Sunny Puerto Penasco Rocky Point Mexico is Getting Closer to a Skate Park

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City officials meet with Uncle Skate Charity to discuss future of skatepark

Jeff Araiza reviewing skate park possibilities with city offcials

Jeff Araiza reviewing skate park possibilities with city offcials

A great new skatepark for the kids in Rocky point will be coming in 2014.

The City of Puerto Penasco in the northern Mexican state of Sonora is planning a world class skate park at a site to be determined. As of now the ideal location will be near the beaches so both locals and tourists can enjoy the outdoor activity while taking in the Ocean breeze from the Sea of Cortez.

With hundreds of new skateparks are being built every year, cities are catching on to the idea of providing a safe place to skate. It is a boom era for public skateboarding facilities. A group of dedicated advocates from Uncle Skate Charity met with the city promoting the project. Morgan Ellig spoke about the benefits to tourism while Dean Wegner spoke about the types of parks and the community involvement on the final design. Jeff Araiza and Chris Kelley spoke about the construction aspect to create a high quality skatepark that can obtain world class status.

City official Jesus Romero Chagoyan was on hand as the director of culture. Chagoyan's opinion about the new skatepark is that it would be beneficial to the local youth and tourism with many attractions beneficial to public interest.

Some ideas that came to mind at the meeting were integrating and possibly naming the park after the world heritage site near Puerto Penasco el Pinacate. The stunning landscape of volcanic craters bathed in black lava of el Pinacate, as well as the dunes of the Gran Altar desert, in Sonora, were declared world heritage site by UNESCO. Its ten huge, very deep, circular caters constitute only part of the beauty of this unique place in the Sonoran desert, which is home to the greatest biodiversity of the four North American deserts.

Some of the talking points at the meeting included:

Social Benefits
Skateparks provide a place for kids who aren’t attracted to traditional team sports a place to go and express themselves in an individual and athletic manner. Getting kids, particularly at-risk kids, involved in a personal and esteem-building activity like skateboarding helps them build the confidence to do well in other aspects of their lives. Skateparks provide a place for local youth to meet, socialize, and develop friendships based on a common, healthy interest. The bonds of friendship based on a mutual interest in skating often last a lifetime.

Health and Developmental Benefits
Providing recreational opportunities to young children helps them develop healthy, active lifestyles, and the growing popularity of skateboarding is encouraging more and more people to go outside and roll. On average skaters are between 12 and 17 years old. These are formative years in a youth’s life and developing a habitual desire for physical recreation is essential to a healthy future.

Skateboarding is physically active and requires, at times, great concentration. It encourages children to spend time outdoors, tests their endurance, sharpens their senses, and develops their creativity. Skateboarding requires no coaches and suggests no standardized approach to riding a skatepark. Skaters are free to ride in their own way, to their own abilities, and encouraged to pursue their own style of skating. Many people who started in their teens still enjoy skateboarding well into their 50s.

Youth in low-income areas are particularly prone to health issues related to lack of exercise due to the expense of equipment and travel, or lack of leisure time. For these communities a local skatepark becomes an effective tool that teaches healthy, athletic living at an impressionable age.

Public Comfort and Safety Benefits
The 9.3-million skateboarders in America only have about 3,000 skateparks nationwide. That means the vast majority of them are skating in the streets. Over 90% of deaths involving skateboards in the U.S. occur outside of skateparks. Most of these tragedies also involve a motor vehicle. Skateparks, even the more challenging ones, are far safer than kids rolling through busy streets.

Skateparks provide a place for local youth to practice their tricks. This means that they’re not skating downtown or in areas where they are seen as a nuisance, a menace, or causing damage to structures. Skateboarding ordinances and other deterrents generally fail to significantly mitigate skating in inappropriate areas. Drawing the activity to appropriate areas allow other preventative measures to be more effective.

Economic Benefits
We do not have any specific studies on the economic impact of skateparks on communities. But from the feedback we receive from municipal skatepark managers, skateparks do seem to have a positive effect on businesses in the surrounding area. When a skatepark opens, it tends to draw folks from the outlying communities to come bring their kids to the skatepark, do some shopping, maybe have lunch, buy some gas, etc. The further away the nearest skatepark is, the further people travel to visit the new park. Skateparks attract patrons to local businesses who might not otherwise be in the area.

Community Development Benefits
When parks are built right--with local skater input and involvement throughout the process--those youth develop a sense of ownership, pride, and community engagement. The very existence of the park is the result of their hard work and interaction with the broader community. They worked with civic and local business leaders, with each other on design elements, and with the community to find a suitable location. These previously disenfranchised skaters, who once ran from the police, find themselves working with the police, the city, and the community as a whole. It’s a transformational process for these young people.

Uncle Skate Charity is a non-profit foundation for skateboarders and their mission is to donate free skateboards to children around the world by connecting to the world by the use of global contributions of equipment and skateboards. They help people both young adults and children to realize their potential and help build their future.

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