The ultimate LA skatepark Bryce Kanights/redbullusa.com

Professional skaters building private skateparks is nothing new. They’ve been put into place for decades and quite often these TFs (training facilities) have been constructed with wooden materials and skateable features in dark, dismal and dingy warehouse spaces. However, when these distinct skate friendly environments are put together with the right mix of materials, progressive skate terrain, proper lighting and deluxe amenities, the interior of the skateable space can be downright magical.

Most notably and importantly, these TFs provide and guarantee hassle-free skate sessions from security guards, cops, concerned citizens and the like, twenty-four hours a day. They provide a place to hone in on one’s consistency and creativity and a realm where the only rules that apply are your own.

The Ultimate Skatepark

Of the couple dozen private skate zones in operation currently, the spacious North Hollywood warehouse jointly put together by pro skaters and lease holders Brandon Biebel, Dylan Rieder, Marc Johnson, Guy Mariano, and Anthony Van Engelen would certainly qualify at the very top of the list.

Constructed under the expertise of California Skateparks, the 10,000 square-foot space reflects a unique mix and flow of natural street-inspired terrain matched with the functional placement of transitions in the right spots. For example, under the same roof there are lengthy concrete manual pads and ledges, two separate sets of 5 and 7 stairs, hubbas, a 4-foot tall brick bank, flat bars, benches of varying heights, a stunted picnic table and a quarter pipe that sits flush to a wall near the corner.

Add a regulation sized basketball hoop, a punching bag and speed bag and this location gets closer to pimp status.

Add a regulation sized basketball hoop, a punching bag and speed bag and this location gets closer to pimp status.

The lounge area to chill out complete with sizable sectional sofa, a large cable enabled HD TV, a fridge stocked with Red Bulls, a select collection of skateboards displayed on the wall and a ping pong table in the adjacent room brings this undisclosed skatepark into the legendary realm

Inside the Skatepark

On the afternoon that Brandon invited me over his elite clubhouse, three of Thrasher’s esteemed “Skater of the Year” recipients were in the mix including Eric Koston, Andrew Reynolds and Mike Carroll, along with Mikey Taylor, Kelly Hart, Neen Williams, Shane Heyl, and a few others.

Without a doubt, it was a grade A mix of talent and camaraderie among skateboarding’s elite. As Brandon and Mikey warmed up on the benches, and Koston and Reynolds went trick for trick the ledges, Carroll flew around the entire area of the skatepark with one fluid line of successive tricks, and others soon showed up and joined in on the action.

null Bryce Kanights/redbullusa.com

This preeminent skate session continued for several hours as the afternoon burned away and amplified music blared from the four speakers fastened to the ceiling above. In between the action, Brandon jumped on his recently acquired unicycle to show off his newfound talent and skill and soon thereafter, the lounge area was put to good use as the official break room for safety meetings and tune ups.

In the farside corner of the building a heated game of one on one basketball between Koston and Biebel flared up as they battled shot for shot beneath the hoop. I shot a few additional photos of the match up and soon packed up my gear in order to jump back on to the freeway before rush hour traffic. It had been a great day shared amongst friends and one that I’ll remember forever. But then again, this was just another afternoon at the office and in the life of Brandon Biebel.

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