The 20-year-old hangout will be one of the best skate parks in the east after a million-dollar makeover. As if Montauk wasn’t hot enough already…
By Cailin Riley
One of the most popular hangouts in Montauk is about to get a major upgrade. The Montauk Skate Park, designed and built in 1999 by legendary New York City skateboarder Andy Kessler, is set for a large-scale renovation and expansion that is expected to start in September 2021.
A combination of funding from the Town of East Hampton, a groundswell of fundraising support from the local community, and several generous private donations are fueling the million-dollar project that will make the park even more of a premier destination for avid skateboarders both near and far.
The park is a staple hang-out in Montauk — where surfing and skateboarding are deeply intertwined (skating is the go-to activity for young “groms” when the surf’s not up) — but over the course of more than 20 years it has started to show its age with graffiti, bumps, cracks, and rough surfaces posing challenges for beginners and novices.
“…a new BAD ASS snake run”
Now, it is poised to become one of the best skate parks on the east coast thanks to the involvement of Tito Porrata, whose company, Pivot Custom, was hired to oversee the project and, with heavy input from the community, come up with a design that has a little something for everyone. Porrata’s plans include a refurbishment of the pool bowl that was part of Kessler’s original design, along with the addition of a park series bowl, which is larger and has more features within it. The 10,000 square foot facility will be updated with a new 7,000 sqft street course for skaters who like to grind rails and do other jumps and tricks. For those who prefer a more free-flowing ride like the feeling of surfing, there will be a new “snake run” element that Porrata promised would be “bad ass.”
The community fundraising effort has been led by people like local photographer, artist and avid skateboarder Bart Schwarz, who worked at the park for several years when he was in his early 20s in the early 2000s, and parents like Walt Zamora-Lindveld and John Britton, whose children are avid users of the skate park. Colin Ryan, a father of two who has lived in Montauk for 20 years and is a special education teacher at the Montauk School, said he’s thrilled about the project and what it will mean for the town, especially the youth.
“It’s a great thing for the kids,” he said. “It’s going to give the community such an asset.
“I think of that skate park like the Giving Tree,” Ryan added, referencing the famous Shel Silverstein book. “It gave to us for so many years; the only difference is at the end of the book, because the skate park hasn’t crumbled to the ground, it’s still holding on.”
Groundbreaking is tentatively set for September 2021 and will take a few months to complete, meaning the park will likely be ready for action in early 2022.