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In the park for Go Skateboarding Day

washington park go skateboarding day

We stopped by Washington Park in Albany today for national Go Skateboarding Day. A bunch of ramps and rails were set up at the basketball courts, and a few hundred skaters were taking advantage of the setup and the perfect weather.

This local event was organized by 22-year-old Dylan Longton, who's hoping it will help focus attention on the need for a skatepark in the city.

There are a bunch of photos in large format above -- scroll all the way up.

washington park no skating

Skating isn't typically allowed at the courts. In fact, there's a sign posted stating that it's illegal. But Dylan worked things out with the city for the event -- as long he was willing to pay the $120 for the permit and the insurance, it was good to go. And he added: "They'd rather have us here than the monuments."

If you spend time around the Washington Park area, you've probably seen people skating up by Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Henry Johnson and State. Skating isn't really allowed there, either -- but it's not like there are a whole lot of choices for places where it is explicitly allowed.

go skateboarding day washington park dylan longton
Dylan Longton

"There's nothing for the city of Albany," Dylan told us Friday afternoon. "It sucks to be hassled out on the street when there's no place to go."

Skating's a big sport now. A lot of kids -- heck, a lot of adults -- are into it. There's a big industry around it. It's on ESPN, which is about mainstream as you can get.

So Dylan and a few of the other skaters we were talking with would like to see a skate park built in the city. Both Washington Park and Lincoln Park were suggested as possible locations.

And why not? If a city's going to have basketball or tennis courts, it shouldn't be too much to ask for a place to skate, too.

As the skaters buzzed around the court behind him, Dylan glanced toward the tennis courts just up the hill, empty but for two people, and said in a deadpan that ended with a smile: "Look at all the people playing tennis."

Earlier on AOA: A skate park for Albany isn't a new issue -- a few years ago, as part of a story about local skate parks, Siobhan talked with some people hoping to get things rolling


I would think Lincoln Park or someplace in Sheridan Hollow would be great locations due to their natural inclines.

Architect/landscape architect/skate park designers, could the natural inclines in those locations be incorporated into a park?

I hope a park is made for them. Much better than them just rolling down the street at all hours of the day/night.

I started skating at the age of 38 and I can't begin to tell you how much fun/challenging/scary/engrossing/painful/fun it can be. Albany absolutely needs to get a skatepark built for people like me and for my kids and their friends. How come small towns such as Pittsfield MA, Northampton, MA, Saugerties, Chatham and Bondville VT (!) have concrete skateparks and Albany does not? Time and again I've gone to an out-of-town park to find the skatepark getting heavy use while the adjacent baseball field/basketball courts/tennis courts are empty (or close to empty). In light of the current obesity epidemic you never stop hear about these days, we need to get people away from their screens and out there being active. Inactivity is an ever-increasing problem in this country. And skateboarding is a part of the solution.

Let them skateboard in a park and on the streets, for almost forty years this sport has been gaining in popularity cause the thrill out weights the risk and minor injuries and young men and women need that to mature physically and emotionally. If we keep legislating away everything that challenges peoples ability to have fun and grow we loose as a society our desire to be bold and creative. Wake up Smallbany!

My philosophy is that people will find a way to do what they want, you might as well give them an appropriate place to do it! I say embrace the skate culture. We already have a great shop, let's have a great skate park and make this a place where skaters want to live. Obesity is an epidemic, why not encourage people to be out there working it in the real world!? I fully support the development of a skate park, and I think it would be a very cool project to have the skate community design it themselves with a safety coordinator to make sure it's reasonable, and then go for it!

Amplify the People!

I would be completely behind supporting/opening a skate park in Albany. If anyone needs help with this, I would love to help out. A skate park really gives more options for kids who have nothing else to do, not to mention the adults that are still avid skaters as well. It's a win-win all around.

Well, the last post was a LONG ass time ago!! Can we PLEASE GET IN WITH THIS ALREADY!? Concrete park with street, trannies, etc....maybe even a kidney pool!? I'm 43 and have been skating since 13....so go figure. I have a 19 month old daredevil Son who watches skate videos with me and thinks that his Fischer Price xylophone is a skateboard and tries to skate it!! Can someone PLEASE tell me why in God's Gracious Name Fischer Price decided to put plastic orange wheels on a xylophone shaped like a skateboard!?

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