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editor's note:
Venice Skatepark

* Outdoor: 'Crete
* Free
* Street
* Rating: Pit-iful Options

Normally I diss the hell out of a "park" like this, but the Venice Pit is a special spot in skate history, past and present. Known more for what is *was*, there are some skateables there today, and a solid skate scene from what is commonly considered the birth place of our punishing pastime - this grand tradition of skateboarding.

There used to be an outdoor pavilion at Venice called the "Pit" or "Graffiti Pit" or whatever. It was demolished recently [summer 2000] in an effort to "clean up the area" and remodel that section of the Venice boardwalk. While I'm sure a lot of skaters miss the old scene, it wasn't ever much of a skatepark. It looked like a standard school yard - concrete ledges and benches to ride. No trannie. Strictly tech, tech, tech. If you can find a copy of the skate video "Listen" you can see the park in action [I'm *not* recommending that film, by the way, just mentioning it...].

Since the remodel, they've added a lovely "new skatedance area for skaters of all ages" [ha ha ha!] and a couple of super-basic park features. If you're interested, the spot has one curved "bench" - complete w/ coping and transition - as well as a couple of ledges and some various 3- and 4-stairs. The skating is really excellent, but it's basically a street scene.

Moving forward, a real skatepark has already been approved. I don't know that much about it, except that one initial meeting took place in March '01. Intense interest from local skaters will help ensure it'll be a really great skatepark, as long as they remember to include some non-tech features [bowl!?!], and they find a way to keep the sand out!

Directions: Coming from Los Angeles, take Interstate 10 west to the 405 Freeway south. Exit the 405 at Venice Beach Boulevard and head west until you run into the beach. Cruise the boardwalk and find Muscle Beach [where all those oiled and greasy guys lift heavy stuff]. The "skatepark" is just north of that outdoor gym, and toward the beach a little. Look for those 10 ft concrete "cones" and the graffiti walls. If you have trouble finding the park you can ask anyone on the boardwalk, everyone seems to know where it's at.

...scroll down for pics

[ click pix to enlarge ]

^ This is it for
the current skate
options at Venice.
Stay tuned... skatepark
coming soon!

^ Here you can
get a good look
at that lone
section of trannie.
Sick blunt action,

^ Frontside salad
grind across the

^ I'm guessing this
is a 1-footed backside
grab... pretty gnarly
for a 1 ft kicker!

^ A little "do it yourself,"
flat-bank powered fliptrick

^ Here's the rest
of the skateables.
It's a good hang out
but it's not much of
a skatepark...

^ Submit!

^ This shot was
submitted to the
the site without
a name...
[Photo: ???]

^ Nice vintage shot
of the old Venice Pit
- it's all gone now.
[Photo: Sam Marrians 1990]

^ You may know
this spot from
Tony Hawk Pro
Skater 2...

^ The game is
actually fairly
accurate to the
original spot.
An actual photo
of this view is

^ Yet another
vintage pic - it's
the same bench as
in the pic to the
far left [Photo: Sam
Marrians 1990]

^ To steal a line from the
Rusty ads: "100% photoshop free!"
Unknown rider w/ a sweet
early grab, double exposed
over a shot of an old school
board that was at the park
that day...

^ Vintage graffiti
from the Pit
[Photo: Sam
Marrians 1990]

^ New graffiti from
the "legal" walls
that are now available
right next to the park

^ F**k yeah! This is

^ Although I'm sure a lot
of skaters disagree, I think
the relationship between skating
and graf is cool. Parks often
provide a showcase for serious
can control. Big ups to the Venice
crews: CBS, AWR, UTI and all the rest!

[ click pix to enlarge ]

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