The outdoors is calling and area skateboard enthusiasts are spending more time under the sun at Kosciusko County skate parks. Mantis Skate Park in Warsaw and Syracuse Skate Park have been filled with the crashing sounds of wheels hitting the ramps.
Mantis Skate Park is now opened for the season. From now until June 7, the park will be opened 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Weekend hours are noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Local patrons didn’t waist any time returning to their favorite location. Logan Vector of Warsaw has been skating for 10 years. As a more seasoned skater, he offers advice and tips to his younger peers like Nicolas Lariou-Hernandez and Alec Gayney. Both Lariou-Hernandez and Gayney have fun “trying new tricks” and sharpening their skills.
Alex Hernandez takes a more serious approach to his time at the park. He practices in preparation for upcoming competitions. His efforts paid off last year at the Mantis Skate Park competitions. Hernandez reported, “I came in first for the Big Trick contest and third in the pro run.”
As for Vector the “positive atmosphere” keeps him coming back. He attributes the environment to the park’s supervision. He explained, “There is always someone here making sure people follow the rules.” Skate park manager Stephanie Schaefer and staff spend their time at the park to ensure skaters practice safety. She said, “Someone is here during open hours. If there is an accident we have emergency contacts and information available if they need medical attention.”
Schaefer has been involved with the park for several years and said, “The kids that come are great.”
Competition dates this year are as follows; Big Trick Contest, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 27, and the 2015 competition, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mantis Skate Park is located at 400 Little League Drive, Warsaw. For more information visit Warsaw Parks Department online at www.warsaw.in.gov.
Syracuse Skate Park is the perfect playground for teens and young adults who enjoy skating or BMX riding. Designed for skateboards, in-line skates and bikes; it draws people from all directions.
Bryant Raney of Goshen said he drives to Syracuse for the variation in the ramps. “The ramps are metal and it’s different to skate on than wood or concrete.” Like most skaters, Raney flips, grinds and spins his board for fun.
Syracuse resident and National Guardsman, Kris Marquart skates as a retreat from work and daily obligations. “I come out here to get away. I don’t have to think about anything else. It’s about having fun and being with friends,” said Marquart.
Talk of college and careers were among the topics of conversation at the skate park. Graduation is around the corner and the summer will bring new responsibilities and opportunities to many teen skaters. Until then, they’re “just going to ride and have fun.”
Syracuse Skate Park is located at 1013 N Long Drive and is open seven days a week.