" hErOEs On whEEls " ™

...skate and rollerblade.

...to the editor.

...yourself or a friend.

...this site to a friend.

editor's note:
Marion Square

* Outdoor: 'Crete
* Free
* Trannie / Street
* Rating: Low tech and outta date

In our humble opinion, you have two types of skateparks in Oregon - ones that were built by the Airspeed / Grindline crew [207.714.8757] and parks that aren't that good. Salem - for instance - is one of the "not so good ones" that were part of the "first wave" of parks in OR. Now that the Oregon bangers are available, parks like this are seriously out-classed.

Salem consists of some lazy bowls w/ rounded hips, buried coping, etc... more like a snake run. The bowls may be fun to cruise, and if you've got a mean ollie you can probably grab a bit of airtime, but it's certainly sub-optimal, even as a snake run. This kind of design is actually rare in the US, you see more of this kind of stuff in Canada including very similar "bowls" at China Creek and much more interesting snake runs at Whiterock, Seylynn, and Whistler.

They also have a street/tech course that is really meager and pitiful and poorly designed. It has 4 ugly little quarter pipe thingies [one for each corner], a flat funbox, and that's about it - like I said, this place is sub-par by Oregon standards.

Now, for some *killer* parks near Salem you don't have to go far at all. You can find world class contenders at Burnside, Newberg, Lincoln City, and Aumsville. You've also got good parks in Beaverton [pics coming soon], Tualatin, Donald, and Eugene. It's Oregon... if you can't get into these parks, you just don't get it!

I gotta give up some airtime to homeboy Cody Drago outta Salem. He was there when we shot these pics [pics = summer '00] and his recent email is responsible for getting us off our asses to actually put this review together. "I gotta represent my hometown skate park, cuz that's all we got to work with!" Damn, I love that. That's a truly dedicated skateboarder talking. Great attitude - rock on, Cody.

Directions: From Portland, take Interstate 5 south about 20 miles to Salem. In Salem, transfer from the interstate to Highway 22 west. Make a right [north] onto Church Street, and then make a left [west] onto Marion Street. The skatepark is on the right after the Commercial/Marion intersection, in Marion Square Park.

...scroll down for pics

[ click pix to enlarge ]

^ Salem skatepark has
a lot of concrete, but
comes up a little short
on fun.

^ In the lower lf
corner of this pic
you can see the
"buried coping"...
that's not good.

^ The park itself was
a little "cracked

^ The problem w/
bowls like this
is that the rounded
edges pull away from
you and steal your
speed. Bring your
own pop - these walls
don't have any.

^ Behold [!] the creative
splendor of Salem's street
course. By the way, that's
Cody Drago hauling ass in
the left side of this pic...

^ Uhhhhhrg - ugly!
This thing doesn't
know if it's supposed
to be flat or have

^ Got pics? - submit!

^ When an average
banked fun box
is your best feature,
you gotta find a new
park to ride.

[ click pix to enlarge ]

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