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Skateboarding shops and parks support the sport

By Katrina T. Gathers

Published October 01. 2013 1:25PM   Updated October 01. 2013 1:30PM

With the X Games held in and around downtown Los Angeles every August for the last 11 years, skateboarders get to see the sport they love showcased on a national level. The resurgence in boarding has become so popular that it’s unusual to find an area town that doesn’t have a skate park.

Whether indoor or outdoor, these concrete structures are designed specifically to provide unique challenges to its users. The parks, most of which are managed by their respective town’s recreation department, operate under a similar set of rules.

All of the parks are open daily from dawn to dusk, with some restrictions during the school year. Protective gear is highly recommended, and the use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs is prohibited. The parks are typically unsupervised.

The first skate park in the world for skateboarders and skaters was made of plywood on a half-acre sand lot in Kelso, Wash., in 1966, and was lit for night use. Carlsbad, Calif., is home to the first modern skate park, which was designed and built by inventors Jack Graham and John O’Malley in March 1976.

Regionally, skate parks began popping up during the last 20 years with support from skaters, residents and local officials who wanted a designated place for boarders to skate, instead of along local streets.

The skate parks listed below are within a one-hour drive of southeastern Connecticut.

Groton

Where: Located off of Poquonnock Road, inside Sutton Park.

Get There: Exit 88 off I-95; go right off the ramp onto Route 117. Continue for about one-quarter mile; entrance to park on the left.

Phone: 860.441.6600

Jamestown, R.I.

Where: Located behind Jamestown Lawn School on Lawn Avenue.

Get There: Fifteen minutes south of Newport, just over the Newport Bridge. Park is 4 feet and under, with pool coping and speed lines.

What Else: Park is closed from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the school year. Public restrooms.

North Haven

(temporarily closed to repair roof damage)

Where: Haven Skate Park, 198 State St.

Phone: 203.848.2497

What Else: Skateboard-only and BMX-only sessions. No mixed sessions.

Indoor park has mini ramps, bowl, a street course, wall rides, and an indoor full pipe.

Plainville

Where: Located in Norton Park

(197 South Washington Street).

Phone: 860.747.6022

What Else: Closed Nov. 15 to March 15.

Park is open to skateboards, in-line skaters and bicycles.

Waterford

Where: Located behind the Youth Services Bureau, 200 Boston Post Road

What Else: The park features ramps and jumps for skateboarders.

No pets or bicycles allowed.

Westerly

Where: White Rock Skate Park,

55 White Rock Road

What Else: Park is designed for beginner to intermediate skill levels, and is open to skateboarding, in-line skating, and BMX freestyle biking. Public restrooms and telephones.

Willimantic

Where: Skate Park at Lauter Park,

625 Jackson St.

Phone: 860.465.3046

What Else: Park has a long quarter with a narrow one next, a fat spine, and various little grind/manual boxes. Also features a 3-foot fun box.

SKATE SHOPS

How would the local skateboard community continue to thrive if not for the existence of skateboard shops? At the shops, skaters can pick up gear including hats, shirts, helmets and knee pads; and purchase new boards or get their current boards repaired.

All of the skate shops listed below are within a one-hour drive from southeastern Connecticut.

Civil

Where: 86 Main St., East Greenwich, RI

Phone: 401. 886.5116

Web: www.wearecivil.com/

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday; Noon to 5 p.m., Sunday

Cutting Edge

Where: 146 Mill St., Berlin

Phone: 860.828.3428

Web: www.cuttingedgect.blogspot.com/

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday

The Hive Skate Shop

Where: 15 Green St., New London

Phone: 860.574.9018

Web: www.zombiegangskateboards.com

Hours: Noon to 7 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday & Saturday 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday; Closed, Monday

Mass Appeal Skateboard Shop

Where: 135 Main St., Plainville

Phone: 860.793.8335

The Skate Shop

Where: 754 Main St. #1, Willimantic

Phone: 860.456.0666

Hours: Noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday; Noon to 5:30 p.m., Friday & Saturday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday; Closed, Monday

Utopia Skate Shop

Where: 150 Connecticut Ave. #2, Norwalk

Phone: 203.866.8723

Web: utopiaskateshop.com

Zumiez –

Crystal Mall

Where: 850 Hartford Turnpike, Waterford

Phone: 860.444.8179

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday to Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday

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