Skateboarders can't take trick
Scooters drive skaters out of parkMEGAN MILLER
The Caroline Bay skatepark is proving a popular community venue - so much so that a group of skateboarders say it often gets too crowded for them to use it.
As many as 50 teenaged skaters have been spotted around Timaru, skating at the park and also in other parts of town, including the plaza by the i-SITE Visitor Centre and Speight's Ale House.
They go to other locations when they're driven out of the park by crowds of young children on scooters, said Cyrus "Sodi" Steedman, 15.
The problem started last year, he said, when the scooter trend caught on.
"You feel terrible if you hit a little kid, and then their parents get mad. We can't use it if they're all there."
But it's those other spots around town where the skateboarders run into a different problem.
Tourism manager Katerina Tiscenko, whose office is in the i-SITE building, said she sympathised with the skateboarders, but they couldn't expect to use a high-traffic visitor area for their sport.
"We receive complaints regularly from both locals and visitors about the skateboarders using the area, both from the safety perspective and also about marks on clothing from greased seating and wooden splinters in clothes from damage caused by the skateboards," she said.
She and Nigel Bowen, manager of the adjoining Speight's Ale House, agreed that the youths haven't been too difficult to deal with and usually leave when asked.
"It is quite noisy if people are having lunch or something, but we'll tell them to leave and they go," Mr Bowen said.
The Herald caught up with Cyrus and friends as they were skating at the park yesterday.
With the onset of school holidays, it becomes more difficult to find times when the park is not in use by other groups, they said.
Cyrus's group uses the park not only to skate, but also as a setting to film their skateboarding exploits.
The videos, 44 so far, are uploaded onto the YouTube channel BaySkateDays, which has had nearly 29,000 views to date.
- The Timaru Herald