With an influx of snowboarders looking to hone their skills in the warmer months it’s no wonder that Whistler is now home to Canada’s second largest skate park, measuring a whopping 50,000 square feet. The long flowy lines and smooth surface make it a skaters dream as they can carry speed and momentum, preserving energy for hitting the street-style ledges, rails and ramps.
Located amongst the fir and cedar trees, right next to the Fitzsimmons Creek this is a picturesque spot to be part of, or watch, the action. Its natural setting isn’t the only visually appealing thing about the park, local artists have had a hand in making it really pop. Baz Carolan and Kris Kupskay (kriskupskay.com) are two names synonymous with the art scene in Whistler, and you can see their distinctive illustrative designs all over the park.
The park was originally built in 1991, but since then has had two more phased upgrades in the late 90’s and most recently in 2016. The recent expansion saw the municipality working directly with the Whistler Skateboard Association, a grassroots community group that was established in 2006. It’s this coming together of minds that has made it one of the best skate parks in British Columbia, and something the Whistler community is incredibly proud of.
Did You Know?
The area where the skate park sits was once called “Munsterville”. It was named after Andy Munster who used to squat in the area back in the 70’s as there was very little in terms of accommodation in Whistler at this time and keen skiers had to improvise. This area was actually next to the village dump – a convenient place for Andy to get his building materials. In 1979 the squat was burnt down and Andy had to move into a more legitimate space. He’d gained some good skills and in the 2000’s he started his own construction company building some of the multi-million dollar mansions that line the valley today – not bad for a squatting ski bum!
Even if you’re not a skater, the park is an exciting place to experience. There are a few picnic tables closer to the creek that are perfect spots to eat a sandwich while being wowed by skate skills.
“The skate park was a perfect freedom canvas. The content was chosen with consideration to this demo – I wanted to make sure that the stuff I was painting would be appreciated by the dudes that spent the most time there. Every once in a while I would even take requests. A lot of the guys in there have good ideas of what to put where next and I’m always stoked on a challenge.” – Kris Kupskay