Skateboarders say West Vancouver's Ambleside park is in need of a reno

There aren’t too many skateboard parks in North America that can boast about having an ocean view. West Vancouver’s street-style plaza at Ambleside Park is one of the few. But after 20 years, it’s beginning to show its age.

In a telephone interview, Eric Savics explained that the skate park’s location on the water northwest of the Lions Gate Bridge has been both a gift and a curse.

“The elements that we see and feel here in the Pacific Northwest have done a number on the park in terms of erosion and wear and tear,” explained the 26-year-old West Vancouver resident. “It’s pretty chunky and it’s pretty hard to get moving.”

Savics recently begun a push for the park to receive a complete overhaul. People interested in getting involved or wanting to learn a little about the park’s history can read more at AmblesideSkatepark.com.

“It was built in 1994-1995,” he said. “Since then, skateboarding, as a sport, has also evolved quite a bit. And in the same period, skate park design has evolved. So the design and the flow of the park is just outdated.”

Savics said he’s already talking to the District of West Vancouver, which, though the project is still in a prenatal phase, seems “very open to help”. Jim Barnum at North Vancouver’s Spectrum Skateparks is also lending a hand, Savics continued, drafting early designs and helping establish connections with potential privet partners.

He said that a total price tag for the project has yet to be determined, but that a new concrete surface alone will likely run between $70,000 and $80,000. On top of that, there will be the costs of the park’s design, obstacle materials, and actual construction.

Savics noted that a more exact number will take shape over the course of a series of public information seasons scheduled to begin in April.

"I’ve got amazing memories with close friends skating on this a seaside park," he said. “I’d definitely like to see that continue for myself and for my friends. But more so, I’d like to see the next generation on the North Shore get the same experiences that my friends and I got from that park,” he said.

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