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editor's note:
Burnham Skatepark

* Outdoor: 'Crete
* Free
* Trannie / Street
* Rating: Burly is only skin deep

A whopper concrete park, right? Tech stuff. Juicy bowls. Plenty of space... sound good? Well it isn't. Burnham skatepark in Chicago LOOKS like a good park, but a lot of the fury is wasted. Ruined by a jackass contractor, that tried to make a park that LOOKED alright, but had no idea what a good park should FEEL like.

There are a few good things about this park. It's hassle free [no pad nannie, no enforced waiver bullshit]. It's big, lots of places to ride. They have not one, but three wall rides [kind of a weird emphasis]. There are some fun hips, ledges, etc. It was fun to skate and hang out the day I was there...

The problem is that this park could have been so much better. The main problem is the trannie. One bowl is so rough, your wheels "rattle" as you carve around it. I think they used a rake to smooth it out. The bigger bowl has ankle-breaking, suicide trannie. The kidney pool is ruined. You can see that they tried to fix some of the "high spots" in the walls that tend to "buck you off." The coping is also that "flat on top, but sticks way out" FUBAR type. There are also a million cracks/seams on the deck of all the bowls... the contractors should be tortured with a dull knife for what they did to this park.

Video Spotting: For a one-clip view of this park [plus a million other GREAT clips], check out this video called Shitheads - awesome skate movie!

As it turns out, there are tons of other parks in the Chicago area. Yep, they've been putting up crappy little pre-fab wood parks all over the city. We rode one in Warren Park [Pratt and Western], but it's a typical no-effort boring solution. The concrete one is still better... a tale of two evils. Dumb and dumber - something like that.

Directions: In the downtown Chicago area, directly along the banks of Lake Michigan, you'll find Lakeshore drive [it's kinda of like an "expressway"]. Heading south on Lakeshore, you'll pass the 55 fwy and exit the 31 St exit. At the off ramp, head left [east] toward the lake. You'll cross over Lakeshore, and there will be 4 lanes on your right [south] side. 2 lanes are marked "DO NOT ENTER" - they're part of a Lakeshore off ramp. The NEXT lane is the one you want, it takes you into Burnham park. While it LOOKS like all 4 lanes say "DO NOT ENTER", that 3rd lane is okay. You'll see the skatepark and the parking lot from there.

...scroll down for pics

[ click pix to enlarge ]

^ This panoramic of Burnham skatepark
in Chicago is REAL BIG... you'll
have to scroll left and right after it
opens to see the whole thing

^ Luke Kiel workin' a 5oh

^ Here's an interesting
bank design... the right
side kinda doubles as a
jersey barrier. The edges
have buried metal ridges to
keep the concrete from
breaking off. That's smart.

^ Rail shot, looking
back at the bowl

^ This really pisses
me off. Look closely.
See that transition?!?
It's basically a bank,
with coping at the top,
and 2 inches of trannie
at the very bottom. That
sucks! Good way to ruin
a bowl.

^ These steps are tech
centered fun, and they're
cool, but it's hard to mess
up some stairs...

[ click pix to enlarge ]

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