Skateboards Spin Through Verdugo Park Friday Nights

Mariam Grigoryan

Heart beating fast, adrenaline pumping, mind focused on one thing: landing a trey flip over the gap. This is a common scenario found at the local skate park every Friday.

Friday Night Lights, which is organized by the City of Glendale Parks, Recreation and Community Service, began in February 2006, welcoming participants of all ages, to skate, enjoy pizza, raffle games and watch skate videos every Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

With a purchase of $1 raffle ticket skaters enjoy pizza. A new raffle begins every first Friday of the month and the winner is chosen on the last Friday of the month.

The prizes – ranging from T-shirts to skateboards – are donated by skate shops such as Billy’s Boardshop, Boarders in Glendale Galleria and Active.

In the evening, a projector is set up and skateboarding videos are shown for about two hours.

McCoy Kirgo, 15, has been skating for five years, and comes to the park on a daily basis. His worst injury was a broken wrist, and he “idolizes world champion skateboarder Tony Hawk.”

Lucin Pijolec, 12, has been skating for three years. His worst injury is a broken finger. Pijolec’s favorite move is the kick flip and back lip slide.

Isaac Franco,17, has been skating for four years, and his worst injury was landing on his knee. His favorite trick is front side flip. “It’s a great opportunity to hang out and skate in an environment where we are welcome,” said Franco.

Instructors such as Drew Petzoldt, 21, and Jose Cubias, 25, are close by to supervise the safety of skaters, who are required to wear helmets, kneepads and elbow pads. According to instructors the average age of skaters is 17.

“It’s a place for fun, someplace to go besides the mall,” said Cubias.
Patrick Waddling, 16, said he skates at the park every Friday and is one of many to win the raffle, receiving a deck last year for his birthday

Wadding advises all skaters to “look both ways” after running into someone himself. He then demonstrated his favorite trick: a switch hard flip.

About 50 to 60 skaters show up every Friday.

The skate park opened in 2004, admission is free to all but non-resident adults. Skating classes are offered throughout the year.
Comprising about 36.5 acres, the park is equipped with a basketball court, baseball field, children’s play area, a large open grass area for picnics and parties and the skate park.

For more information contact (818) 548-2786.