Top skate pros joined city officials earlier this month in Huntington Beach, Calif., to break ground on the long-awaited Vans "Off the Wall" Skatepark, a 30,000-square-foot concrete facility that will be free, open to the public, and lit at night.
Construction on the park complex is headed up by California Skateparks and will feature a modern street plaza, three bowls, a snack bar, restrooms, and a skate shop run by Jack's Surfboards.
At the groundbreaking, "the mayor [Joe Carchio] said the south side of Huntington Beach is Surf City, and the north side is going to be Skate City," longtime Vans and Black Label pro Omar Hassan told ESPN.com. "It was really cool to hear him say that."
"There have always been some of the biggest skate companies around here," added Hassan, who was born and raised skating and surfing in the area. "Huntington Beach has always been one of the main hubs, and it's good to see the city really promoting surfing and skating."
For years, local and visiting skaters have had to rely on the pay-to-skate Vans park at The Block and the now-defunct small public park at Huntington High School, which paled in comparison to the concrete parks cropping up across the nation for the past decade.
"We're excited for the opportunity to work with Jack's to bring a world-class skatepark to Huntington Beach for the entire community to enjoy," Vans president Kevin Bailey said in a statement. "Vans and Jack's are both Orange County-grown originals and the "Off the Wall" Skatepark underscores our commitment to skaters and BMX riders in the area."
This new Vans skatepark, which was delayed by permitting roadblocks for well over a year, also resurrects the prospect of Chris Cole competing for an unprecedented $1 million first-place check, and offer put on the table in 2010 by Maloof Money Cup mastermind Joe Maloof.
Out of the loop during the holiday, Maloof was unavailable to give an update on that offer.