Skate Park Utopia

Last fall, when the skate park was threatened during controversial plans for the Compo Beach renovation, dozens of sk8trs and their parents spoke eloquently for its survival. They described its importance for kids in passionate, athletic, community-building — even life-saving — terms.

It was spared the hook. This summer, I — and I’m sure many other Compo lovers — have looked at it with new, more appreciative eyes.

Recently, the skate park has sported a new look. Colorful, mural/graffiti-type painting has turned gray concrete into something much jazzier.

Skate park - Compo

But some Westporters wonder about the advertisement (top) for Utopia Skate Camp. It’s also visible from other angles. A bit out of place — and overly commercial — they say.

Time for an “06880” debate. What do you think about the new look of the Compo skate park? Have you had any personal experience with it? Who (or what) are these Utopia dudes? Click “Comments” — and please use your full, real name.

15 responses to “Skate Park Utopia

  1. Jonathan Berg

    No skaters in my family but I love it.

  2. I thought maybe they donated for repairs and maybe the paint for the graphics? After all, when we see these little gardens at intersections sponsored by local business who get a nice sigh for their efforts and benches and bricks with people, organizations and companies names on them for sponsorship…is it really that bad?

  3. I think the skate park should reflect the skaters’ needs/wants, as long as it’s not 50,000 feet tall or blasting music (i.e., bumming out the neighbors). As for ads, sponsors will want some kind of recognition, and where names/ads go and what they look like might likewise be best determined by the users.

  4. Bart Shuldman

    Any company using town property to advertise should pay the town for those services. If this is allowed to happen, what stops others from hanging ads in other areas of the town, including the skate park.

    Did Utopia pay for the space? Is our town collecting their fair amount to allow a store to advertise? And more important, do we want advertising signs in town property?

  5. Bart, unless they donate services in kind….like the way Kowalsky’s does with Mindy’s garden and people and corporations who have donated benches at the beach…ect.

    • Bart Shuldman

      Jamie. Good point. Does anyone know if they are donating services and what those services are?

  6. One has to wonder why this takes up space at the beach. Hard space, no drainage.

  7. Diane, because everytime I see a kid on a skateboard nailing the half pipe….they have a grin….ear to ear! It is a safe sensible and controlled environment for these kids to have fun!

  8. Utopia is a great family owned store in Norwalk. They contribute also to my passion…disc golf. By the way we just put a disc golf course in Westport!

  9. Adam Schwartz '75

    I have a son and daughter in college but 10 years ago both were active in the skateboard culture for a year or two. My daughter more so than my son. Our town has a skateboard park just like this one. What I observed was, these kids are a very close knit group of people that are set in their ways and if you leave them alone, all is good. As for the advertising, let it be. There are not a lot of stores that can accommodate this industry so letting people know that utilize this skatepark where to get what they need for their equipment and so forth is not a bad thing. They’re not taking away business from other stores because this stuff is very specialized and almost no other shop in Westport sells what they need.

    My suggestion is, just leave them alone and let them enjoy their skatepark!

  10. Laurie Brannigan

    I have 2 children fully enjoying the skate park this summer. My 11 year old has been skating there since he was 7 and now he’s one of the “big” kids and a pretty good skateboarder! My youngest just started this summer (7) and he’s hooked. I don’t know the “official ” position Utopia holds, but I can tell you we have a great instructor from Utopia, in addition to the others that have been incredibly awesome over the years. Additionally, the park has been having “free skate” on Saturdays (live at 5) and the parents kick in with food, snacks and refreshments for the kids. The kids play skateboard games for prizes, donated by Utopia.

    All in all, it’s been a VERY positive experience. All the kids, parents and staff are great, supportive and super friendly. Additionally, Utopia has steered young people who have purchased skate gear from their store to participate in our camp, which is great!! The skate camp is awesome, and my oldest son has no interest in any other camps all summer, no matter how hot it gets. It’s good, clean, outdoor fun.

  11. Bobbi Essagof

    i prefer the simple homemade look of the old park.
    For the skaters I’m sure it’s better than no park!

    • Hiroshi Asada

      I agree. I like the old solid green structure better than the new one with graffiti style paintings. It doesn’t have to be green, but I personally think a solid color that blends with the beach scenery would be nice.

  12. My son has participated in the skating camp for the past two years and loves it. He is not particularly interested in team sports, so this is a great way for him to get some exercise and have some fun outdoors. It would be great if the park was updated and open for the kids to skate more hours. The biggest kid of all in my family (hubby) loves it too, as he used to skate when he was younger. It was a great outlet for him as well. Now it is something he can share with our son. We love the skatepark and it is one of the things that pushed us over the edge when considering moving to Westport.

  13. Kathleen Brannigan Fazio

    I love seeing my nephews and other kids outside being active and having fun. There is a comaraderie amount the skaters and parents that is really great. This is surely better than sitting in front of the TV or computer!