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Stoked about the Syracuse skate scene

A lifelong skater and SU graduate student is on board with local skaters even if it's not quite Philly, NYC or other big cities.

Syracuse isn’t a hot bed for skateboarding, right? Think again.

While it may not compare to the bigger cities like New York City or Philadelphia, Syracuse still has a thriving skate scene. With three parks within 10 minutes of Syracuse University and others within an hours drive, it’s easy to find a park that fits your needs, year-round.

Check out 10 CNY skate parks, including details, locations, photos and videos.

Brandon Gomez, a Syracuse University media studies graduate student and skateboard enthusiast, was also one of the skateboarders who helped create the skate park at Ormond Spencer Park in Syracuse.

In the following intwerview, Gomez describes his affinity for skateboarding and his feelings about the Syracuse skate scene.

The NewsHouse: How long have you been skating?

Gomez: "For about 12 years now. A lot of kids were doing it in my high school and I thought it was really cool. It was something I just picked up. I was one of the only one's, along with a couple others, that stuck with it."

What’s the Syracuse skate scene like?

“It’s a tight-knit community. Everyone kind of knows one another. It took me about a year to get into it and figure who’s who and just find friends that skate and stuff. So it took about a year to find places to go and people call and things like that.”

How does it compare to your hometown?

“I’m from Coatesville, Penn., about 40 miles outside of Philadelphia. Philadelphia is one of the biggest cities on the East Coast for skateboarding. We have thousands of skaters out there and a lot more parks and it’s still growing. Whereas out here there’s only about 100 or so kids that really skate. But it’s still good out here.”

Brandon  GomezWhat’s your favorite park to skate?

“Ormond Spencer Park. It’s a real skateboarder’s mentality out here. It’s run by skaters for skaters.”

How did you first hear about Ormond Spencer Park?

“This past summer, I heard about it through word of mouth. At first it was just, ‘Hey, there’s an old tennis court with a box and a rail.’ Then more people started hearing about and coming by and it started growing.”

What happened when people tried shutting it down?

“People in the neighborhood were worried about safety. The cops started coming every time we came here. Eventually we got a hold of Pat Driscoll, the head of Parks and Recreation in Syracuse. We had a meeting with him and about 20 or 30 skateboarders came and the Post-Standard showed up. [Driscoll] was really understanding about it and real cool about it. We were eventually allowed to come here and skate.”

How do you feel about the other skate parks in Syracuse?

"Onodaga Skate Park is really good. Its a concrete park, but it's kind of poorly built. From what I heard sidewalk builders built the park, not skate park builders. You can really tell in some places becasue some parts are really rough. The one in Shoppingtown is the only real indoor park. The owner just spent a lot of money redoing it. But it gets a lot of younger kids who don't really get the etiquette of skating. You're supposed to let one person at a time go, and sometimes they just sit in the middle of the ramp, and that can be dangerous."

Is your board your primary mode of transportation? 

“I skate to class here. But in Syracuse it’s hard to get around because of all the hills. But in cities like Philadelphia where it’s flat it’s great.”

What do you do in the winter?

“I don’t skate to class in the winter. Some people have mini-ramps in their barns and stuff out here, so there’s places to go. But I snowboard in the winter.”

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