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editor's note:
Desert West

* Outdoor: 'Crete
* Free
* Trannie / Street
* Rating: Stretched a little thin...

Desert West is just one of at least four great parks in the Phoenix area, including Chandler, Mesa, and Eldorado. While Chandler is probably the best park in the area [maybe one of the best in the world], Desert West is still a great park and worth checking out.

Before we go into our criticisms, we'd like to say that this park definitely has sweet features. Check out the big hits and juicy terrain in the back of the park - reminds us of Greer in Palo Alto, CA. There's also a bunch of good ledges and banks for tech stuff - good job!

However, here's our big gripe: Just because you have the space, doesn't mean you have to just "fill it up." Check out the pics [below] for yourself. This park wastes about half their space w/ a big open flat area. For what? Why not skip the flat-land, make the park a little smaller and preserve the flow. Flat, open space w/ no ramps equals more pushing... that's a design flaw. Check out Ketchum, ID, for another example of this same error.

UPDATE: We're stoked to pass on a little info that Mr Luis Solis sent in on the Desert West effort.

"Desert west was initiated by skaters who raised money with concerts, parties, and other grass roots type of stuff. They raised half the money it took to build the park, and the other half was matched by the city of Phoenix. Only skateboarders are allowed because they are the only ones who worked, passed out flyers, lobbied the city and sweated through several meetings to get it done. If bmx'ers, rollerbladers and anyone else would have gotten off their asses they might have been included. No free lunches here. Skaters are currently raising more money to have a replica of the Nude bowl added to the park."

- Luis Solis: February '01

Directions: Desert West is located in Phoenix's west side. The park is right next to two freeways, so it should be easy to get to. Coming from the 10 freeway, exit 67th Ave., head north for a couple of blocks, make a right on Encanto, make a left into Desert West Park and you're there. From the 17 freeway, you'll want to exit Thomas [if possible?], or Indian School, or Camelback, head west to 67th Ave, turn left/south down 67th to Encanto and go left. Make another left into Desert West Park and proceed to have a good time.

...scroll down for pics




[ click pix to enlarge ]




^ Check out all the wasted
space at Desert West in
Phoenix... why?



^ Dana McNelis w/
consistent bside
flip tricks over
the fun box



^ Nice, varied, tech
features



^ The rules




^ Here's where the
action is at D-West!





^ Great terrain to
offset the wasted
space



[ click pix to enlarge ]



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