The inspiration for the new skate park in Nosara comes from a man whose tragic fate carried him from California to Costa Rica, ending up in Nosara, where he has built one of the most complete and modern skate parks in the country.
Eight years ago, skateboarder Kaleb Stevens, 42 years old, left the United States following the death of his girlfriend in an accident. It was a month before they were going to travel together to Costa Rica for volunteer work. Stevens and his girlfriend’s family decided to create a foundation to help Central American children, and Stevens decided to start in Costa Rica, since his father already owned a property in Playa Negra.
“My dream was to build a skate park,” said Stevens, who has been skateboarding since he was 7 years old. In 2010 he built a park in Playa Negra called “The Mutant” from 700 cubic meters of cement. Stevens said that the first year was “good” but that people from outside Playa Negra stopped coming. He said he realized that “there are not enough people now and the town needs to grow.” Then he got a call from Erin Shay.
Shay studied art and multimedia at Colorado College in the U.S., though she worked in real estate. After discovering pilates, she arrived in Nosara in 2009 to take a teaching course. Like many foreigners, she ended up falling in love with the place and making it her home. One day she saw a youth skateboarding on the only strip of asphalt in Guiones and knew that she had to build a skate park. “I want the skate park to be a meeting point for kids,” said Shay.
That’s how Stevens came to Nosara to build Eskina Skate Parq (Corner Skate Park). The design is based on “feelings and places in the world” where Stevens has skated. In the complex there are three sections: straight street plaza, multidirectional and half pipe. The sections are connected to enable skaters to flow through their combinations of tricks, “…to be able to make dance steps tricks.” The rancho area is for kids, the pool or bowl and the half pipe are for the most advanced and the street plaza is for all levels.
In a town where surfing seems to be the favorite sport, Stevens believes that there is an important similarity between skating and surfing— they involve the same tricks. However, surfers have to depend on the weather to practice, while skaters can do so whenever they like until they “conquer the tricks.” In addition, Stevens thinks that skating is a good remedy for drug addiction, as the adrenaline rush felt during drug use can be replaced by the natural adrenaline the body produces when facing danger. To be able to skate, one has to pay attention to detail and concentrate to avoid injury or broken bones, according to Stevens.
The skate park will open for business at the end of April. According to Shay, prices are “reasonable,” and for now the plan is to teach skating lessons for all ages, starting with toddlers. Shay also wants to host concerts, fashion shows and movies at the facility.
The skate park will also be available for rent to host tournaments and national-level competitions, as it was designed so that photographers can take professional photos and videos from a variety of angles. They also installed electric lines to support cameras and broadcast live. The skate park has a skate store and the Yum! Restaurant, where a daily special will be offered for 3,000 colones ($6), along with salads, sandwiches and comfort foods.
Various local youths are already coming to the skate park to practice. Stevens is getting to know them little by little, watching how they skate at the new park. Now settled in Nosara, a new future is coming, and the satisfaction of having made his dream a reality gives him peace. “If kids want to play with my obstacles, I have done my job,” Stevens said.