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Covina Skatepark is Now Open

The park’s mellow design is perfect for younger and older skaters, and it’s located just over a mile from the town’s renowned skate shop, Pawnshop Skate Co.

Noe Silva at Covina Skatepark. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

Covina Skatepark has been open for about two weeks. The new park is located at the western tip of Kahler-Russell Park, more commonly known as Wingate Park. For locals, it’s where the strawberry stand used to be, on Grand Avenue. This skatepark has been in the works for years, and seems meant to foster the next generation of Covina’s prominent skate scene.

“These are the training grounds,” says 36-year-old Noe Silva, a skater born and bred in the San Gabriel Valley, now residing in Whittier. 

An aerial shot of the just finished Covina Skatepark. Courtesy city of Covina

“It's a very approachable, intricate skate park. I could see many a youth having a really good time here. And as far as folks closer to my age range, and maybe above, you can still have a good time here,” Silva notes, pointing out the park’s obstacles.

The spine at Covina Skatepark. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

“Like the spine, it's very approachable,” says Silva. “You look at it, you can tell that there's a grade to it. Starts off taller here, kind of shrinks down towards the back end over here, which is great. So you can start off small, hit the taller part, figuring out how to go over the spine, roll over it, do trick stalls on it. Very well designed. It's very inviting.”

But Silva says it also works well for “90 year olds” like him. 

“The pyramid in the center there with the jersey barrier, I really like the steepness of it. It's really nice. I would call it baby, but that's what I like,” he laughs.

The pyramid at Covina Skatepark. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

He’s even a fan of one of the odder parts of the park. Along the north wall, there’s a curb with two driveway cuts butting up against a transition (for non-skaters, that’s a ramp that takes you from horizontal to vertical).

The north wall of Covina Skatepark. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

“It was very strange, because you just kind of hit like a steep wall. You're missing that beginning roll up. So it kind of messes with your timing,” Silva puzzles. “And my first two approaches at it were – at my level of skating – very poor, and therefore I was just slipping out every single time. Eventually figured out that, okay, just treat it more like a wall, less like a transition. Just kind of bash into it. You'll do better. But it's a neat obstacle, because I really liked how I didn't get it and then I figured it out.”

Silva continued to praise Covina Skatepark’s elements, from the mellow six stair that’s “perfectly designed to bail out of,” to the old school pool with backyard style chunky coping, to the train track flatrail – a reference to the nearby Metrolink tracks. 

“It's a really nice touch,” smiles Silva. “For the civil engineer and or designer, way to ‘keep it local.’”

The six-stair at Covina Skatepark. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA
The pool at Covina Skatepark. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA
The flatbar rail at Covina Skatepark. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

Covina Skatepark is a little more than a mile from the Metrolink station, and more importantly, Pawnshop Skate Co. The park’s initial design was modeled in clay by Pawnshop employees, which makes Covina Skatepark that rarest of government projects: one explicitly designed by its end users.

A clay model design for Covina Skatepark, by Pawnshop Skate Co. Credit: Chris Greenspon/SBLA

When SBLA spoke to city staff last year about their hopes for the park, they hit hard on two points: build a park that’s safe for kids, and make it homegrown so locals will take care of it. The final product seems to deliver on both goals.

“I would definitely call it G-rated,” says Silva. “But there's nothing wrong with that. That's actually really nice, because that just invites a larger group of people.”

Streetsblog’s San Gabriel Valley coverage is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”Sign-up for our SGV Connect Newsletter, coming to your inbox on Fridays!

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