AIR BORNE: Wylie Spencer, 18, of Ballina, pulls off some big air at the Ballina Skate Park.
AIR BORNE: Wylie Spencer, 18, of Ballina, pulls off some big air at the Ballina Skate Park.

$260,000 extension one of the best in country

A $260,000 extension to the Ballina skate park is set to make it one of the best in the country.

The news was enough to make skater Wylie Spencer jump in anticipation. The work is expected to start any day.

It will basically double the size of the park and will include a big bowl.

A new streetscape section will include rails and ledges. Wylie, who started skateboarding in about 2005 when stage one of the facility was constructed, said 'all the guys were stoked' with the plans.

"All the older fellas especially are looking forward to the big bowl," he said. "It will be a new challenge.

"It'll make it one of the best around for sure. "Hopefully it will bring bigger comps and more demos to Ballina.

"We don't have enough of them at the moment." Cr Peter Moore, a long-time supporter of the skate park, said the extensions would lift the%facility's profile.

"Canberra has traditionally been one of the hot spots for skaters, but what we're doing here surpasses what you see in Canberra," he said.

"Professional skaters have described the current stage as one of the best in Australia. "So the additions will definitely make it one of the top destinations in the country for skaters.

"This will open the town up for bigger skate competitions." Paul Scharka, owner of Ballina skate shop Truck Stop Sk8, said there was an undercurrent of excitement amongst locals.

"A lot of the locals will be quite amazed at what it's going to be like," he said. "It's going to be pretty big and challenging. "Time to get your helmets and pads on." Mr Scharka praised the council, which carried out surveys and met local skaters to find out what they wanted in the park.

Stage two is expected to take 10 weeks to complete.



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