Wheels coming off skating ramp

Lost skatepark

A deserted concrete skate ramp lies idle at Taman Botani Negara in Shah Alam.

Enthusiasts were reminded of the ramp following a video by the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur which was uploaded on its social media account on July 25.

The video shows two professional skaters – Americans Jimmy Cao and Cheryl Jumao – exploring the skate park. A text on the video reads: “Over the years Mother Nature began to reclaim what is hers”.

The ramp is clearly not maintained with bushes and grass growing.

That got two veterans wondering why the stake park was left to rot.

“It was built in the early 90s, during my infancy in stakeboarding,” recalls Ahmad Fadzil Musa or better known as Pa’din Musa.

“I guess the ramp wasn’t a hit because it wasn’t easy getting to the park. Also, the design of the ramp is not conducive, especially for beginners.”

“I’m not too sure why no effort was taken to popularise the stake park. It has been left to rot over the years. It’s such a shame,” Ahmad Fadzil adds.

The Taman Botani Shah Alam, developed in the late 80s, was then known as Taman Pertanian Bukit Cerakah. The park is managed by the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry.

Johari Fitry Khairuddin, popularly known as Joe Ipoh, agrees that the design of the ramp is flawed.

“It’s been around for ages. I wish there more thought had been put into the design and its accessibility,” said Johari.

“It’s not just about building avenues for us to skate but building it right. In the US, people are moving away from building skate parks and building skate plazas instead. It’s smaller, safer and one can execute more manoeuvres.”

He says those wanting to design skate ramps should talk to the experts before embarking on the project.

“Talk to us. We are willing to assist. After all, we know what works and what doesn’t.”

The issue of stake parks being poorly built or not maintained is not new.

In its early days, the skate park at Bukit Kiara got wet each time it rained, causing the ramp to be slippery, due to a flawed roof design.