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Latitude: 30° 30.178' N
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Alternative name Hammond, LA
Type of spot Skatepark
Designed for Skate, Roller
Good for Skate, Roller
Name Hammond Dreamland Skatepark (formally) or SmallSide (informally)
Street The corner of West Coleman Avenue and South Oak Street
State or province Louisiana
zip code 70403
Open From Dawn to Dusk
Skate Street Course, Mini Ramp, Quarter Pipe, Spine, Vertical Ramp, Bowl, Others
Urban Rails, Curb, Others
Condition Brand New
Designed/Build by Dreamland
The Hammond Dreamland Skatepark (aka SmallSide) was the result of intense efforts by several people in the skate community located in the city, namely the owner of Hammond's local skate shop (Small Time Skates), Kerry Simpson.
Prior to the construction of the park, the shop's webmaster worked for an organization called The Skatepark Association of Baton Rouge (SABR), which was a non profit organization that fought and was successful at getting statewide legislation passed that allowed local city governments to alot specified public property for the use of skateboarding (and other activities in the same vein) without fear of liability. Once the Act (Act 1199 of the 2001 LA Legislature) was signed into law by then Governor Mike Foster, the door was opened for potential skateparks to start booming.
Though Louisiana has had a number of public skateparks come into bloom, the majority of them are prefabricated metal parks, which the sole exceptions (as of this writing) being the Shreveport DC Skate Plaza (which was unfortunately built very shoddily by the city) and Dreamland in Hammond.
As it stands today, Hammond's Dreamland skatepark is the only concrete skatepark in the state of Louisiana (though Shreveport is made of concrete, it's defined as a plaza, not a 'crete park in the traditional sense). Hammond's Dreamland park was built in two phases, 10,000 sq feet were designed and built before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and roughly an additional 5,000 square feet were added a number of months after the storms.
The park and shop that helped to get it built both support and push for a very open skateboard culture... visitors are always welcome, and the sessions while often intense are also very laid back and fun. Locals are extremely approachable, as the mindset in the city is "if you skate, you're part of the family."
The link provided goes to a set of photo galleries of the park's construction and completion, as well as a number of action shots taken by (and of) the many resident skaters.
Of note: Hammond's park and the efforts to get it built were featured on an episode of Mike Vallely's television show Drive. The town, park, and two local activists (Kerry the shop owner and Neal the web-guy for the shop) were featured on part two of a two part program that Mike did on the South. The eight minute clip featuring Hammond and its park can be seen here:
There are no pad rules (skate at your own risk, and beware that this is a concrete park that has caused a number of broken bones), nor are there any park monitors. The park self regulates, purging jerks from the rest of the park users that are there to have a good time skating. On the down side, the park isn't lit, and skating at night is not allowed. If you get caught by the cops, you'll just be told to leave (that's what we all do anyway). When told to leave, go ahead and do so politely, as the officers can get a bit PO'd if you test them.
The park itself offers many different things for all types of skaters: Euro gaps, rails (including a rainbow rail), ledges, quarter pipes, banks, hips, hubbas, a manual pad, concrete flyboxes, and various transitional oddities. The centerpiece of the park however, is it's organic, semi-amoeba shaped bowl. The bowl features an 11 1/2 foot over-vert clamshell, a six-to-five foot spine, a birdbath, several tight and loose pockets, a roll in, and heights that vary from the 11 1/2 ft clamshell to corner pockets as low as 4 1/2 to 5 feet. Every lip in the bowl is lined with steel coping. The concrete is very smooth, making reverts very possible, though some people riding extra hard wheels (like Powell STFs) run a slight risk of slipping out of high speed carves in certain circumstances. Many people skate the bowl with hard wheels (STFs included), but they tend to have the nuances of the place worked out to such a degree that they know how to ride the bowl with them. I don't mean to make the bowl sound slick (it's not), it's just very, very smooth, as is the rest of the park thanks to Dreamland's obsessive attention to quality terrain. Come over, meet the locals, and have a great time.
By Garry , 03-03-2008
Desent - Look this skate park is GIANT!! Unles your able to do some pretty sick stuff your not gonna like it. Everything in the place is like double sized! Burt other that that its a cool place to skate!
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