Top 5 Things I Miss as a Skateboarder in Dallas.
1. Garland 9 Rail
Texas, in general, has a lot of famous skate spots, but none were as famous as the Garland High School 9 stair handrail. Over the near twelve plus years that I’ve skated, (and especially in the earlier years of that time frame), no other spot was filmed on more by the common skateboarder, all the way up to pros, than the Garland 9 rail. Every pro team I can think of that traveled through Dallas, made the side trip out to Garland to skate that rail. You would be hard pressed to find any DFW shredder who had not tried it or who had not filmed on it.
When Four Duos put a video up, Garland 9 was almost always included. I've seen, in person: kick flip backlip, nollie 50-50, front shuv-it to back board, and so many other tricks. If that rail was a ramp tramp, she would be the octo-mom right now, from all the bangers(Definitely more than 8).
It was everything you could ask for rail-wise in the streets: low, flat, and good gravel (once it was fixed, that is). Sadly, as of about a year or two ago, the rail was taken out. For all of us that skated it, do not dwell on the fact that it is gone, but rather on the memories we all had dying on it. (I broke my head open on it trying a 50-50 in the dark; believe me brothers, I know the pain.)
2. Eisenberg’s Skatepark
This is an obvious one for many in the area. Eisenberg’s was where we all went to hear shitty bands(I played there twice) and get splinters. It was a place you could go where you dreamt of dropping in on the 13 foot half pipe in the “pro course”, but instead skated the bottom so that you could tell everyone you skated the 13 foot half pipe anyway. It was an escape that was pricey to get into, but you went anyway, because your two closest friends were going and you didn’t want to skate the curb in front of your house by yourself.
In all seriousness, Eisenberg's was such a fun place to skate. I remember meeting Elijah Moore there for a brief moment and thinking he was the coolest dude ever. I think that park holds a special place in all of our hearts, who have been skating at least for the past 6+ years. For most of us in the area, it was a place where we learned how to skate transition, had access to ramps and obstacles we normally wouldn't have, and learned when and how to avoid the mosh pits on Friday nights; for that, we will always miss it.
Eisenberg’s Skatepark closed its doors in March of 2014, after their lease of 15 years was up. In its place, a tower of lofts has risen. According to the Dallas Morning News, Vicki Eisenberg wants to reopen once they find a different location. We will just have to wait, hope, and see.
3. One Love Skateshop
*I couldn't find a picture for this one*
I’m sure anyone from Dallas Skate Crew could show this shop more praise than I can, but I really loved this store. I remember gathering up my friends at the time and going up there every week to rent skate videos. One Love was the Blockbuster for skate videos, and I was way more torn up about One Love when it closed than that media giant.
One Love always had the best local skaters hanging out that I looked up to, which was basically everyone in D.S.C. at the time. After spending our small amounts of money in the shop, we would always skate the One Love ledge out back. I hope one day that area gets a shop as cool as One Love was.
4. Plano East Senior High box (P.E.S.H.)
To be clear, P.E.S.H. is still skate-able today. It still has its 7 stair rail that everyone lost their board on when it flew into the pond, it still has random gaps, and it still holds on to its huge stair sets/rails that to this day, I’ve never seen anyone do. What made P.E.S.H. the ultimate spot though, was a box that was built over a few years ago to make room for an extra classroom. It was the best manual pad ever. Back when it still existed, you could visit it almost any night of the week, and someone was there skating it. I have so many memories from this spot that even to think about feels extremely bittersweet.
You could manual it from different directions, grind it from different directions, and best of all, it had a roof over it, so it was skate-able during rain. Oh, did I also mention it was lit until midnight and sometimes later, EVERY NIGHT? I can't brag on this spot enough. I’m not sure if people loved it as much as I did since it was rough in some places, but I sure do miss it.
5. Rowlett Skatepark (SkateZone)
Rowlett skatepark was, and probably always will be, one of my favorite skateparks of all time. This park was shut down by the city a few times, as it was city-owned, and in 2007, it shut down permanently. Local skaters fought city hall after it closed, but lost the fight when a church bought all the equipment for $10. Clearly, city hall had already made up their minds before the hearing. I hold that park close to my heart for many reasons, mainly, because between that park and an elementary school near my house at the time, those were the places I first learned to really skateboard.
In 2003, I had been an aggressive rollerblader for 6 years, when I found skateboarding. For a brief period at the beginning of that year, I would bring my rollerblades and my skateboard/shoes to the park, not knowing which to do. One night before closing, something happened to me that has always stuck with me. I was switching out of rollerblades to shoes on the mini halfpipe, when this guy I knew at the time, a super nice guy by the way, Chase Duckworth, came up to me. He simply said, “You need to decide which sport you want to get good at, and do that.” I answered almost immediately in my head, “skateboarding.” He may never know he impacted my life in this way, but ever since that moment, skateboarding is all I’ve ever wanted to do.
-Downtown Garland Library 6 stair.
-Woodward Skatepark in Grapevine Mills. (Where I attended my first skate competition and walked away with tons of participation Redbull, an XXL Lords of Dogtown t-shirt, and the knowledge that skateboarding competitions scare the hell out of me.)
-Four Duo. Their last video came out over a year ago. Let's see some more awesome edits!