By Andrea Brown Herald Writer
Operation 352 is go.
The new Mukilteo YMCA Indoor Skate Park is open for shredding, grinding and fakie kick turns.
Skaters can do their thing 352 days a year, hence the name.
Outdoor parks are at the mercy of the heavens. Weather closes the Mukilteo Y’s popular outdoor park about 100 days a year.
Rain makes pavement dangerous, but it doesn’t stop the urge to skate. Nothing stops the urge to skate.
Nobody knows that better than Kristin Ebeling, Mukilteo Y skate park and teen center director and an internationally recognized female skateboarder.
Most accidents happen on streets, sidewalks and driveways. Better to keep skaters in on turf designed for daredevils on wheels.
“I envisioned ways to keep the kids skating all year,” Ebeling said.
She knew the perfect space: the Y’s youth center, which wasn’t getting much traffic.
“It was a lot of empty space with kids sitting down playing video games,” she said.
Operation 352 catapulted forward.
About 100 donors contributed $25,000 to finance the project and volunteers did most of the labor.
“It took nine months to get approved, two months to fundraise and three months to build,” Ebeling said.
At about 1,000 square feet, it’s small compared to the 20,000 square-foot outdoor park, which has fueled the passion of skaters since it opened in 2005.
The indoor park has a 28-foot wooden mini ramp with 3- and 4-feet-tall transitions.
“It’s a micro version of what Tony Hawk rides,” Ebeling said. “A ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’ version of that.”
It’s the perfect practice ground for Seth Wagner, 16, a regular on the steep, concrete bowls in the outdoor park.
“I didn’t know how to drop in,” he said. “I was scared to do it on the concrete.”
FYI: A drop-in is like jumping feet first from the edge into a pool on a skateboard then slamming down the sides.
“I came in here and in a few days I learned how to do it,” Seth said. “Now I can do it easily outside.”
The park is overseen by an attendant. Ages 7 and older can skate without a guardian, but it’s OK for parents to stay and watch.
“I like how it’s so wide,” said Jayden Califano, 7, as he did dizzying tricks on his skateboard. “It gives me an opportunity to do my fakie kick turns.”
A fakie is when the skater rides normally, but the board travels backward. The skater looks over his shoulder to see where he’s going.
There’s a reason why a helmet is required for all skaters. Those younger than 18 must wear knee and elbow pads. All ages have to sign a waiver of liability. After all, this isn’t Zumba.
The park has skate teams, lessons, camps and group rental.
“The idea is that it’s accessible,” Ebeling said. “We partner with others Y’s.”
Nonskaters didn’t lose their hangout. One side of the room is a pool table, foosball, video games, board games, computers, comfy couch and a vending machine.
You don’t have to be a Y member. A daily pass is $5. Skate park memberships are available. Helmets, pads and skateboards are available to use at no cost. Rollerblades and scooters can also be used.
“I’m super stoked,” Ebeling said. “It is really rad to see all the kids.”
It’s not only kids.
Adults are also renting the facility. One night a week is “Old Dude Night.”
Skaters older than 25.
Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
The Mukilteo YMCA Indoor Skate Park, 10601 47th Place W., is open 2:30 to 6 p.m. weekdays and noon to 6 p.m. weekends. Weather permitting, the outdoor park is open 3 to 9 p.m. weekdays and noon to 6 p.m. weekends.
Cost is $5 a day for younger than 18, and includes both skate parks. An annual pass is $99 to $129. For more information, go to www.ymca-snoco.org/mukilteo.
Indoor skate parks
The Garage, 2927 Rucker Ave., Everett, has open skating, lessons, camps and group rentals. Hours are 2 to 8 p.m. weekdays; noon to 8 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Cost is $8 and memberships are available. For more information, call 425-231-4286 or go to www.garageskateboarding.com.
All Together Skatepark, 3500 Stone Way N., Seattle. Hours are noon to 9 p.m. Saturdays and 2 to 9 p.m. the rest of the week. Cost is $5 to 10. Memberships are available. For more information, go to www.alltogetherskatepark.com.
Bellevue Skate Park, 14224 Bel-Red Road. Cost is $4 to $5 a day. Passes are available. For more information, go to www.bellevuewa.gov.