By Collin Breaux | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @collin_breaux
The fourth Skate Jam on Saturday, Nov. 23, again brought local youth and the community together to celebrate skateboarding and rally behind the idea of a skate park being built in town.
The Skate Jam was held at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center and hosted by the San Juan Capistrano Skate Park Coalition. Kids rode their skateboards and performed tricks on ramps while their parents and other adults watched. There was a food truck, vendor booths, and live music.
“All my friends are here,” Mason Steffen, 13, said. “It brings me and all my friends together.”
Mason has been skating around nine months and said it feels good to be on a skateboard, especially after landing a trick.
“I really like (the idea of San Juan Capistrano getting a skate park) because it takes a long time to get to all the skate parks,” Mason said. “Well, not too long, but longer than my parents want to drive.”
City officials are also on board with a skate park being built. A concept design was previously presented to and approved by the council, and funding is needed. A subcommittee is looking at the skateboard park, and there have been preliminary conversations with the City of Dana Point about a potential partnership, since an identified site around the San Juan Capistrano sports park borders the neighboring city.
Kelly Jones was at the Skate Jam to watch her 11-year-old son skate and maybe meet some new friends at a free event. The event had something for everybody and was small, local, and “cute,” Jones said. They live in Lake Forest and Jones likes the idea of San Juan Capistrano getting a skate park.
“If it’s run really well, it’s a good place for kids to go. It keeps them occupied,” Jones said. “Not that we have a big gang problem here but it keeps them busy. They’re outside, away from the games and couch and controllers and they can meet friends and they all have something in common.”
Billy Meskew attended the Skate Jam to support the skate industry and because his kid also loves skating. They are from San Clemente and go to all the nearby skate parks.
“I think (San Juan Capistrano getting a skate park) is great,” Meskew said. “Kids need more places like this where they can go out. In other towns, skate parks are pretty crowded. The more we get, the more we get to relax and the kids can go and have fun.”