Ventura is home to three skate tracks, each that could be expanded by about 10,000 square feet or more
Pacific Skate Track
The Pacific High Skateboard Track is centrally located near the Pacific View Mall. It has a high accessibility factor due to inherent geography and nearby public transportation. There is sufficient space for parking and close proximity to nearby amenities such as convenience stores and restaurants. The site is roughly 12,000 square feet as currently zoned, but only 3,300 square feet were developed into actual skateboarding area. The area can be expanded by approximately 8,000 square feet, which would triple the available skating area.
The park itself is often wet from surrounding irrigation flaws which makes it frustrating to ride, aside from the potential liability issues. Inexperienced skatepark contracting work has produced a ‘seepage pocket’ drawing groundwater to the surface of the park. This track has the least amount of features of all three tracks, however it is the only track that has coping. Due to neglect, the track has had ongoing issues with homelessness and crime. Philip Buckley, a fifteen-year-old skater from Ventura, recently had his cell phone stolen.
Two local skaters have slipped on this spot, one resulting in a concussion. Furthermore, the substandard design and construction of the park is unable to entertain most skaters, sending them out to scour the nearby Midtown business districts for more pleasing terrain.
Internationally circulated skateboarding magazines don’t bother to list the Pacific High Skate Track in their publications. Industry standard skatepark review guides warn potential visitors to be wary of Pacific, describing it as, “…another one of Ventura’s basketball-court size skateparks, like a wading pool.” A representative of Powell Skateboards (who wishes to remain anonymous) called Pacific “a terrible waste of taxpayer money and time.” A local physician of 19 years with the Buenaventura Medical Clinic expresses his family’s opinion, lamenting the fact that they “have taken towels to combat the daily wetting of the park.”
West Park Skate Track
The West Park Skate Track is located in the southwest corner of the Harrison Recreation Field at the end of Park Row off Ventura Avenue. This location is nice for skateboarding: it’s out of the way of the public sector, and conveniently located near the Ventura Avenue shopping center hosting a variety of food, drink and amenity options. The West Park Skate Track is easily accessible by bus for Ventura, Oxnard and Ojai residents.
Like the Pacific track, West Park features about 3,000 square feet of actual skating area in the midst of approximately 15,000 square feet of usable land. The transitions at this park are amongst the worst in the state of California. Poured by Driveway Specialists Inc. of Thousand Oaks, these transitions were actually drawn incorrectly in the plans, and they suffer from the same groundwater seepage and sprinkler problems as the Pacific track. In spite of this the park remains frequented by more skaters than it’s able to accommodate. All these factors combine to create quite a volatile situation.
Internationally circulated skateboarding magazines don’t bother to mention of the Park Row Skate Track in their publications, either. Skateboardparks.com specifically warns skaters to “…stay away,” while our industry standard skatepark review guide gives the Park Row Skate Track an embarrassing 3, warning potential visitors of the “…nasty kinks” in the transition. The skatepark guide also states: “…Don’t go out of your way to skate here. It’s not worth the gas.” I have taken professional skateboarders to this park as well as out of town tourists, and they all stand in shock.
Hobert Park Skate Track
The Hobert Park Skate Track is located off Telegraph Road just east of Kimball Blvd. The site it sits in is the best of the three; there is park area with restrooms, picnic tables and ample shaded area. The park is accessible by bus. The closest food or convenience stores are moderately far from the skate Track.
The Hobert Park Skate Track is the biggest of the three by about 1,000 square feet. There is about enough unused land to triple the size of the Track without interference to normal park activities. The Track is just shy of 4,000 square feet and is arguably the most entertaining of Ventura’s three mini Tracks. Of the three, the general consensus among skaters is that the Pacific High and Park Row Tracks need rebuilding more than Hobert. In fact, the skatepark guide even mentioned that there are “…generally about thirty people skating the park.”
However, the Hobert Track suffers from the same sprinkler problem as the others. Hobert also features a nastier kinked wall than the Park Row Track, and the drainage system is entirely defunct. On more than one occasion the entire Track has been transformed into a pond by collected rain water. The rain water in turn erodes the cement work, which was of inferior craftsmanship itself.
The internationally circulated skateboard magazines make no mention or coverage of the Hobert Skate Track. In spite of the fact that the Track was built wrong initially, torn down and rebuilt, many problems remain. Industry standard skatepark guides rate it a lousy 3, saying “don’t drive too far to skate this park, not much to it.” The park has a makeshift attempt at a street handrail, which is dangerously low. Like the other three parks, the flatground portions of the riding surface are generally lumpy and untrue.