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editor's note:
Pie IX Skatepark

* Outdoor: Asphalt / Metal
* Free
* Street
* Rating: Best of the Worst

No disrespect to Montreal skaters - you guys are great - but we're gonna keep it real here and tell you that we thought Montreal's skateparks were weak sauce. Almost everything we rode was totally disappointing. Pie IX is *not* a very good park, but it's about the best park in Montreal as of the summer of 2001.

To start things off on a positive note, the no pads required policy is very cool. William Curtis [park caretaker] told us that when the park opened, everyone was required to wear pads. As time went on, the city kept lowering the age limit for riding without pads. At first, as long as you were over 18 you didn't have to wear pads. Then 16 and over could ride padless. Then 12 and over... in the end they just posted some signs that said "Skate at Your Own Risk" and killed the pad law altogether. By posting the signs, they declared that they were NOT responsible for park riders' safety and the pads law became unnecessary. That's perfect, good job! The park may not be that great, but at least it's not a hassle to ride there.

Now, the biggest problem w/ Pie IX is that it's all *street* features. Take the steel picnic table, for instance. It's cool and all, but you can find picnic benches anywhere. This is a skatepark, where's the trannie at??? Where's the bowl? Where's the snakerun? How 'bout some kickers??? When you build a skatepark that looks like a street spot, it's like building a house that looks like dirt lot - you've haven't added anything to the skate community. Pie IX's flat pyramid has the same kick as a drive way... you've got plenty of driveways in Montreal, why waste your time/materials recreating that in a park? Pie IX is solidly built, but it has no flow, no creativity, and ends up being pretty boring overall. It's too bad.

As far as other parks in Montreal go, the rest of the city is about the same. Taj is still closed [as of summer 2001]. Park Ahuntsic has some pretty good mini-ramps [2 of them], but no street features at all. Park Jarry is pretty bad, but there's a lot of it. Rosemont totally sucks, so does Dorval. The good news is that there are some very good parks on the "South Bank." Our favorite park was Universe [it's indoor and it kicks ass!] in Repentigny, but there are also new parks in Longueuil and Boucherville that are worth the trip if you've got the time [pics coming soon].

Directions: In Montreal, take Highway 40 to the Boul. Pie-IX exit and head west. Make a left onto Rue Charleroi, followed by a right onto Gariepy, followed by another right onto Arthur Champoux. Park your car on Arthur Champoux, and walk across the street into Parc Pilon. The skatepark is after the baseball fields on the right.

...scroll down for pics

[ click pix to enlarge ]

^ Here's a good look
at the skatepark at Pie IX

^ SHITEO: While
we're not into
Montreal's parks,
the skaters are
awesome. Here's a
animated sequence
of Simon Coderre
killin' a 5-oh.

^ This is Simon's
brother with
kickflip skills

[ click pix to enlarge ]

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