East of NYC and south of Long Island, the City of Long Beach, New York, maintains a proud and passionate skateboarding community. For years they made due with a metal ramp and asphalt slab combination that was well-intentioned but not representative of the local spirit.
In early 2015, the City selected Spohn Ranch as the skatepark designer and builder for a new concrete project. First step – understand the context within which we’d be working. While New York City is considered a street skateboarding mecca and many of the area’s recent skatepark designs concentrated on street-style terrain, Long Beach is heavily influenced by surfing. A series of public design workshops reinforced the surf theme and drove a transition-focused skatepark design.
You can’t talk context with talking about the site itself. Although beautifully framed by Reynolds Channel and its boardwalk, the designated skatepark footprint was L-shaped and extremely narrow. Close proximity to the water also made below-grade terrain virtually impossible.
Well-versed in complex conditions, we took the challenge head on and emerged with a solution that not only complemented the site, but honored Long Beach’s skateboarding culture. A flowy and fun bowl wraps around the bottom of the “L” and eventually leads into a street area anchored by more transition on either end.
The skatepark is officially open as of early September. Take care of it and enjoy!