Chad Caruso, of East Farmingdale, talks about petitioning for upgrades to the skatepark inside Tanner Park in Copiague. Caruso, 36, also was one of the people who petitioned in 2002 to have the skatepark built. Credit: Deborah Egan-Chin

The ride is about to get a lot smoother for Babylon Town residents who like their four wheels attached to a board. 

The nearly 20-year-old Dr. Pasquale and Marcia Ann Curcio Skateboard Park, located at Tanner Park in Copiague, is getting a complete overhaul after town officials set aside $650,000 for the work.

East Farmingdale resident and skateboarder Chad Caruso spearheaded a push for the renovation after watching its asphalt surfaces corrode from the salty air around the Great South Bay as years passed.

“It’s been overdue,” Caruso told Newsday. “I saw the basketball court getting renovated. I saw lights being put on the fields. But the skatepark was kind of getting overlooked.”

Caruso petitioned the town for the skatepark’s creation when he was a teenager and credits the place with helping keep him out of trouble. For the past 15 years he has been throwing the annual “Tanner Jam” skateboarding contest at the park and also gives lessons and films YouTube tutorial videos there.

“This is my baby,” said Caruso, 36, who works at a taco shop. “We built up such a community here and everyone is so supportive. It has a family feel.”

The existing park equipment consists of prefabricated steel-frame ramps, making for more of an “old school” skatepark, said Jason Baldessari, director of development for Spohn Ranch, a skatepark design-build firm.

The town is paying the Los Angeles-based company, which creates skateparks across the world, $19,250 as a project consultant.

The park will be upgraded to all concrete for a better riding experience and to facilitate a more creative design, Baldessari said. He noted that prefabricated ramps can cause riders to lose speed and also “face plant” when a wheel gets caught.

“We’re providing a much better, safer and more creative, more unique skate environment for the community," Baldessari added.

He said he worked with the local skater community on design input, with BMX and scooter enthusiasts also kept in mind.

The park's halfpipe is the only existing feature that will remain, making for a "dramatically different" final look, according to the skatepark expert.

The town is deciding between three designs, but the park still will have ramps and rails and the new addition of stairs, said Babylon Town Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez.

It will retain its roughly 8,000 square-foot size, he said, but the chain-link fence around it will come down to create a more “open concept.” Work on the park, which Martinez said is well-used, is expected this summer.

“What’s so cool about this place is that you find the parents that skated when they were young, and they’re still skating and now they’re teaching their kids to skate,” the town official added.

In 2010 Babylon closed the park for three years for repairs, and during that time an internal debate emerged at town hall about the park’s value due to what Martinez said is a “certain perception people have of skateboarders.”

Now part of the Olympics, skateboarding took time to be recognized as a sport, the deputy supervisor said.

“To me there’s no difference between a kid with a skateboard and a kid with a basketball,” Martinez added. “We need an avenue for all types of sports in our parks system.”

The ride is about to get a lot smoother for Babylon Town residents who like their four wheels attached to a board. 

The nearly 20-year-old Dr. Pasquale and Marcia Ann Curcio Skateboard Park, located at Tanner Park in Copiague, is getting a complete overhaul after town officials set aside $650,000 for the work.

East Farmingdale resident and skateboarder Chad Caruso spearheaded a push for the renovation after watching its asphalt surfaces corrode from the salty air around the Great South Bay as years passed.

“It’s been overdue,” Caruso told Newsday. “I saw the basketball court getting renovated. I saw lights being put on the fields. But the skatepark was kind of getting overlooked.”

Caruso petitioned the town for the skatepark’s creation when he was a teenager and credits the place with helping keep him out of trouble. For the past 15 years he has been throwing the annual “Tanner Jam” skateboarding contest at the park and also gives lessons and films YouTube tutorial videos there.

“This is my baby,” said Caruso, 36, who works at a taco shop. “We built up such a community here and everyone is so supportive. It has a family feel.”

The existing park equipment consists of prefabricated steel-frame ramps, making for more of an “old school” skatepark, said Jason Baldessari, director of development for Spohn Ranch, a skatepark design-build firm.

The town is paying the Los Angeles-based company, which creates skateparks across the world, $19,250 as a project consultant.

Chad Caruso, left, skateboards recently with Griffin Vogel at a Copiague...

Chad Caruso, left, skateboards recently with Griffin Vogel at a Copiague skatepark that is slated for a $650,000 overhaul. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

The park will be upgraded to all concrete for a better riding experience and to facilitate a more creative design, Baldessari said. He noted that prefabricated ramps can cause riders to lose speed and also “face plant” when a wheel gets caught.

“We’re providing a much better, safer and more creative, more unique skate environment for the community," Baldessari added.

He said he worked with the local skater community on design input, with BMX and scooter enthusiasts also kept in mind.

The park's halfpipe is the only existing feature that will remain, making for a "dramatically different" final look, according to the skatepark expert.

The town is deciding between three designs, but the park still will have ramps and rails and the new addition of stairs, said Babylon Town Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez.

Massapequa resident Lena Espinosa slides down the halfpipe recently at...

Massapequa resident Lena Espinosa slides down the halfpipe recently at a Copiague skatepark that is slated for a $650,000 overhaul. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

It will retain its roughly 8,000 square-foot size, he said, but the chain-link fence around it will come down to create a more “open concept.” Work on the park, which Martinez said is well-used, is expected this summer.

“What’s so cool about this place is that you find the parents that skated when they were young, and they’re still skating and now they’re teaching their kids to skate,” the town official added.

In 2010 Babylon closed the park for three years for repairs, and during that time an internal debate emerged at town hall about the park’s value due to what Martinez said is a “certain perception people have of skateboarders.”

Now part of the Olympics, skateboarding took time to be recognized as a sport, the deputy supervisor said.

“To me there’s no difference between a kid with a skateboard and a kid with a basketball,” Martinez added. “We need an avenue for all types of sports in our parks system.”

Skateboarding Slang

air: riding with all four wheels off the ground

carve: to skate in a long, curving arc

grind: scraping one or both axles on a curb, railing or other surface

ollie: a jump performed by tapping the tail of the board on the ground

kickflip: a variation on the ollie in which the skater kicks the board into a spin before landing on it

Source: https://www.exploratorium.edu

A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday/Daddona / Pfost / Villa Loarca

Uncovering the truth about the chemical drums A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports.

A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday/Daddona / Pfost / Villa Loarca

Uncovering the truth about the chemical drums A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports.

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME