The North Shore is thankful for… good waves, plenty sunshine and a new & improved skate park.
After an abrupt closure last winter and a year of questions from the North Shore’s skating community, the beloved Banzai Skate Park was finally reopened on November 26th, just in time for Thanksgiving. On Wednesday afternoon, residents the island-over gathered to celebrate the reopening of the skate park, and test out the new ramps and rails under clear skies.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell was present to give a speech and welcome the community to the new and improved park, while answering questions from the press and also thanking the individuals involved in the reopening process. Randy Rarick and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing team were present, as well as Department of Parks and Recreation Director Michele Nekota, North Shore Neighborhood Board Chair Kathleen Pahinui, North Shore Mission Pastor Butch Perreira, local pro skaters, keiki, parents and more.
Prior to the ReOpening event announcement, there was a peaceful protest in the works slated for November 29th. After a year of being closed down, kids, parents and community members watched as the park came back to life, yet remained unavailable to the public. Tensions and questions rose, until finally, after months of letters, emails and calls, the City & County of Honolulu opened the gates and warmly welcomed skaters and North Shore residents.
A new street style course – phase II – has been added to the old skate park, and there is talk of Vans sponsoring the construction of a bowl by this time next year – phase III. Phase II features new ramps, banks, rails and stairs laid out and designed to accommodate skaters of all skill levels. 30 parking stalls were added to the property as well as drinking fountains, a sprawling lawn, hibiscus plants and trees. The landscape is ideal for families to post up and enjoy an afternoon, especially when the waves are down. Located directly across the street from the beach and with a view of Rock Piles, the local skaters expressed gratitude about their new skate park, and were thankful for the afternoon off from school to skate and celebrate.