Brandon Sparling ollies up onto a homemade box at the KSM Skatepark in Port Hardy Monday

Brandon Sparling ollies up onto a homemade box at the KSM Skatepark in Port Hardy Monday

Wheel and deal at skate park swap meet

PORT HARDY-Group hosts kids' swap meet, hot dog sale to raise funds for skateboard park improvements.

PORT HARDY—The call has gone out to parents as local skaters ramp up plans to revitalize Port Hardy’s Kyle Scow Memorial Skatepark.

The Recreate KSM Skatepark group will host a kids’ swap meet and hot dog sale this weekend at the Civic Centre to benefit the project, which aims to renovate the current park.

“It’s not really for our skill level,” explained member Brandon Sparling. “The ramp at the right is too high; most people can’t go down it.” He said that most of the obstacles in the park were too steep or too high for the vast majority of users so some of the skaters had taken to building their own boxes and rails.

“It’s fine if you’re good at skating, but if you’re just learning there’s nothing there,” said Sparling.

He explained that the group had a vision for a concrete park, similar to the one installed in Alert Bay, with more beginner-friendly obstacles for newer and younger skaters.

Down the line, members had also discussed the possibility of adding a mini-ramp and a covered section as well as expanding the park’s footprint.

But, while the group has an idea of how the finished product would look, for now it’s baby steps. “We’re not expecting to bring in a ton of money (this weekend),” said Sparling, “it’s more about getting the word out there.”

He said that, for now, the group had opted against trying to bring in a professional skatepark-building company to cost out a single build, fearing that the cost would discourage potential backers.

Instead, they hope to use a series of fundraisers to boost the coffers and build awareness, constructing smaller pieces as the funds become available.

Saturday’s swap meet will be the first in the series, with bottle drives and other fundraisers to follow.

The event will run from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Civic Centre, with tables costing $5 each. Admission will be by donation, with the table fees and donation money going to the skate club. All items for sale will be baby, child or youth items; from toys to sports equipment. To reserve a table call Hans at 250-949-5120.

The Recreate KSM Skatepark group is primarily made up of skateboarders and parents, but also open to rollerbladers, bikers and scooter riders and regular meetings are held every second Sunday at the Lions Club’s room in the Civic Centre. All are welcome to attend.

For more information on Recreate KSM Skatepark, including meeting times, go to the Facebook group of the same name.