibe always felt particularly chilled as I walked passed. Never had a very good sense of balance so skating has always eluded me I am afraid to say.
So it was with some regret that I saw the obligatory PR signage appear to tell all and sundry that this concrete edifice to our coast’s youth culture was to be scrapped to make room for a bigger and better Skate Park. Though the designs on the poster told of the grand plan, there was always an element of doubt in my mind that it would never have the same vibe. And so after a few weeks, the concrete munching machines moved in.
For the first couple of weeks, all that a peek through the safety fences revealed was chaos. But ever so slowly, shape and form began to emerge and what was taking shape was immense. And as it became more real, the more youngsters you would catch glued to the viewing portals in the safety fence, hoping and wishing it would magically be completed so they could get in and put the first rubber marks around its pristine concrete bowls. Arriving later than usual for a walk along the foreshore, I did see one young guy, who could wait no longer, break in to take a quick spin around on his bike. Never seen eyes open so wide. He obviously hadn’t seen the security cameras though.
On October 10, 2017 the new park opened to great public fanfare. From what I saw on the news it was like the entire population of the Sunshine Coast had dropped in to see it. A few days later I ventured down to take a look at the finished product. Outstanding. Not just because the promise of the facility upgrade had been fulfilled, but the vibe had returned also. The hard-core riders once again mixing it up with the wannabes.
I could easily see the Alex Skate Park attracting some pro skate events like the Bowl-A-Rama they’ve held at Bondi every year for the past 11 years. It’s Australia’s biggest skateboarding competition globally recognised as a celebration of skateboarding culture that attracts legendary and current Pro skaters from all around the world.
So next time you’re looking to see some good that comes from our rates, grab a drink and go watch the kids down at the Alex Skate Park. It’s another great thing about living the life on the Sunshine Coast.
And if you’d like to know what more the Sunshine Coast Council’s got in store for our concrete surfers, check out the Sunshine Coast Council’s Skate & BMX plan on the council’s website.