Skaters gonna skate


August 2, 2019

Caleb Swanson

Kids of all ages and sizes were watching and skating Friday afternoon when team members from the 3rd Lair skatepark and skateshop in Golden Valley came north to the nearly new Cloquet skatepark for an afternoon of "epic skateboarding" and more.

Newish park in Cloquet hosts first big event

Skinned knees and bruised shins were a fate no one escaped as the Cloquet skatepark was transformed into a chaotic gauntlet of scooters, bikes, skateboards, and flying bodies Friday, thanks to a visit from Golden Valley's 3rd Lair Skatepark and Skateshop - which hosted a skateboarding demonstration, clinics and contests for local kids.

While the event came 10 months after the $420,000 skatepark opened in Cloquet, it felt a little bit like an opening day party. There was music, prizes, food, tips from the 3rd Lair team, and lots of fun. They showed off every part of the 6,000-square-foot park - quarter pipes, handrails, banked ramps, a bowl, stairs and a ledge - and kids got to enjoy free pizza, win prizes and, of course, skate.

There was plenty to see and do. The talented riders from the 3rd Lair team came all the way to Cloquet for "some epic skateboarding at a brand new park," said 3rd Lair's Oskar Barrett.

"Some epic skateboarding" was an understatement: With every flat surface covered by bodies of onlookers and every grindable, slidable, "jump-overable" surface being used by the 3rd Lair team and local kids who came to participate, the Cloquet skatepark was nonstop action noon to 2 p.m. and beyond.

The master of ceremonies for the event, Barrett said that their plan for the day was to "put on a demo for the kids, doing a little bit of lessons - the how tos, and the ins and outs of skateboarding - and just having fun."

The 3rd Lair offers lessons and a great environment to master any trick a skater could imagine. The skatepark in Cloquet doesn't officially offer lessons, but it is the same type of environment that 3rd Lair offers, and kids there teach each other, and look out for each other too. All ages use the park.

"There just isn't a lot to do in town for kids besides the beach and some parks, but the skatepark makes the summer fun for skateboarders, scooter riders, bikers, rollerbladers," said Brady Hall, a recent Cloquet grad who was part of the group that lobbied the city over a period of years to build a new skatepark . "It's a place where everyone can go and have fun together."

Caleb Swanson

3rd Lair team rider Gregg Clover kickflips over emcee Oskar Barrett for the crowd of onlookers on Friday, July 26 at the Cloquet skatepark 3rd Lair event.

Friday's event included a best trick contest for skateboarders and scooter riders. Prizes were handed out to the participants who pulled off the most impressive tricks or persisted until they landed the trick they had been working for.

"Most of every day," is how Kaiden Farmer answered when asked how much time he spends at the skatepark in Cloquet. People passing by the skatepark on 14th Street and Prospect Avenue can see the 12-year-old and his friends practicing, playing, or just hanging around everyday. Having an outlet to spend time and focus on a goal is important for anyone, and to many kids that means spending hours every day at Cloquet's skatepark.

Check out video from the event on the Pine Knot News Facebook page.


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