A Southern California family found a semblance of home at the newly opened Dickies Skate Plaza at Fire Station Park on May 8.

April Keller and her skateboarder sons moved less than a year ago to North Texas from Southern California – a place where the skateboarding scene remains hot and is ingrained in the youth.

“In California, there’s this big scene,” Keller said. “Even their friends back in California are excited about this park. They asked if they had been to the new skate park here. We’re trying to get them to come down here.”

Dickies Skate Plaza at Fire Station Park opened April 29 at 1616 Hemphill St. Before its grand opening, skaters would hop over a fence to skate the many features of the park, including a pump track — which is designed to allow skaters to maintain momentum without pushing.

Will Landes, 40, a Berkeley Place neighborhood resident, is eager about the new skate plaza in the heart of Fort Worth.

“There’s really no parks in the middle of Fort Worth. I would have to drive to Granbury, or Frisco, Lewisville and places like that to go skate with my friends,” Landes said. “And now that I have a kid, you know, he likes going to the skate park, too. So it’s great to have one in the neighborhood.”

Landes skated in his teens, he said, and picked up the board again in his 30s. 

“I call it like an early- to mid-life crisis. I picked it up again. I’m not as risky as I used to be. I try not to get hurt. But yeah, it’s fun. It’s a fun way to kind of clear your mind,” Landes said. 

Now, Landes takes his 5-year-old son and his daughter to Dickies Skate Plaza at Fire Station Park. 

“Skating goes through highs and lows. Right? When I was in high school, it was hot, like Chad Muska was in his prime, everybody loved skateboarding and then it kind of died for a decade or something like that,” Landes said. “And it’s hot again right now. It’s like really hot. I feel like it’s at a really high point. It’s crazy. Seeing all the different ages out at the park.”

Landes also pointed out the number of girls who skateboard now, noting that it has grown in popularity and across different demographics. He said the park is definitely going to bring people out in the neighborhood but it’s going to bring a lot of people in from other neighborhoods, too.

As for Landes and his children, they will continue to visit the skate plaza.

‘It’s a good place for me to get away and to spend time with my son. I don’t know. I’m not gonna force it upon them, but if the community is really strong this way, there’s no reason not to be a part of it.”

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...