Local Skate Park Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

Lucas Yepez, Staff Writer

Crowds of people gathered at the Verdugo Skate Park to celebrate its 10-year anniversary on April 12.

The event featured skateboarding contests, live music, giveaways and a free day of skating. Kids of all ages rode skateboards and roller-skates.

Representatives from LA Derby Dolls, an exclusively female roller derby league, were present, raffling off t-shirts and a skateboard as part of the event. Members Carmen Ruiz (“Carmen Monoxide”), Karen Nakashima, (“Inso-Maniac”) and Amelia Maldonado, (“Amelia Big Dealia”) came to show they not only have stylish nicknames, but roller skating skills to back them up.

Contests such as best trick and Game of Skate were held at the event. According to Gabrielle Goglia, a supervisor of the skate park, Game of Skate is similar to the basketball game of “Horse.” Participants need to do a trick and other players must try to perform the same trick. If they cannot, they receive a letter. Once they receive all the letters in S-K-A-T-E. they are out.

In one of the best trick contests, Alex Olson took first place for his “lean to tail.” Desmond Shepard took second place for his Backside Air and Harrison Hirsch for his Frontside Air trick.

A frontside Air is accomplished by riding up the transition, grabbing the board on the toe side and turning front side toward the back. A Backside Air is achieved by riding up the transition, grabbing the board on the heel side and turning backside toward the toes.

“It felt insane to win,” said Olson. ”While doing the trick I was thinking  ‘If I don’t land I’m screwed,’ so I took deep breaths. I had practiced the trick so many times and it was the fastest trick I could do.” His prize consisted of sunglasses, a skateboard, Dr. Dre earphones and a trophy.

A regular at the skate park, Hirsch perfected his trick in the span of several months.

“I didn’t know if I would do well or place but when I did it made me feel really excited,” Hirsch said.

Soundbite Productions provided the bands, except for the instruments, and Dan Clor, owner of Victory Music Academy, supervised the music portion of the event.

Victory Music Academy trains young musicians in “edgy/extreme music spanning multiple genres.” Students in the academy take classes, play in bands writing original music and perform live.

Some of the bands that played were Uncle Ant, Blue Beethoven, Attackhead and Crime Rock.

The thrash metal band Attackhead performed original songs with diverse messages in the lyrics.

Voices in the Dark is about people who think they are good but are actually dirty and corrupt, while Dark Ritual is about Aztec ritual sacrifice,” said Mark Chapman, lead singer and guitar player. “The song is based around my experience as a cop and the dark side of reality.”

Crime Rock is a two-year-old band consisting of a baritone saxophone, two guitars, bass guitar, and drums. It played its signature songs, “Barrel City,” “Stop Lookin for Love” and “Flowers By Her.

“If you like grunge, punk and film noir in the same jail cell without any hope for early parole, you’ve got Crime Rock,” said Logan Young, one of the band members.

The skate park is open Monday through Friday 4-10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. until 10 p.m

It is located at 1621 Canada Blvd, Glendale, CA 91208.

The park offers lessons for those interested in learning how to skate.

An event called Friday Night Lights is available at the end of every month, where those interested can watch skateboarding videos, play games, eat pizza and socialize.

A daily pass costs three dollars for youth and four dollars for adults. Monthly and annual passes are also available at various prices.