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THREE PLACES TO SKATE

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POSTED February 22, 2013 10:46 p.m.

• WHAT: Curt Pernice Skate Park

• WHERE: Hughes Lane, Ripon (just behind City Hall on Wilma Avenue)

• CREDENTIALS: Designed by industry skate park and ramp giant Tim Payne, the park – with fluid lines, solid coping and steep walls – earned top marks from Thrasher Magazine when it first opened and still routinely draws area professionals. While more technical than some other local parks, novice areas do exist.

• VIBE: Friendly overall. A little etiquette goes a long way.

• TO GET THERE: Take Highway 99  to the Jack Tone Road exit in Ripon. Head west on Jack Tone Road to Main Street and turn left. Continue up to Wilma Avenue and turn left. Continue again to Hughes Lane and turn left one last time and the park will be on the left.

• • •

• WHAT: Manteca Skate Park

• WHERE: Tidewater Bikeway, Center Street

• CREDENTIALS: The park was widely panned by skaters from the start, and the lack of basic amenities – benches, trees, fences – left some to believe that it was an attempt to push those that practice the alternative sports out of the public eye. But it remains popular during the after-school hours and provides a local place for skaters to hone their skills – whether it’s in the bowl or on the box.

• VIBE: Doesn’t get any more carefree than this.

• TO GET THERE: Take Highway 99 to the Yosemite Avenue and head west to Main Street. Turn right and drive one block to Center Street and turn left. Take Center Street down to Elm and park near the entrance to the Tidewater Bikeway. Walk roughly 300 yards and the park will be on your left.

• • •

• WHAT: Lathrop Skate Park

• WHERE: Corner of 7th and L Streets, Lathrop

• CREDENTIALS: The Burnside skate park in Portland was constructed almost exclusively by skaters without the knowledge or care of the city. The Lathrop Skate Park, on the other hand, has the distinction of being almost exclusively dismantled by vandals while the city tried to figure out what to do. It was eventually rebuilt and reopened, and the wood-style ramps give those who ride it the old-school feel that existed before pool skating and the concrete park took over the sport. The park will once again get dismantled when the new skate park is constructed as part of the Lathrop Community Complex project. But that isn’t expected in the immediate future.

• VIBE: Depending on when you come, you can put out your own – it can get pretty dead.

• TO GET THERE: Take Interstate 5 to Lathrop Road and then head east. Turn left on Seventh Street. Continue up and the park will be on the right.

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