OU skateboarding club settling into new park

Jake Alsko

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Oakland University’s official skateboarding club recently found a new home in Vert Village in Lake Orion. The facility is currently geared toward BMX dirt racing but plans for a skating-oriented section of the warehouse are now underway.

The club’s original park, City Grind Skate Park, closed this May.

“(The facility owner’s) got pretty elaborate plans but he says that the way he’ll be working on it, he’ll just keep on adding slowly and slowly to it so we’ll be able to still enjoy it,” 23–year-old skate club member Ryan Adams said. 

The owner of the facility also owns a moving company, in addition to the BMX track. The track is made out of wood and is on a cement-painted floor.

Adams said the BMX track surface can be hard to skate on as a skateboarder, but that doesn’t prevent the club from having fun when they meet there every Wednesday.

The skateboarding section is still tentative, but Adams says a one-year timetable would be reasonable.

The club always carries a 12-man group, but has had 20-25 skaters at certain times due to non-OU students and high school seniors also participating, 27-year-old club founder Chris Arellanes said.

Adams, who began skateboarding when he was 19, was on the club’s original skating roster when the club was created in October 2011.

“I had always thought about starting my own skateboarding club, but I figured since there was already one in existence I would just try to help this one,” he said. “I just joined it and Chris and I kind of bounced ideas back-and-forth, and I’ve been a part of it ever since.”

While the club sticks to their core 12-man rotation, both Adams and Arellanes encourage newcomers, regardless of their experience or lack thereof.

“Join if you’re looking to get better at skateboarding,” Adams said. “We’re all kind of comfortable with each other’s skill sets, and we push each other further to learn better tricks.

“Everyone in the club is super patient so there’s really no skill set required.” 

In addition to just practicing with each other, the club also participates in several contests out-of-state.

The skateboarding club requires only a one-time $25 deposit to join. Once skaters pay the fee, they can use as many boards as they choose for the skate team.

If a skater decides to leave the club, they have the choice to either take back the $25 deposit or keep their board.

For more information on the OU Skateboarding Club, visit orgsync.com/48963/chapter.