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editor's note:
Ben Lee

* Outdoor: 'Crete
* Free
* Trannie / Street [vert?]
* Rating: Kelown'n around [urrrgh!]

There is this infectious disease loose in the northwestern portion of North America. It appears to be contagious, as numerous towns in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia are showing signs of the disease in its advanced stages... Kelowna is no exception. Our first report of symtoms came to us back in March 2001.

"There is a skatepark getting built at Ben Lee Park this year. It is going to be one of the best in Canada."

- Cody Girardin: Mar '01

Our first footage of the disease in its advanced stages came from Sean Cameron. He submitted many of the pictures below.

Most recently, we received some additional evidence of this epidemic from another Canadian skateboarding ambassador, Mr Jay Balmer.

"I have more to add for the new Kelowna, BC Skatepark - Ben Lee. It is indeed a skater design/build project - this time with a spin towards the street. New Line Skateparks is the culprit that pulled off this little wonder. Design and construction were lead by Kyle D. and R.J."

- Jay Balmer: Aug '01

As you can clearly see, this disease leads to very exciting skateparks and the symptoms are easy to identify: It begins w/ kids w/ mad skills that need a place to go off. Then you've got city councils that aren't afraid to build a real park. Unlike the pansy asses in other parts of the world, they do nothing to halt the progress of another NorWEST banger. Then you get a sweet designer/builder team in effect - preferably run by skaters themselves. Before you know it, you've got an epidemic of kill-kill concrete monsters serving up licks in town after town across the country. The results are devastating.

Directions: Kelowana is about 340 km [5 hrs] east of Vancouver [props to CK on the distance and time!]. From Vancouver, take Highway 1 east to Highway 5 [Coquihalla Hwy] north. Then at exit 286, take Highway 5A south to Highway 97C East. Take the highway across the Okanagan Lake Floating Bridge. Then get on Highway 33 east and make a right onto Leathead Road. The skatepark is on the right-hand side. For more info call 250.860.3938.

...scroll down for pics

[ click pix to enlarge ]

^ Whoa... I smell
features here at
Ben Lee skatepark
[Photo: Cameron]

^ Some people call
these ledges "Hubba
simulators" - we
mostly call 'em
[Photo: Cameron]

^ Look at all
that style ready
to uncork. The rider's
name is "R.J." He's part
of the team that
built this beast.
[Photo: Jay Balmer]

^ Tweak-tweak!
[Photo: Cameron]

^ Damn. This is a
great shot, but
I don't have the
photographer's name.
I just can't find it.
Email us and we'll
give you your proper
[Photo: ???]

^ Bird's eye view
[Submitted: Jay Balmer]

^ "Thought I'd send a
pic of me, Sandro
Grison, doing a
crooked grind down
the double set ledge."
[Photo: Stefan

^ Here's a good
look at the street
[Photo: Jay Balmer]

^ Looks like truly
workable flowlines...
[Photo: Cameron]

^ Wide angle viewables
from our mysterious
[Photo: ???]

^ Another peep at
the word on the street
[Photo: ???]

^ Crowded viewpoint
[Photo: Jay Balmer]

[ click pix to enlarge ]

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