Serving the greater Southern California skate community for nearly a year now, West Los Angeles’ Stoner Park Skate Plaza is without question one of the most progressive and well-utilized skate facilities in L.A. County. Designed as the second “Safe Spot, Skate Spot” under the direction of the Rob Dyrdek Foundation, the sizeable 26,500 square foot skate plaza was constructed by California Skateparks last spring and officially opened on July 22, 2010.
In the developmental stages Red Bull Skateboarding’s professional team rider and Santa Monica resident Joey Brezinski was tapped to get involved as a part of the advisory committee for the Stoner Park project.
With his help, the now wildly popular skate plaza provides plenty of real street features, including flat bars, hubbas, steps, gaps, granite topped ledges, banks -- and of course -- one of the longest and largest manual pads on the planet. Colored concrete was also added to the skateable area as a creative and enjoyable aesthetic touch.
I fired a few questions at Joey to learn a bit about his involvement with this world-renowned skatepark and its importance to his local skateboard community. Perhaps Joey’s perspective will inspire you to get involved with a project like this in your part of the world.
How did you get involved with the input and concept of the design for Stoner Park?
My friend Alec Beck got the green light from the city and he wanted all of the West L.A. locals to be involved. We had a bunch of design meetings at his place. California Skatepark’s Colby Carter was the main man on the computer. I put in as much influence as I could with the project in regards to the skateable features and the overall flow between each of them. It’s very cool to see that our efforts have paid off and now we have one of the best skateparks in L.A.
Do you feel that flow plays a bit of importance to the overall design?
Yes it does. Since this plaza was designed by street skaters and not by random contractors or heavily influenced by bowl skaters, we had the opportunity to bring our dream spot to life. We had firsthand knowledge and input as to which elements would work and which obstacles wouldn’t work. Kids should really get involved in their local communities in the development of their local park. Strive to provide input into what you desire to skate and eventually you will get it.
What are some of your favorite elements of Stoner Park and why?
The ledges are truly the best. We used to have to go to a business center to skate granite ledges. Now we have plenty of them as our warm-up spot!
How often do you skate at Stoner Park?
When I'm at home you can find me there every morning. It’s a great way to start the day, to warm up consistently and meet up with friends before we head out to other locations.
What role of importance, if any, do you see skateparks and skate plazas playing in today’s skateboarding compared to when you were growing up?
There was nowhere for me to skate as a kid. I’d get kicked out of the grocery store parking lot about ten times a day and I was used to creating something out of nothing. Without a doubt, the new skateparks and plazas help kids learn much faster these days, and they’re going to provide opportunity and community and bring out the full potential of skateboarders wherever these skateparks are built. It’s very encouraging and satisfying to witness this evolution and progression.
Stoner Skate Plaza is open from 9:00 am until dusk and is located at 1835 Stoner Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90025