A free grind skate tournament will take place Sept. 20 at Paragon Park in Perris as the City unveils the second phase of its hugely popular skating facility.
The new phase includes construction of a “pump track” that allows competitors using all sorts of wheeled devices—including bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards and scooter blades--to take to the looped surface and do their stuff.
The day’s activities are the latest in the ongoing Live Well Perris healthy eating active living initiative, a continuing program that has garnered the City regional and statewide accolades. The skate tournament is being hosted by Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez.
Perris opened the first-phase of the Paragon Skate Park in 2009 to hundreds of eager skaters. Since then, the park on Placentia Avenue just east of Perris Boulevard has been heavily used by skaters who enjoy its ramps, quarter pipes, stairs and rails.
Phase II, the pump track, is a looped circuit that allows enthusiasts to tackle the looped circuit and complete all sort of tricks as they go round-and round. The pump track is a state-of-the-art facility that is just the second one of its kind in California. The only other one in the state is in Santa Maria.
“It’s a huge upgrade to the City’s skate park,” said Josh Estrada, Perris recreation coordinator and a skating enthusiast. “It’s an innovative way to bring all types of skaters to Paragon Park.”
The grind tournament will take place on the initial skating area and a panel of three judges will determine the winners. Each participant will be judged on their tricks, the difficulty of their routine as well as its originality and flow. All skaters must attempt to wear a helmet. Skating is done at their own risk.
While the tournament proceeds, the pump track will be open to everyone who wants to test their skills on that composite-wood weather resistant surface.
In addition, pro BMX riders will put on their own demonstration.
The day’s programs run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Raffle prizes and other giveaways will take place as well. Members of the Perris Youth Advisory Commission also will be on hand at the event, which the group has helped promote.
Councilman Rodriguez said the expansion of the skate park with the new pump track reinforces the City’s commitment to “create as many opportunities as possible to encourage our youth to get and stay healthy.” Rodriguez, a strong supporter of the YAC, said he also is pleased that committee members are volunteering their time to promote the upcoming tournament.
“Youth helping youth,” he said.
And Rodriguez may put on a helmet and elbow pads and do a little skateboarding himself.
“I’ve never really learned how to skateboard but I think I’m going to give it a try,” he said.