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Popular Parks: Kenosha's Basik Skate Park

9/12/2017 - Gary Eckstein

Kenosha, WISCONSIN parks - skate park
Kenosha, WISCONSIN parks - skate park
Kenosha, WISCONSIN parks - skate park
Kenosha, WISCONSIN parks - skate park

My personal experience with skateboards and scooters is limited – my first attempt resulted in a nasty fall in the streets of San Clemente, California in 1978 in which I scraped my elbow and flung one of the best ice cream cones I ever had tasted down the road, nearly hitting some passers-by. My experience on a scooter was similarly disastrous, although I didn’t destroy any premium ice cream favors. However, I do have a six year old grandson who is mad for all things relating to skate parks, scooters and BMX bikes – so I’m frequently at a skate park milling about while he engages in various wheeled activities.

Although I am a frequenter of area skate parks, my knowledge of the sport and its lingo is pretty limited. After volunteering for this assignment, I realized that falling on the pavement and not knowing what vocabulary terms to use really wasn’t going to make for an interesting blog post – I needed to consult with an expert.  I ran over to Southport Rigging and The Bike Shop after leaving work one day and sought out my grandson’s skating/biking guru - Tony Looney. It turns out that Tony has been a local skateboard enthusiast for nearly thirty years and was involved in the grassroots movement to build a skate park in Kenosha.

The effort started in the mid-90’s with a group of dedicated enthusiasts advocating for the construction of a park and holding fundraisers. Major donations were made by individuals and local corporations. The City of Kenosha’s leaders got behind the project and the result was Basik (Build a Skate-Park in Kenosha) Park – located just East of Tremper High School – in Anderson Park.  The park was designed by a nationally recognized firm and has very high quality technical features to challenge participants of various proficiency levels. It opened in 1997 and is a popular destination for local and regional enthusiasts.

The features at Basik Park include: a Half-Pipe on the Northeast Corner, a Quarter Pipe on the Northwest Corner, a raised Plaza in the center section with Steps and Slanted Hubbas, a Bent Penny on the Southwest Corner and another Quarter Pipe with a steep angle on the Southeast Corner.  There are also two straight Marble Topped Benches (for grinds) and additional Curved Benches that I claim as my seats when we go there to watch the grandson. 

Basik Park is definitely the Mecca for Skateboarders in Kenosha. The volume of traffic there varies greatly but what I’ve learned is that there is a sweet spot when it comes to hanging out at a skate park that goes like this – just enough people (too few is boring, too many feels a little dangerous), a mix of skill levels participating (you can learn new tricks from the experts and you want to look better than the newbies), and a mix of BMX’ers, Skateboarders and Scooters to keep it interesting.

There are two additional skate parks in Kenosha County:  one at Washington Park and Erickson Park located in Paddock Lake. Washington Park has beginner to intermediate features consisting of a pitched riding area, Center Pyramid, Metal Rail for grinds and a concrete platform for both jumps and grinds.  Erickson Park has intermediate to advanced elements consisting of a 60’ X 120’ flat paved area with tall ramps at either end and a two-level box-shaped platform in the center. Both are clean and well maintained. Erickson Park’s skate area is fenced and has an adjacent playground for younger kids.

A BMX Jam will be held at Basik Park on Saturday, September 17th.  A Jam event is a group competition – and there will also be a Bunny Hop contest. Entrance fee is $10.00 and will include a cheeseburger and bottle of water – September 17th is also National Cheeseburger Day. There will be beginner, intermediate and advanced competitions so there is a place for all levels of enthusiasts. The BMX Jam is sponsored by Southport Rigging and The Bike Shop – past events have drawn about 25 to 50 competitors and a couple of hundred spectators. I highly recommend you checking out the show!

This is just one example of the many unique parks that the Kenosha Area offers. With over 75 parks in the City of Kenosha alone (you can find some of them, as well as other county parks here), it is easy to find a place to enjoy your favorite recreational activities – skating, biking, walking, playing, sports, swimming, fishing, and more!

Gary Eckstein

Community Blogger

From Montello, WI. MA in Sociology. Former Army Reserve and National Guard Officer. Instructor at UW-Parkside and Carthage College. Husband to Varsha. Photographer. Guitarist and Lover of blues.

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