"With this opening, we are well on our way to tripling the amount of open space in our city, as well as providing a vital amenity for our many skate aficionados," said Mayor Roberts at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. "This park is a key element of that plan and serves our growing number of skaters."
Situated on the Hudson River with midtown Manhattan as the backdrop, Castle Point Skate Park has been a dream of local skateboarders and inline skaters. It features equipment that was designed by professional skaters Andy Kessler and Steve Rodriguez of the New York skateboarding firm 5boronyc.
The grand-opening event featured an hour of performances by Kessler and Rodriguez, as well as one by Hoboken's Kelly Matthews, an X-Games silver medal winning inline street skater.
According to City Spokesperson Bill Campbell, there is more than 8,000 square feet of skating area in which there is a long rectangular box, two smaller "fun" boxes, two half-pipes, two quarter pipes, and two ramps, all of which are made our of pre-cast metal.
The park's construction was funded through a $573,000 Green Acres Grant. Joseph Hamilton Construction Corp. and Hot Rails, Inc. constructed the park.
The free park is open every day from daybreak to 10 p.m. and is open to skateboarders and inline skaters, but not bikers. All skateboarders will be required to wear helmets as a safety measure, according to a posted sign.
For the past decade, local skateboarders have had no problem creating places to skate in Hoboken, and that has become a problem for some local business owners, residents, city officials and community leaders.
Hoboken, like so many other communities, has had to deal with skateboarders performing bone-crunching stunts all over the city's streets and in its parks, which Mayor David Roberts said is hardly a safe situation.
"The Castle Point Skate Park provides a safe and controlled environment for the growing number of residents who participate in this sport," said Roberts. "For the first time, skaters can enjoy state-of-the-art equipment in a designated setting instead of posing a safety threat to themselves and others on city streets or in more passive parks."
According to the city attorney Joseph Sherman, there is no special insurance needed for the Skate Park; it's treated like any other city park. The users are advised to "skate at your own risk."