Skateboarders flock to new skate park

Ryan+George+skates+a+bowl+at+an+indoor+skate+park.

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Ryan George skates a bowl at an indoor skate park.

Skateboarding is a form of transportation that could be a hobby or even a form of meditation for some.

Marshall University student Ryan George said he is passionate about skateboarding. He specializes in transition skating, which is commonly referred to as vert skateboarding.

George said he started skating when he was 10 years old.

“When I was younger, I always rode a bike,” George said. “One day the tire on my bike popped and I didn’t know how to fix it, so I found a skateboard, and I’ve been skating ever since.”

George said he gets most of his boards in Louisville, where one of his favorite skate parks is located.

Over winter break, George had the opportunity to explore Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York on his skateboard.

While skating in Huntington may not be as exciting as skating around Times Square, the city is working to change that fact. Huntington’s first and only skate park is now open to the public.

“One of the three phases of the park is complete,” George said.

Construction on the park started after city council members accepted a $5,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation in March.

The skate park is located on the west side of Harris Riverfront Park near the floodwall across from Pullman Square.

When I hopped on my first board and started pushing around my neighborhood, it just felt natural.”

— Josh Martin

George visited the skate park and said it was packed with people of the community, of all ages.

Marshall student Josh Martin also checked out the new skate park.

“I’ve been to the park a few times, and it’s awesome to finally have a safe place to skate in Huntington without having to worry about grinding up public benches or ledges,” Martin said.

Martin said he has been skating for more than eight years.

“When I hopped on my first board and started pushing around my neighborhood, it just felt natural,” Martin said. “Skating has turned into a meditation practice for me.”

George also said skating is a fun way for him to workout.

“A lot of people may not look at it like this, but skating is a huge workout,” George said. “It is hard but not as boring as lifting weights.”

Martin said he skates to and from classes.

George may not be seen skating around campus, but he does skate to and from other areas in Huntington.

Karima Neghmouche can be contacted at [email protected]