Skateboarding in Sun Valley
Because gravity is a terrible thing to waste!
The wheels are turning – polyurethane skateboard wheels that is! It’s true! The allure of skateboarding brings rippers of all ages to the Wood River Valley. With two incredible, top-notch skateparks within 15 miles of each other, it is easy to understand that our little slice of Idaho is a skater’s dream. Whether you skate to live, or live to skate, here is what we know.
Open until dark in the warmer months, the Guy Coles Skatepark is at the north end of the valley in Ketchum. Ranked at a professional level, the GCS is across from the Wood River YMCA on Warm Springs Road. Right along the bike trail and the bus line, it’s easy to find and to get there. Prefer to drive? Parking is available at the Presbyterian Church of the Bigwood immediately next to the skatepark. The skatepark features 10,000 square feet of smooth concrete including a deep bowl, coping, mini ramps, mini vert, flat rails, a euro gap, and plenty of opportunities to tear it up. Having opened in 2005, The Guy Coles Skatepark was designed and created by Oregon based Dreamland Skateparks and is the direct result of local ambition, blood, sweat, and tears. Surrounded by grass and trees, there are benches and shade for parents to sit and watch their kids catch air as well as to cool off. There isn’t access to an immediate concessions stand, so make sure to bring snacks, sunscreen, and water. Park etiquette and rules are posted so make sure to be aware.
Just 15 miles south is the Hailey Skatepark located on the corner of Main Street/Idaho Highway 75 and Airport Way. The skatepark is next to the Hailey’s Campion Ice House and is accessible by bus. If you prefer to drive, you can park in the lot between the Campion Ice House and Hailey’s Welcome Center/Rodeo Grounds. Constructed in 2002 and expanded to 21,000 square feet in 2012, the Hailey Skate Park was also designed and built by Dreamworks Skateparks. It is considered one of the top skateparks in the nation.
Whether cruising through street with its flat rails, handrails, ramps, or jumping nessy, skaters quickly get their blood pumping. Skate over to the west side of the park and drop-in to perfect a handplant or to play around on the funbox. Want more? How does skating the 16’ full pipe and a 13’ deep end sound? Rippers can tear it up OLD SCHOOL or try their hand at some new feats. There isn’t much shade so wear your sunscreen. And, if you get hungry, check out the locals’ favorite, The Snow Bunny. As the kids say – it’s SICK! Open until dark, the HS does have rules. Make sure to read the posted signs.
Need gear? The Board Bin on 4th Street in Ketchum is the place to go. There are decks, trucks, wheels, grip tape, elbow and knee pads, shoes, helmets, and of course, stickers. One stop and you will be all set. Need a lesson? The Board Bin can recommend some older more seasoned skaters who can help get you going. Give them a call: (208) 726-1222 or visit their website.
About three times a year, skateboard competitions are held at either one of the parks. These killer events include two of the regional Wild West Skate Comps, the Concrete Rodeo, and the Ketchum Annual-ish Skateboard Contest. With entrants from Idaho, Wyoming, California, Utah and beyond, it is a sight to see. There is music, food, and competitors of all ages tearing it up as they are flying through the air.
On any given day of the summer skateboard season, it is not uncommon to see vans pull up and out step some of the greats like Christian Hosoi, Tony Alva, Tony Hawk, John Cardiel, Peter Hewitt, or Tony Trujillo. To quote Tony Hawk, “I won’t quit skating until I am physically unable.” Given what we know about the incredible skateboarding opportunities in the Wood River Valley, we agree!