Kamloops’ new longboarding park isn’t officially open yet, but that hasn’t stopped local longboarders from enjoying it.
“It will be officially open as soon as we get safety signage up,” said Mike Doll, Kamloops parks planning and sustainability supervisor.
Doll is aware people are already using the park. “We recommend wearing a helmet. We expect the safety signs to be made by the beginning of next week.”
Among the early adopters are Ben Peacock and Patrick Mutrie, current and former TRU students.
Peacock, a bachelor of business administration student, has helped run the Kamloops Longboarding Club for two years.
“The park is great. Before this, the street has been the only option. Now it’s safer and gets kids off the street. It gives them an environment to practice their skills while not at risk of serious injury or death,” Peacock said.
The park has gained a lot of attention, being featured on longboarding sites and groups across the world. It’s being called the world’s first longboarding park.
Landyachtz, a Vancouver-based longboard company, called it the world’s first longboarding park during its visit, where it handed out prizes to kids and competitors.
Mutrie, a TRU alum, has been longboarding for seven years and has raced in longboarding competitions. Mutrie has been involved with the park since the beginning.
“We have one blue run and we have one black run. They’re very different. On the blue run, you can grip several of the corners so you don’t have to engage into a drift and you can kind of surf down,” Mutrie said.
“The black run, it’s quite a bit steeper and the turns are a lot tighter. You have to engage in a drift to make it around and it’s a lot more challenging. You need different skills on each run.”
“[The park] is everything we thought it would be.”
Safety signs won’t be the finishing touch on the park, however.
“We’re planning on adding a grassed area with picnic tables, a pit toilet and a drinking fountain,” Doll said. “We’re pushing to get that done by the end of September.”
There will be an official grand opening on Oct. 3 at 11:30 a.m.
The park is located at 2350 Pacific Way, just south of Pacific Way Elementary. The land was already owned by the city, which made converting it to a longboarding park a simple process.
“It’s a great location. There’s not a lot of city-owned land that has that topography,” Doll said.