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Shuttering of Port Coquitlam's only indoor skatepark disappointing to riders

Does the Tri-Cities need a covered skatepark for youth to enjoy their sport? The demise of one in Port Coquitlam has some wondering if the city could support such an amenity.

The closure of an indoor skatepark business in Port Coquitlam has disappointed local fans, boarders and riders who wonder where they can go when it rains in the city.

Jamie Mate, father of two, says his kids are sad to see the demise of The Lair Indoor Skatepark (2165-950 Seaborne Ave.), which, for two years, has welcomed all ages and skill levels of skateboarding, scootering, and roller blading.

"It's an absolute shame that these boys are losing their spot that they spend two to four hours — sometimes more — every day," said Mate, who would like to see a roofed skatepark somewhere in the city.

Mate, who monitors an Instagram feed, Pocoskateclub, says there are dozens of PoCo kids into the sport who won't have anywhere to go when it rains.


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Indoor skateparks in other cities

There are a few privately-owned indoor skateparks in Surrey and Tsawwassen, while Maple Ridge has one in the Greg Moore Youth Centre.

But they are a long way to go; the Tri-Cities needs a covered skate park, said Mate, whose kids went to Lair on a regular basis.

"This was just dropped on us a month ago."

The Lair indoor skatepark was safe and well supervised, he said, and his kids loved the place.

Luckily, the weather is improving, so kids can go to Railside Skate Park in Port Coquitlam.

Mate believes skateboarding is a sport of discipline, and trial and error that deserves more recognition.

A covered space with some rails and ramps would go along way to making recreational sports more inclusive in the community.

"If we didn't have an indoor place to play lacrosse and hockey, we wouldn’t have played it," added Mate.

Indoor skatepark needed, advocate says

Another proponent of indoor skateparks is motivational speaker and professional skateboarder Dave Jonsson, who was recently at Dr. Charles Best Secondary in Coquitlam demonstrating his skills.

Jonsson has spoken to several municipal councils about the need for an indoor skatepark and posted a video about it on YouTube.

Mate hopes the idea catches on as he looks for places further afield for his sons to enjoy the engaging sport.

Meanwhile, the closure of The Lair Indoor Skatepark this weekend will once again put skate, skateboard and scootering enthusiasts back out into the elements.

A manager at The Lair indoor Skatepark, who is also a professional scooter rider who posts tricks on TikTok and YouTube, said the venture had a lot of high costs.

Alex De Stefano said working at Lair was a "dream job" which allowed him to encourage youth in the sport he loves as well as ensuring youngsters have a safe place to skate.

To mark the closure of the business, there will be a final send off at Lair this Saturday (April 29) from 6 to 9 p.m.

According to a social media post, Lair Proshop has teamed up with Steelhead Speedshop to put on the "party" with games, contests, food and drinks for $21 entry.

A waiver is required to participate, which can be found on Lair's website.


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