From surf city to skate city

BY: MADDY WASHBURN

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The wait is finally over! Vans and Jack’s Surfshop celebrated the grand opening of the new Off the Wall skate park and official Jack’s Garage skate shop in Huntington Beach this past weekend. After almost two years of anticipation, thousands of skaters showed up on Saturday to have a chance to test out the 42,500-square-foot park. Along with a ribbon cutting ceremony, there were autograph signings, tons of freebies and giveaways. There was also a special ceremony dedicating to inducting local legends Tosh Townend, Christian Hosoi and Ed Templeton into the skate park’s official “SoCal Sole of Fame.”

With everything from rails, ramps, boxes and a clover bowl, there is something for all ages and levels at this skate park. Jack’s Surfboards also has their own retail and skate shop on site as well as a snack stand and upcoming Taco Surf.

“This whole thing is so much bigger than I imagined,” said Huntington Beach local Tiffany Gaston. “I even caught a glimpse of Tony Hawk earlier! I can’t wait to start testing out the ramps.”

Food vendors were set up and handing out free pizza and ice cream all day. Retailers also set up booths to hand out freebies such as hats, shirts and posters. After getting a chance to skate in the park for a few hours, the Vans Skate Team came together to sign photos for their hundreds of fans.

Ambulances and police were also present all day, just in case a skater took a particularly brutal fall. With pros, legends, amateurs and kids skating side by side, everyone wanted their chance in the park.

The skate park is free and open to public from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, with Wednesdays reserved for BMX riders. Vans has also made use of social media to help promote the new skate park by creating the hashtag #offthewallskatepark. Be sure to tag them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for your picture to be seen.