Embracing Modern Skate Culture in the Margaret River Region
Towns from Busselton to Augusta have embraced modern skate culture by creating gnarly community skate parks. Get the low-down here thanks to Jennifer Morton!
Skateboarding has come a long way since the days when American kids rode in dehydrated swimming pools to hone their radical board skills. Today, skateboarder culture is so popular it even has a sub-culture: scooter riding. The Margaret River region has embraced the skate lifestyle by providing towns with purpose-built skate parks.
Skateboarding is more than a way for youth to pass time. For some, it’s a passion. It certainly is for Luke Ward, owner of the south west’s only core skate shop, Soggybones, located in central Dunsborough. Luke Grew up idolising professional skateboarders. While classmates had pictures of pop stars on their bedroom walls, he had posters of skateboarders.
‘There were no skateparks when I grew up. I learned in driveways and car parks,’ says Luke. The 30-year-old skateboarder owns the Soggybones brand with his brother, Justin. The Perth-born siblings come from board-sport stock: their grandfather was one of the original surfers catching waves at Yallingup, back in the day. It’d be safe to say that surfing and skateboarding is in their blood.
Luke passes on his skill and passion for skateboarding by coaching, mentoring and sponsoring up-and-coming skaters. His Tailtap Skate Clinics, which teach skateboarding technique and etiquette, are held at skateparks around Western Australia.
The Margaret River region boasts five skate parks, so grab a board (or scooter!) and get amongst it.
1. Busselton Skate Park
The daddy of the region’s skate parks, the Busselton Skate Park is located at the Busselton Foreshore near the jetty. The 2,200sqm concrete park features lots of flat space for street style; rails for grinding; fun-banks; quarter pipes and a vertical wall for practising upward motion manoeuvres. And let’s not forget about the park’s big draw card for serious riders: the bowls. The little bowl is 1.2 metres deep and good for beginner skaters and scooter riders. The big bowl is a massive 18 metres long and three metres deep, making it one of Western Australia’s biggest and best competition-grade skate bowls. With ample seating, lawned areas, drinking fountains and a killer ocean view, it’s no wonder this skate park is a popular hang-out for locals and visiting families.
2. Dunsborough Skate Park
When Luke’s not manning his Soggybones skate shop, you’ll often find him at the Dunsborough skate park, shredding or mentoring skate students. This all-levels park is well-designed and offers a good flow, says Luke. The bustling skate park has banks for rolling-in, mini quarters, a mini ramp, a half pipe and 1.8 metre bowl with a taco (not the edible kind)/ Located between two sporting ovals, there’s plenty of parking and a playground nearby.
3. Cowaramup Skate Park
Completed in 2013, the Cowaramup skate park is small but the shredability factor is epic. Skate park elements include several boxes for street style, a spine ramp and two open bowls. ‘The beauty of the Margaret River region skate parks is that they are designed for all abilities,’ says Luke. The centrally-located board park is a good one for skaters who like to transfer through the elements uninterrupted.
4. Margaret River Skate Park
With a massive multi-million dollar expansion underway by Convic, creators of innovative and community-minded skate parks, the 20-year-old Margaret River park’s revamp is highly antitipcated by local and visiting skaters. Some of WA’s best skateboarders, such a pro-skater Andrew Brophy, developed their skills here, and there are many talented local skateboarders who call this bowl home. ‘The Margaret River skate park was the first well-built skatepark in WA. And with the upgrade, there’s potetnial for it to be the best in the state,’ says Luke. The new plans include extensions and add-ons to the park’s existing half pipe, quarter pipe, wave ramp, roll-ins, hips and a new three-metre deep bowl as well as exciting changes to the entire Youth Precinct. The new park was designed with novice to pro riders in mind, and is set to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
5. Augusta Skate Park
Augusta’s skate park may not have all the bells and whistles of the region’s other skate parks, but kudos to them for having one at all. Lone riders would get a pretty good chance of scoring the concrete park all to themselves so this one is great for novices and skill development. Expect a few banks, rails and two half pipes.
This blog has been adapted from an article written by Jennifer Morton, originally featured in our Autumn magazine.