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San Francisco’s UN Skate Plaza is Now Open

Skater Rye Tewksbury busts the ceremonial opening boardslide, and honors our scene’s saint Thuy Nguyen while doing so.


San Francisco has a pretty high count of skate parks within the city. Some are now points of legend (Potrero, Treasure Island), some wane and wax like the moon (SOMA, Rosa Parks), and some fall beneath the cracks for one reason or another (Crocker, Hilltop – which stands on the ground of SF’s first real park, the Dish). Adding another city sanctioned skate area sometimes comes with some critique, but when UN Plaza was announced recently as a skate plaza sitting right outside the Civic Center BART station, the overall populace seemed optimistic.


For one, turning an area that people normally skated anyways, but had fallen victim to some of SF’s modern social and economic problems, into a sanctioned plaza will be a welcomed change. Tourists in the area will be stoked, and young locals will have easy access via the city’s public transit. Second, Austin Kanfoush was the builder for this project, so naturally, skaters got to have a say in how this place should be built. And third, the plaza hosts a number of obstacles within to cater to all different types of skaters. A bank based on the China Banks (complete with a ledge in the middle) closes it in from Market Street, while a bump over flat, multiple ledges, a pyramid, a volcano and a long kinked curb are scattered throughout. There truly is something here for everyone to skate.

The homie Vince busts a clean front shove on the bump over flat, the most skated obstacle on opening day.

With the public engaged, skaters having a new spot to gather, and the support of local politicians (for now), UN Plaza kicks off a new era in San Francisco. The festivities featured speeches from the head of SF Rec and Park, the chief of police, Mayor London Breed, but of course, our scene was represented by two of the finest: Chico Brenes and SF Skate Club founder Shawn Connolly. Shawn made a passionate speech, reflecting on the plaza in a different time when he used to get all you can eat hotcakes at the nearby Carl’s Jr. “A skate park or a skate spot for some of us, although it may seem like an exaggeration, is another word or a way of saying ‘home.'” Shawn isn’t wrong here. As somebody who has done that for countless youth in this city, he knows what he’s talking about, but his finest wisdom came at the very end. “Keep working, keep striving, keep growing. Fall down 7 times, get up 8.”


San Francisco’s skate scene will always be getting back up, as long as wheels ride over the bricks every day making those sounds that soothe our souls.


Enjoy this gallery below shot by Theodore Maider.


Krooked TM Brian Slattery snapped a few boards in order to get a solid nollie flip.


Stephen “Seegull” Brayman gave the plaza the transition litmus test and it passed with this back three nosegrab.


Adrian Mallory was hitting just about every single obstacle he could, and the only photo I caught was this quick little front 5-0 over the block.


The Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed


The REAL Mayor of San Francisco, Chico Brenes


The DLX Warehouse homie Kobe busted a very quality airwalk and probably was the only one to do one that morning.


Former Lowcard warehouse employee of the month Jonah Moore seems to approve.


Lurkers always going to lurk.


The true king of San Francisco, and the ruler of Divisadero Street, Shawn Connolly.


Never seen this guy before but I really appreciated his approach.


Arguably one of the most stylish and unique talents in the Bay right now, James Gaehner busts a mighty tre flip.


Enjoy the plaza, everyone. We expect to see some wild NBDs in the near future.

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