Carpinteria Skatepark opening, August 26, 2023 | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom
Carpinteria Skatepark opening, August 26, 2023 | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

By the time Carpinteria Mayor Al Clark, Councilmember Wade Nomura, and Carpinteria Skate Foundation cofounder Jason Lesh had grabbed the big, red ceremonial scissors to cut the ribbon that would open the long-time-coming Carpinteria Skatepark, it was too late. The kids, restless after a long morning of listening to speeches, could not wait a minute longer. As though on cue, dozens of kids jumped on their skateboards and spilled onto the unblemished concrete park to drop in and be the first to grind the fresh coping.

The adults, many of whom had waited decades for this moment, rolled with it and cut the ribbon, making it official: Carpinteria Skatepark was finally open to the public.

You can’t blame the eager skaters. The freshly built park, designed by Dreamland Skateparks and built by California Skateparks — the same companies responsible for the X Games and Street League Skateboarding courses — is a dream come true. 

Carpinteria Skate Foundation boardmember Julia Mayer, who was instrumental in the park becoming a reality, said the dream dates back at least to the 1990s, when the city had a small, temporary wooden course set up in a city lot near the train station.

When that was demolished, it left a void in the Carpinteria skate scene. In 2009, a group of neighborhood skate kids, now all grown up, created the foundation as a way to build a permanent skatepark. Those founding members — Lesh, Jason Campbell, and Peter Bonning — made it their mission to create a park that would serve as a new cultural hub for several generations of Carp skaters, as well as a tool to prevent youth from “falling through the cracks,” Lesh said.

Carpinteria Skatepark opening, August 26, 2023 | Credit: Ingrid Bostrom

By 2021, the foundation had gained momentum. It held a community fundraiser in the park’s proposed location — an underused former roller rink — and began receiving support from the city council. The next year, the foundation had raised more than a million dollars, and the city of Carpinteria vowed to pitch in with the remaining funds needed to meet the final goal of $2.6 million for the 20,000-square-foot park.

As Saturday’s grand opening ceremony began, Mayer soaked in the scene, watching the several hundred people waiting on the upper deck for the ribbon to be cut, saying that the Go Skate Day fundraiser, which was just more than two years ago, “feels like just yesterday.” 

The crowd represented several generations of Carpinteria residents, skate legends (including Peggy Oki, one of the original members of the Zephyr Competition Team), city officials, and the dozens of main players and business owners who were recognized for their role in making the park happen.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Mayor Clark. 

The park is officially open every day from sunrise to sunset, but it is also equipped with lights for night sessions and special events. There are tables and benches and plenty of grass for parents and non-skating friends to enjoy and watch the action. 


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.