It's a sound most skate heads crave: That click-clack of the board slapping concrete, the distinct rattle of the wheels as they hit the ground and keep spinning.
Over the Christmas holiday there's no doubt plenty of skaters had their stockings stuffed with all manner of skateboard accessories. But where's the best place to break in all that gear? Houston has invested millions in its skate parks and options feel plentiful, especially if you're willing to travel.
We asked local amateur street skater, and professional pizza delivery dude, Brad Dunn, what he thought the best locations for skating around Houston were. He shared with us his top five spots to practice your tricks and kick-flips, and his thoughts on what makes them worth the trip (or not).
This Harris County park, is located just off Beltway 8 near Cloverleaf.
The good: "It's just all right. It's good for practicing and trying to learn tricks. The area is pretty nice."
The bad: "The ramps are kind of slick, and I don't really like it."
It's the self-proclaimed oldest skate park in the Lone Star State. Located in South Houston, this indoor park doesn't just protect you from the elements, it also boasts "bring your own vinyl" record Wednesday.
The good: "It's pretty tight. It's a park with a good flow. It's got a lot of fun obstacles to skate, and you bump into a lot of folks that you know."
The bad: "It gets packed. People try to snake you, like when someone goes in front of you to do their trick, and you don't get a chance to do your trick."
The latest jewel of Houston's skate park scene, and not even a year old. It's called the largest in North America at 78,000 square feet.
The good: "It's really big."
The bad: "It's a hassle for some folks who don't live out in Spring or on the north side. You have to wear a helmet, which I don't think is a really good thing. Sometimes it's a hassle wearing that shit, it feels kind of goofy. But, no matter how good you are at skating you could always slip and get injured."
This park in the Heights off TC Jester bills itself as Houston's oldest skate spot. It's known for the ditch that brings out the "old timers" or "old schools" as younger skaters call skate dads and uncles.
The good: "The Turkey Jam the week of Thanksgiving, when people come out to skate the ditch."
The bad: "The ramps kind of suck, because they're this slick steal instead of concrete. And when it rains it gets really flooded."
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1.) Downtown skate park (a.k.a. Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark)
Probably one of the most scenic skate parks around, it's nestled off the Sabine Street Bridge and was the top multi-million skate park to garner local acclaim, before the behemoth went up in Spring.
The good: "Their street course is pretty fun. And the ledges in the front of the park for skating are good too."
The bad: "The helmets rule again, it's a big deal to me."