Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
An indoor skate park could open in Brandon as early as first snowfall if three skateboarding enthusiasts make their plan a reality.
The skate park — to be called The Shred Shack — is the brainchild of Taber Collens, Jordan Bradshaw and Cody Houle, who already have a 3,800-square-foot property lined up on Park Avenue East.
"As soon as we walked in there, that was it," Bradshaw said.
"I almost started crying," Houle said, adding they found themselves immediately beginning to draft a mental map of the space, including which rails and ramps would go where.
On Saturday, the trio joined other key supporters in hosting The September Sender — a skateboarding competition at the outdoor Kristopher Campbell Memorial Skate Plaza in downtown Brandon.
In addition to bringing a couple dozen members of the skateboarding community together in celebration of the sport, the event served as the first-ever fundraiser for The Shred Shack, with proceeds from food sales and a raffle going toward the effort.
Not that they’re too concerned about finances — just so long as they raise enough money to get the project off the ground.
From there on, they anticipate paid daily admission and the sale of monthly packages will help keep them in the financial black.
They’re currently writing up a business plan to figure out these nuances.
"We’re not biting off more than we can chew here," Bradshaw said. "We’re keeping it realistic."
"We’re just trying to skate and give the kids a place to skate. I’m not worried about making any profit off of this," Houle added.
Various friends in construction are helping them out by donating material and services, with some even pledging money to help cover the first month’s rent.
Although the Kristopher Campbell Memorial Skate Plaza serves the community for approximately half the year, The Shred Shack would allow skateboarders to do what they love year-round.
It’ll be heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer, and includes a washroom and office space.
Further, some skateboarders’ parents have expressed safety concerns regarding the existing outdoor skate park in downtown Brandon.
Earlier this month, the father of a kid who frequents the park was stabbed five times during an altercation near the park.
He is expected to make a full recovery, and was seen at the park the following day, but the incident nonetheless added fuel to parents’ worries.
"We want parents to feel safe dropping their kids off," Bradshaw said.
"It provides not only a safe place for the youth, we’re going to be doing things like skate camps and focusing on stuff like bringing the youth out and getting them into skateboarding. … We need kids out and about doing things out here."
While The Shred Shack is poised to offer another boost to the local skateboarding community, it has already been on an upward trajectory since Collens opened Recovery Skateshop last year.
The skate shop, at 321 10th St., filled a gap in the market left by the February 2014 closure of Senate Skate & Snow.
As Recovery Skateshop’s name implies, Collens opened it with the goal of helping the local skateboarding scene recover.
"We’ve definitely gained a lot more skateboarders and kids," he said.
"Driving around, I’m seeing a lot of kids on boards, which is not something I’d see a year ago."
The scene is diverse, with an average age range of between 16 and 25.
"There are definitely some younger kids and older dudes, too," Collens said.
"Skateboarding’s a very versatile sport."
It’s also supportive, Bradshaw said, adding he doesn’t know where he’d be if not for skateboarding and its associated community.
"No judgment," Houle said.
"That’s what I like about skateboarding; everyone fits in."
This sentiment rang true during Saturday’s skate competition, during which onlookers consistently celebrated each other’s successes and offered encouragement when competitors wiped out.
For more information and updates on The Shred Shack’s progress, visit their Instagram page online at recovery_shredshack.
» Twitter: @TylerClarkeMB
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