It was a hot July Monday morning on Franklin Street when I stepped onto the welcoming yet unforgiving pavement that beckons bikers, skaters and various other thrill seekers to the Louisville Extreme Park. A few years ago, after it was completed until 2002 anyway this park quickly became “the rage” in the Derby City.
Much of this centering around extreme sports legend Tony Hawk and his tour which broke in the park in many ways, Hawk at the time was the poster boy for skateboarding with a series of hit video games and massive TV exposure.
Once the hubbub died down though, for much of the city the park has been slid in the background. Despite remaining one of the largest city owned skate parks in the world, with 40,000 square feet, the park has found its place with the people that found it for themselves one way or another.
People that skate, bike, or just congregate amongst like-minded individuals, and these people were out that Monday morning. Both kids and adults alike perfected tricks and worked on just standing on a skateboard and to that guy let me say, “I’ve been there pal.”
Still the park attracts a great deal of individuals around the area, even on a Monday morning I was surprised to see such a diversity of people.
In many ways the Metro Parks department have delivered what they promised with the initial allocation of funds for the park, a safe place for enthusiasts to come together.
Getting many youths out of trouble and instead perfecting ollies has been a selling point since the park’s inception. And, it has managed to do just that through the years and it appears that this mission statement will continue.
By the way, the park is open seven days a week, welcoming athletes and spectators alike.
Image: D. Rose