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Helmets Required at Brand New Skatepark

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RALEIGH — Grinding. Pumping. Catching air. Skateboarders and rollerbladers will rock and roll just about anywhere. Unfortunately, they're not always welcome. Now, skaters in the Triangle will have a facility designated for them.

In the world of skating, it is heaven-- a 2000-square foot warehouse transformed into Raleigh's first and only Skate Park. Ryan's World is the brainchild of Frank Noel, who invested his retirement savings so that his 15-year-old son Ryan and his friends would have a place to skate.

"They needed a place," Noel says. "Nobody wanted to do it. And I just thought it through and finally said, hey, somebody's got to do it, and here I am."

And not a moment too soon. Many skaters in Raleigh have found they're not welcome in city parks and parking lots.

The Fayetteville Street Mall in Raleigh has become one of the most popular places to skate. The problem is, skating is not allowed here, and the law is enforced. If caught, skaters face a $100 fine.

The experience of paying fines and the recent death of 15-year old Ryan Profet, who died when his skateboard hit a rock in the road, have renewed calls for the city of Raleigh to build a skating facility at an existing park or on vacant land.

"I'd like to see the city build a skatepark out of concrete and have it sit in a city park just like any other piece of playground equipment," says skater Clay Herget. And just give us a fund and safe place to skate."

But until that ball gets rolling, skaters can grab an edge at Ryan's World.

Ryan's World Skatepark is located near RDU International on Running Oak Road. It opens at 10:00 this Saturday. The price is $2.00 for membership and $8 a day. Helmets are required.


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