Skaters jump at chance to try Orewa’s new skate park

Skaters jump at chance to try Orewa’s new skate park

These recycled wooden poles add a sculptural element but with the practical purpose of providing a place for skaters to hang their gear.  Wave formations and curves blend the skate park into its Orewa Beach setting.
Excitement has been building in recent weeks as the final touches are put on Orewa’s new skate park in Western Reserve.

The last slab was poured on November 24, and the embellishments completed, with the skate park to open this week.

Once the gates are open, there will be a chance for local skaters to try out the new facility, followed by the official ribbon cutting and a competition day on December 5.

It has taken around three months to transform the skate park from a basic facility that had passed its use by date after 17 years of hard wear, into a modern, multi-use area.

The project cost $350,100 and was funded by the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board.

A group of local skaters, local board members and Auckland Council parks staff got the project to the design and build stage, with local company Contrax winning that contract.

Contrax teamed up with renowned designer Richard Smith from Rich Landscapes and received further input from the community as the concept for the skate park developed.

Grant O’Sullivan of Contrax says that getting value for ratepayers’ dollars and having the work finished for summer were key concerns.

The new facility has been largely rebuilt over the old footprint, rather than demolishing, excavating and starting again. This meant no resource consent was required, and the $20,000 that would otherwise have been spent on resource consent fees could be put into elements in the park.

“It was decided not to include a concrete bowl as they are very expensive to construct,” Grant says.

Contrax also provided recycled materials from its yard, the main example being the 200mm x 200mm timber posts recovered from Myers Park in Auckland. These were used to manufacture the seats and provide a sculpture where bags and jackets can be hung.

The steel work was by another local company, Pyramid Engineering, which is currently hard at work on its Silverdale Adventure Park project.

Richard (Rich) Smith, who has designed around 70 skate parks, says that the flowing curves and waves in the skate park reference the coastal location. He says that the skate park is now a multi-use facility that caters for all ages and abilities.

“The design was to allow for use by skateboards, scooters and bikes, as well as offering socialising areas that are particularly important to young people,” he says.

Features include a long sculptural wave that wraps around a ramped skate path, judging and seating area and terraced platform. There are also a small pump track, cali red kerbs, a wollie sand castle and corten steel grind ledges, which were incorporated to provide skate opportunities for users of various skill levels.

“The overall design pushed more towards a street styled environment where the long sculptural wave acts as ‘skateable art’ more than a traditional skate park quarterpipe,” Rich says.
 

Competition celebrates new skate park

The ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the skate park is on the morning of December 5, followed by a competition organised by Underground Skate.

The competition runs from 11am–4.30pm and includes age group competitions and fun giveaways, including for the best tricks.

As many as 500 people are expected to take the opportunity to check out the new facility.

The Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre will be open, providing music and a barbecue.

Hibiscus Coast Youth Centre executive director Suzanne Booth says she has appreciated how Auckland Council worked with them during the build to make the process as smooth as possible, and mitigate any issues or disruptions.

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