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editor's note:
Millbrae YMCA Skatepark

* Outdoor: 'Crete / Wood
* Pay: $5 [ha ha ha]
* Trannie / Street
* Rating: The YMCA Plague

OPENING DISCLAIMER: Almost anything that brings skaters together is a good thing. AND, almost any park is better than no park. Having said all that, is the new skatepark in Millbrae a blessing or a curse?

"On May 19, 2002, a new skatepark opened in Millbrae, CA. It's run by the Penninsula YMCA."

- Broni: Jun'02

Let's deal with the "YMCA" thing first. YMCAs run parks all over the country. There's a great one in Encinitas CA, a good one in Worcester MA, and a pretty weak one in La Mesa CA. That La Mesa one is very similar to this one... most people think it sucks. But overall, there's probably nothing particularly bad, or good, about the overall influence of the YMCAs [other than the locked gates part].

"The city [of La Mesa] built a crappy 10,000 sq ft park with public funds, then turned it over to the YMCA to be run as a premium pay facility - which it is not. I feel this to be a horrible epidemic in skateboard parks."

- Sean: May '02

In the quote above, Sean was talking about La Mesa. However, if you put together the facts that both that park and Millbrae opened within weeks of each other, and that they're both run by YMCAs, AND that they both "suck"... well, I'd say his "epidemic" isn't too far off.

The assessment that this park is weak has little to do with its hybrid design either [a "hybrid" is a mix of permanent concrete, and temporary wood/metal features]. You typically only build hybrids when you: A.] need to save a few bucks, and/or B.] you want to be able to change the "temporary" features later to correct design flaws, or to add variety to the park over time. As long as the design is pretty good to start with, hybrids work just fine. But if the design was jacked up the first time around, you should have no reason to think future efforts will be any better. Sometimes you just end up with revolving disappointment. New and improved crap.

"The new Millbrae park is a perfect example of how yuppies funding a skatepark don't listen to skaters... No flow-lines. Mobbed with bladers, bad coping, full pads, and costs $5 bucks. This place is a complete joke. I wouldn't even waste my film on this spot."

- Snake: Jul '02

I think most skaters would agree w/ Snake's comments. I bet the coping does suck. $5 to skate this place is definitely a rip off, no doubt. Public parks should be PUBLIC - as in FREE! Especially if you're gonna put together a half-assed effort like this. Charging to be disappointed is like adding insult to injury.

Yeah, it's not the YMCA or hybrid elements that are killing the fun at Millbrae [although in this case they're NOT helping]. This park is a disaster, top to bottom. It's the lazy, no effort, design that sucks. It's the chicken shit, "nothing bigger than 4 ft" cowardice that sucks. It's the prison fence, limited hours, and "paying-for-nothing" that bites ass. There's no excuse for that kind of design and management in 2002. Parks are poppin' up all over the country that CLEARLY kick this park's ass! Better designs and no hassles! This park is wasted money. A horse and buggie set-up in a land of formula-one race cars.

We gotta agree w/ Snake on this one. This isn't a skatepark, by modern standards. It's just poorly designed and poorly managed. It's a day care center for G-rated pups. It's a cream soda and white bread version of "punkrock" - built for drooling toddlers. It's an insulting throw-back to times when we didn't know any better.

So maybe just farting out a stinkbomb of a skatepark isn't good enough? It takes more than a guitar and some long hair to make a rock star, and if that clown is taking the spot of someone better, things go from bad to worse. Shit parks like this aren't only bad today, but they cock-block good parks from coming in and actually doing something right for skateboarding. All is not well in the world of skateparks, and this plague of a park is part of the problem!

Directions: Millbrae is a Bay Area city, a little south of San Francisco. Take the 101 south from San Francisco to Millbrae. Exit Millbrae Ave, and head west, away from the Bay. The park is at the Peninsula Family YMCA, at 541 Millbrae Ave. For more info, call the park direct at: 650.697.6852.

...scroll down for pics

[ click pix to enlarge ]

^ Low budget, spineless, "swing and
a miss" of a park - Millbrae YMCA.
[Photo: Broni]

^ If there's any flow in
in this park, you might see
it in this picture... which
is a nice shot, Broni!
[Photo: Broni]

^ These u-bowls suck. They
were okay in 1999, but in
2002 - they're embarrassing.
[Photo: Broni]

^ Here's a good view of
what a hybrid park is
all about... [Photo: Broni]

^ I cropped out the "lame
as f%*k" clip art on the top
of the flyer... more retarded,
day care shit. "Whaaaaa -
I want a better skatepark,
Mommy!" [Photo: Broni]

^ Unlike a daycare center,
this "prison" fence was designed
to keep the kids out. That policy
is ALSO stupid and unnecessary. They
should have skipped the chain-link,
and the guard shack, and spent that
money on a better park! [Photo: Broni]

[ click pix to enlarge ]

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