Saturday, December 13, 2003--The Grand Opening Ceremony for the etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest was off the charts! Under fair skies, hundreds of skaters, fans and parents alike gathered around and milled about the expansive new facility (at 40,000 square feet, it's one of the largest in the U.S.), checking out demos put on by team riders from etnies, Emerica and éS Footwear.
A long section of Lake Forest Drive was blocked off right in front of the park, where numerous companies like Amerikan, Quiksilver, Split, Tilly's and Volcom, as well as food vendors such as Coca Cola, Outback Steakhouse, Papa John's and Quizno's set-up booths to keep the hordes full of food, apparel and skate gear.
Rufio punk rocked the boulevard while some major autograph sessions went down with numerous top pros from the teams of etnies, Emerica and éS, who signed posters for long lines of drooling skate fanatics.
Meanwhile back at the park, the DJs Poet and Motiv8 rocked up a ruckus while the etnies BMX team put on a high-flying demo and heated skate sessions went down in the keyhole pool all day long. Etnies employees buried a time capsule chock full of all kinds of personal goodies underneath the manhole cover in the plaza area of the park. Etnies' Vice President of Marketing Don Brown even tore off his "special" pair of underwear and threw them down into the capsule. There was also a Best Trick contest to satisfy the crowd and Tony Tave claimed top honors with a switch frontside 180 heelflip down the double set.
Other tricks seen throughout the day included: Matt Beach, ollie from the bank up to the picnic table to ollie over the gap landing in another bank going 100 miles per hour. Adam Dyet, nollie Caballaerial and switch backside 180 flip down the eleven-stair. Erik Ellington, frontside flip to fakie nose manual from the Eurogap to the mini stage and kickflip frontboard to fakie from the
bank to the high flatbar. Daniel Espinoza, k-grind down the eleven-stair rail. Tony Evjenth, switch backside 180 up the mini-Euro gap. Benny Fairfax, nollie flip down the double set. Rune Glifberg, long backside tailslide and high frontside ollie in the keyhole.
Omar Hassan, lipslide around the shallow end of the pool (going into it from rolling up on the deck). Bryan Herman, kickflip frontside 50/50 from the bank to the picnic table. Heath Kirchart, switch flip to switch manual from the Eurogap to the big stage. Connor Linn, switch frontside flip down the double set. Brian Patch, stand-up backside tailslide over the hip of the keyhole pool (way harder than it sounds). Justin Regan, kickflip from the bank up to the picnic table and 360 flip up the mini-Euro. Andrew Reynolds, switch backside 5-O backside 180 out from the bank to the picnic table and backside nose grind from the Eurogap to the big stage.
Needless to say, the Grand Opening Ceremony for the etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest went off without a hitch. Big thanks and a major shout-out goes to
The City of Lake Forest, without whom the development of such an amazing skatepark like this would have never been realized. Lake Forest is one of the most forward-thinking cities in the nation, and everyone should commend them on their passionate dedication to building an unequaled facility like this.
Pierre André Senizergues (Sole Technology President, CEO and former professional skateboarder), who, after hearing the park would be forced to charge admission to meet expenses, contributed $125,000 dollars from his own pocket to ensure that it will be free for everyone for the first year. Thank you, Pierre!
Sponsors of the skatepark: etnies, Bank of America (for donating the land the park sits on!), Coca-Cola, Dasani, Media Ambulance Service, Southern California Edison, Waste Management and Waters & Faubel.
Friends of the skatepark: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Shadetree Partnership, SheaProperties and Wells Fargo of Foothill Ranch.
As well as those whose hard work helped realize this massive project: California Skateparks, Site Design, and all of our own employees here at etnies and Sole Technology. Hats off to you all.