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What Goes Into Making a Skate Park?

Meet the companies behind the lighting, shotcrete, rails, and wheels at a skate park in San Jose, California.
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Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park, San Jose, California | February 11, 2012 | 5:04 p.m.

Wheels

Bones Skatepark Formula wheels, manufactured by Santa Barbara, California-based Skate One, are made of urethane formulated to resist abrasion. Originally dubbed bones for their white color—most wheels at the time were clear—the wheels were invented in the mid-'70s by engineer George Powell, whose son was a skater. In 1978, Powell teamed up with professional boarder Stacy Peralta to found Powell-Peralta, which made boards, wheels, and accessories. Relaunched in 1993 as Skate One, with Powell as president and CEO, the company has more than 150 employees worldwide. The wheels come in eight colors.

Lighting

To illuminate the park's 11 skating bowls, which spread across 68,000 square feet and range in depth from 8 inches to 13 feet, park officials turned to sports lighting specialist Musco Lighting, of Oskaloosa, Iowa. Ten 50-foot poles topped by 30 1,500-watt fixtures direct light evenly across the park without casting shadows. Co-founded by former attorney Joe Crookham and engineer Myron Gordin, in 1976, the company lit Notre Dame University's first night football game, in 1981, and has created lighting systems for Yankee Stadium and the sets of movies, including Titanic and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. More than 1,000 Musco Lighting employees work in offices around the world.

Planters

Five planters filled with wildflowers, fan palms, and native California grasses provide the park's 50,000 annual visitors with a place to rest in the shade. The planters were created by San Jose-based Robert A. Bothman Inc., which also did demolition, irrigation, drainage, and structural concrete work at the site. Founded as B & B Concrete, in 1978, the company—which also installs synthetic turf and tracks for athletic facilities, military bases, and schools—was renamed after its founder in the early '90s. With clients including the Oakland Raiders, the $80 million company has offices in Stockton, California, and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Shotcrete and rails

California Skateparks, of Upland, California, blasted more than 800 cubic yards of shotcrete (a sprayable concrete mixture) to create the park's bowls, halfpipes, and walls. It also installed guardrails and more than 1,000 feet of carbon steel edging for skaters to "grind," or slide, on. Landscaper Joe Ciaglia founded the business in 1998, applying his knowledge of concrete to skate-park construction. The 65-person company has worked with more than 250 clients worldwide, on projects including Tony Hawk's backyard skate park and Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory in Los Angeles.




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