SC Skate Coalition – The Movement

Will San Clemente approve a new skate park?


By, Claudia Pacheco  |  Editor in Chief

March 1st, 2016

San Clemente residents, ages grom to adult, joined hands last month with the San Clemente Skate Coalition (SCSC) and officially voiced the need for a more suitable skatepark to the City Hall. For years, local skaters have seeked proper lighting past dark, more room to skate, and more accessible skateparks in the city. The City Council positively acknowledged SCSC and the group of over thirty supporters who flocked the February 16th meeting upon short notice.

In order to demonstrate the eager multitudes of locals seeking an expanded skatepark, SCSC has created a petition and aims for one thousand signatures. Parents, children, and youths have taken to the petition to assert their personal reasons why the skatepark needs an upgrade.

The Ralph’s Skate Court unveiled in 2000, and local skaters immediately felt the restriction of only being able to skate during the day. Especially during the winter months when the sun sets early, skaters lack integral opportunities to exercise and enjoy their passion. Freshman Barrett Miller emphasized the necessity of proper lighting, declaring, “the park needs lights since us surfers like to skate after surfing during the day. Also when I work, I usually don’t get off till five or six PM, and I want to skate after.”

In response to the lighting issue, Junior Mateo Rael, who appears in numerous magazines and trains to skate professionally, stated, “I skate at the Ralph’s skate court every day after school; the city needs to update and put lights in to maximize our practice time.”

The park’s growing crowdedness has also culminated into a major safety issue for beginners and professionals alike. To maintain a free and safe zone for skaters, SCSC aims to expand the existing park to an expanse of unused land directly adjacent to the skatepark. They also advocate the construction of a second, more central skatepark accessible to all residents.Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 8.44.05 PM

Considering that San Clemente breeds one of the most tight-knit and dedicated skate communities in the world, skaters also cannot sacrifice their practice time and safety skating cracked concrete. “I just sprained my ankle three days ago because of the cracks that haven’t been fixed at the Ralph’s Skate Park,” lamented teen skater Michael Gaspar.

Many parents assert that skateparks serve as outlets for youth to reach natural highs and stay out of trouble. Parents like David Hennings, fervent member and social media director of SCSC, advocate that more skating opportunities fuel the “active living” that San Clemente holds dear to its culture. Rather than flock to local parties or turn to drugs and alcohol to spend their time, more teens will choose to skate if the city installs night time lighting and builds another park.

To the benefit of the city, a new skate park would also garner the skaters who resort to damaging city property by street skating, an activity that often results from skaters avoiding the current crowded and limited park.

Hennings, who lobbied the city back in 2000 to build the current park, remarked, “Our skatepark is 16 years old. When you think about how many soccer fields, baseball fields, playgrounds, and schools have been build in our city in the past 16 years, it just makes sense to add some new skateparks for our youth.”


Ryan and Stephanie Aguilar, cofounders of the movement, told Triton Times that they started the movement in October 2015 as a “Light my Skatepark” campaign and petition. After consulting skaters, parents, and the entire community, the Aguilars realized that the issue stemmed from much more than just new lighting; the skatepark needed improvement and expansion. Since November 2015, they have been gathering information on the city and the master budget, gaining momentum for the cause.

The Aguilars noted that the City Council meeting was a major turning point for the movement. “The City acknowledged that they had already been watching us on social media and that they are aware we want changes,” affirmed Ryan Aguilar.

With already two successful meetings in the last month and more lined up, SCSC is representing the community at large. Finally, San Clemente residents are taking major steps to enhance the skatepark, and with the massive supporter turnout, SCSC has made its footprint on the agendas of the City Council and Parks and Recreation.

To all the spirited San Clemente residents who want to support the movement, SCSC advises you to:

  1. Sign the petition: Improve, Expand and Build Skateparks in San Clemente #standupforscskateparks
  2. Attend the March 8th Parks and Recreation Commission meeting at City Hall at 6:00 PM.
  3. Go to the skatepark on Thursday, March 3rd at 5:00 PM to fill the park as the Sun Post News and the OC Register photograph and interview skaters.
  4. Follow the official Instagram page: @sc_skatepark_coalition
  5. Join the official Facebook page: San Clemente Skatepark Coalition – SCSC

The founders of the coalition remind you to contact SCSC with any questions or input at [email protected]. Stand up for local rights and help San Clemente residents achieve the skatepark they deserve.

4 Comments on SC Skate Coalition – The Movement

  1. What a great article. We love our city and the culture we get to participate in and seeing the community come together, and work to make improvements is special. Very well written.

  2. Thank you so much Claudia for writing this amazing article! 
    Our mission to improve and expand our existing skatepark and build additional skateparks in more central locations is something our city has needed and our community has wanted for a long time… All of us from SCSC are grateful to you and the community for helping to make this happen. It’s so rad to see our intentions and goals for this beautiful place we call home come to life and gain support so quickly. ♡♡♡

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