Chester-le-Street has got a skatepark, you might be thinking that you all ready know this and you’re not learning anything new here, they’ve had a park for years now. A less than fantastic park made from metal placed on some gnarly tarmac that pulls your skin off like a cheese grater when you fall on it. You would be right for thinking so, that park is old news and to be fair after the first time visiting that park I don’t think I ever returned so I have no idea what happened to it from that point forward or if it still even exists today. No, what I’m referring to is a completely new purpose built concrete park, finished only in the last couple of months. We (myself and a collection of sorry individuals with a common interest in falling off a plank of wood with wheels) invaded it last week, here are our findings.
To get there is easy enough, you’ll find it in The Chester-le-Street Riverside Park, which ever direction you approach from just look for the signs for Durham Cricket grounds and it is just on the opposite side of the round-about as you get to the grounds, bring some change for the Pay and Display parking (yes, even on a Sunday) or you can be looking at a hefty £50 ticket. It’s worth paying the parking fee though once you get to the skatepark.
There is a lot of stuff packed into this park, a good use of space with a good mix of obstacles, whether you’re into carving the transition and grabbing some airs or prefer it a bit more street and technical there is something here to keep you entertained. You’ll find a good mix of hips, both transitioned and flat banked as well as a bowled out corner and a bowled out mini-ramp with an extension and roll-in. There is a nice drive-way with an along-and-down rail and a full hubba ledge that can both be approached front-side and back-side. What is nice about the hubba ledge is that one of the smaller flat banked hips is placed up against one side creating another different approach to it.
There is another hubba ledge on the other side of the park but is only approachable from one side, if you’re regular you’ll hit it front-side, back-side if goofy. Two nice features in the park are a jersey barrier on top of a shallow(ish) flat bank and a cool curved wallride on top of the big flat banked hip, the wallride can be approached from both sides and fun to skate.
Overall Chester-le-street Skatepark is a good park, a lot of fun, a good use of space and is well put together with consideration for flow and lines, most of the obstacles in there are good size too so I expect some good rippers to come out of Cheste-le-Street in the future. A big pat on the back is deserved for all the people involved including Durham County Council and Maverick the skatepark construction team, well done. The only grumble I have about Chester-le-Street Skatepark is the fact that there is no form of manny block, but that’s just minor when you look at all the other features the park has to offer.
So, now you’ve read about the park, here is an edit of the footage we recorded that day. Although to be fair our park invasion kind of turned into just watching Mitchell for the majority of the time as he landed more or less everything he tried.
As a little treat I’ll leave you with a link to a video of Jimmy Boyes posted by Sidewalk Skateboarding Magazine that I was lucky enough to have a part in filming for. It has the footage from the crazy tail drop to bank from the front cover of the 200th issue.