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Best Skaters' Haven 

Orkin/Hsiang Memorial Skatepark

After months of delays, the Orkin/Hsiang Memorial Skatepark in Berkeley is finally ready for some serious action athletes. The kiddie pool has four-foot drops, while eight-foot drops challenge the big riders. The double-bowl makes for a nice trick or two for you showoffs, and let's be honest, we all are. The street course is wide open. Speed the corners or pop off the hips. But try to hit up this park before school gets out, else you'll be throwing elbows for space. Any crowd beyond ten skaters makes for a few collisions and some verbal abuse. Night is also a good time to ride; the park has lots of lighting and is open until 9:30 p.m., after curfew for the younger set. There's one downside: the park is often closed because of the infiltration of hazardous materials (part of the reason for delays was groundwater contamination), so call ahead. Other than that, this 18,000-square-foot park, designed by Site Design, is a great ride for both rookies and pros.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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