The Rise and Fall of Skatewave Skatepark
5 year old Todd Smith at Skatewave Skate Park
Thrasher Magazine, August 1981
In 1977, movie goers took to the theaters in droves to witness a mind-blowing spectacle that defined a generation—Star Wars. The story of a band of rebels taking on the galactic Empire in a war against tyranny must have resonated with young Mobilians hoping to win a battle of their own—approval for a local skateboard park.
At the end of 1977, it appeared as though the young Rebels scored a victory when the Mobile city council gave initial approval for a skateboard facility at Municipal Park (aka Langan park). But just like in the movies, The Empire Strikes Back…
Greg Bloodsworth grabs some backside air
Skatewave Skate Park, Mobile, Alabama Circa 1980
One day back in 1982, I was riding in the car to my Grandmother's house in Tillman's corner when I noticed this crazy, cement structure off of Highway 90. I asked my Mom if Mobile was getting a Six Flags because it looked like the kind of place you would put 'Scream Machines' and 'Mindbenders'.
My Mom said that it was just an old abandoned skateboard park. My little, seven-year old mind struggled to understand. No one played with skateboards. Why would there be a whole park dedicated to them? And why not a Six Flags over Mobile? That would be way more fun.
Remember, this was pre-Ninja Turtles and pre-Tony Hawk. The only skateboard I had ever, even seen was my neighbor, Jeffro's. Skinny, cheap, and plastic, the board wobbled and bowed like a mofo. I mean, lawn jarts were safer than that thing.
It's hard to believe but just a few years earlier, skateboards were on the top of every kid's Christmas list.
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