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Queens Chronicle

Street course design is set for skatepark

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Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2010 12:00 am

An urban street course, complete with a fire hydrant, will be the design for the $1.8 million skateboard park to be built later this month at Flushing Meadows Park.

The gift to the Parks Department is being made by brothers Joe and Gavin Maloof, founders of the Maloof Money Cup. For the past three years the money cup competition for skateboarders has been held in California with $250,000 in cash prizes.

In a telephone interview on Friday, Joe Maloof said the brothers were adding New York City to the competition “to take skateboarding to the next level.” The event will be held here June 5 and 6. A California tournament is scheduled for August.

Maloof said the 16,000-square-foot course at Flushing Meadows was designed by top skateboarders, featuring everything city skateboarders perform on such as granite and cement surfaces, railings, staircases and ramps — and that hydrant.

The designers sought to replicate real spots from each of the five boroughs such as the Police Plaza’s stair rail, Brooklyn Bank’s stair rail and Flushing Meadows Park’s ledge-over-the-grate replica.

Temporary bleachers will be erected for the June event. The promoters say there will be limited seating, and ticket giveaways at select locations will be announced soon.

Following the competition, the skateboard park will be open to the public during regular park hours, which end at sunset.

Maloof described skateboarders as real athletes, especially those between the ages of 19 and 34. “Skateboarding is a lifestyle, not a sport, with its own music and clothes which are very cutting-edge,” he said.

Skateboarding, Maloof added, is more popular than Little League baseball with 12 million Americans involved and one million in the New York City area.

Several locations for the skateboard park were investigated, but the promoter said Flushing Meadows is centrally located and “the perfect area” for the venue. He noted that many boarders used the fountain around the Unisphere to perform tricks. “Now they will have their own space,” the promoter said. “It will give them a place where they can come and not be bothered by police.”

A year after completion, Maloof promises to redesign the site, if the city agrees, and have another tournament. “We may build a vert course, which is the opposite of a street course,” he said. “We would have to put in a ramp for high vertical jumps and flips.”

For more information on the June event, go to maloofmoneycup.com.

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