Contemporary skateboarding has grown up in Los Angeles. Skating was a perfectly demure sport before LA hooligans messed it up by adding their power slides and jumps. Skateboarding was initially much like roller-skating. Friends dared each other to see how long you can hold a wheelie, unlike today, with teens that commonly challenge each other to jump 8 stairs.
What Makes It Great
The skate evolution began in Venice Beach, but soon after the streets became the popular medium. Los Angeles is a concrete playground that is seemingly asking for riders to come test their skills. The transition to street was not necessarily an easy one; riders often incurred countless citations and the sport had a menacing reputation. Today top competitions are held in the street category and many of the most prolific riders are still from southern California. The reason for such a turn around was the production skate parks within urban parks. A perfect example of this is Garvanza Park in Highland Park. This skate haven features a bowl that mirrors the swimming pools that the Z-Boys would ride in Venice, as well as numerous rails and stairs that fit the contemporary street style.
Garvanza Park is in the biggest and best public skate park near downtown. Riders travel from all over just to drop in on the bowl. Because of its notoriety, big industry names have been known to stop in from time to time. Unlike the Venice Skate Park that is internationally known and typically seen as the fashion runway of skate parks, Garvanza doesn’t draw crowds of tourists. It is the skate park for people trying to work on their skills or take their mind off of the world. The only crowd you might get here is of middle school kids who stop on their way home from school.
Who is Going to Love It
Some skaters might perform better under the prying eyes of tourist in Venice, but for those who like to breath, focus and take their time then Garvanza is the place. There is enough concrete and structures to allow the most introverted rider to be able to take the necessary space. If you like street art the bowl has some pretty rad designs and the art is constantly changing.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Garvanza Skate Park is located in, shockingly enough, Garvanza Park, located at the corner of Merdian Avenenue and North Avenue 63 in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. From the 110 Freeway north, exit at Marmion Way/Avenue 64 and turn left onto Avenue 64. After a half-mile turn left onto York Boulevard, then take the first right onto Avenue 63 – the park will be just ahead and on the left. For the 110 South, just exit at York and turn right onto Avenue 63. The park is oven from dawn to dusk and there is typically available street parking.