In 2013, the Bend Park & Recreation District and PUSH of Oregon, a local skateboard advocacy group, selected Spohn Ranch as the skatepark designer and builder for the City’s latest skatepark project at Ponderosa Park. Ponderosa Park was already home to a concrete skatepark built in 1997, but flawed design and subpar skatepark construction limited the potential of the space and by 2013, the local skateboarding community was ready for a change.
Spohn Ranch’s president and founder, Aaron Spohn, and one of our lead skatepark designers, Charlie Wilkins led a series of skatepark design workshops where they surveyed Bend’s skateboarders and developed a sense for the features and terrain styles that would best complement the make-up of the community.
As the initial sketches were coming together, our site analysis revealed that 1’ below the site’s topsoil was a layer of nearly impenetrable bedrock and granite. This limited the ability to build a bowl, so rather than literally “blowing” the budget to dynamite the rock, we reconvened with local skateboarders and brainstormed a solution for a modern above-grade skatepark with a healthy balance between street and transition-style features.
We are extremely proud of the final product. The skatepark features a main elevated area with stairs, rails and ledges and is flanked by strategically-located transition hips and walls. The top of the park is anchored by a skateable rock sculpture which ultimately flows into the “skate path” section. The path is lined with beginner-friendly skate elements that contour to Ponderosa Park’s unique landscape and with luxurious spacing and length, provide a feeling of true freedom.
Charlie and his Lifeblood Skateboards cohorts Bryce Kanights and Jake Selover recently took a trip down to the skatepark and came back with some great shots.
An official grand opening ceremony is in the works and will be announced soon!