When I was in middle school, I got really into skateboarding. I went from having a crappy board bought at a sporting goods store to having an awesome Powell(R) (the best at the time) put together at a real skate shop. I slowly acquired the gear, was reading THRASHER magazine and before long, all my t-shirts had skeletons on them and I was spending big chunks of my summer days boarding around and trying to get better at the actual act of skateboarding, not just looking the part. While I'll admit I did get decent, and knew how to do a few tricks, I never got really good. Now there are a few reasons for that. One is that I didn't spend enough time working on it (Maybe splitting my ample free time between shooting baskets and playing Legend of Zelda on my Nintendo spread my talents out too much to get truly awesome at skating). Another reason, and this is closer to the whole truth, is that I knew to eventually be landing awesome tricks; you first had to attempt these tricks, knowing you most likely are going to crash land. Ouch. Lastly, and I swear this is the biggest reason, there were not very many places to go and skate, so you could practice and get better. I mean nowhere. Everywhere you even tried to go had signs like "No Skateboarding Allowed" posted. People made their own launch ramps out of scrap boards and you'd look around at parks or unmonitored parking lots, or loading docks for cement inclines, or elements you could use for tricks, but there weren't any true skate parks around at the time. Well lucky for todays skaters, this is no longer the case. Located in the heart of Lansing, right on Michigan Avenue, just south of the Frandor Shopping Center is Ranney Park, and the award winning skate park designed by world-renowned skate park design crew, Team Pain. From jumps to ramps to pipes and bowls and rails, this park is state-of-the art. The real deal. Even if you don't skate, its worth going to check it out to see some of the local talented skaters, and in-line skaters too, take advantage of this great free community asset. I know for a fact, that even though I grew up in Holt, I would have made it to Ranney Skate Park with my friends to pick up a few bumps and bruises, and maybe a new trick or two. We all would have been thrilled to have such a place in town, because back then, in like 1990, skate parks like this only existed in faraway places and on the dozens of 'Bones Brigade' skate videos we watched. How was I supposed to get as awesome as Tony Hawk pulling tricks at the Post Office loading dock, or jumping this one small curb near my house? Ah well, what are you gonna do? The past is the past. At least this awesome skate park is here now and today's skaters can enjoy it. Heck, it makes Lansing cooler just by being here! And who am I kidding - I'd probably have been too chicken to drop in on a real half pipe anyway. I mean I was a little nuts, but not full-blown crazy.
Are you a skater in the area tired of doing lame tricks in your parents driveway or looking for fresh pavement in local shopping centers? Grab your helmet and pads and head to Ranney Skate Park for a real skate experience you'll never forget. Check out this video tour of the park or learn more about designers Team Pain on their website.