Rob Dyrdek – I just want to {build} {genuine} skate spots!


11 Rob Dyrdek   I just want to {build} {genuine} skate spots!
A NO TRESPASSING SIGN hangs on a chain in front of Rob Dyrdek’s Hollywood Hills {house} like a blunter, {} imposing version of a velvet rope. As I {approach}, Dyrdek {^hk3^} to be on his way down the front stairs that lead to the street He squints, cocks his head, and looks me in the eye with mistrust {until} I ntroduce myself, then extends his bling- ringed hand, and leads me into the garage.

“Some kid came {right here} the other day with his parents, and rang the doorbell for like 45 minutes {until} I came down,” he says. “I had to say to his parents, ‘What {kind} of parent lets their kid ring someone’s doorbell for 45 minutes?”‘ Hence the new sign. {Because} Rob and {}, the reality show starring Dyrdek and his bodyguard Chri^hk3^her Boykin a.k.a. “{} Black” premiered on MTV two years ago, the {home}-the show’s primal set-As {become} a destination for fans. Dyrdek has now {morehk41^^} with the show (“I’ve {never} been so {pleased} in my life,” he says about {having} shot the final episode a {few} weeks ago) and is moving on to a new project for which he has a {little} {} enthusiasm: designing and {developing} a network of skate spots {about} Los Angeles.
2a Rob Dyrdek   I just want to {build} {genuine} skate spots!
We walk upstairs, past the entryway with the billiards table and the ATM machine (yes, an Atm machine to the upper level with the pool “he bottom of which is painted with frescos of Dyrdek and {} as Greek Gods) and into the kitchen with the fridge {approachhk41^^} A Muster {energy} drinks ({} of Dyrdek’s {many} sponsors). {Here}, Meat, Dyrdek’s feisty omnivorous bulldog, has his teeth sunk firmly into a beach towel.

Dyrdek’s {phone} {will not} {^hk3^} ringing. “I gotta take this fuckin’ call {^hk31^} fuckin’ Fox,” he says, {two}^} in his earpiece and heading to the backyard to {^hk33^} about a new {^hk3{4}^} show. When he returns, he shows me some of the renderings of the {five}^} on his digital camera. Speaking excitedly, in a series of rapid-fire monologues like a guy whose lips can barely move {^hk36^} {^hk37^} to {^hk38^} up with his breakneck-speed brain, he lays out his {^hk39^}. “In the past I built this giant $700,000 plaza, “he begins, referring to the legendary skate park he built in his hometown of Kettering, Ohio. “I {designed} that plaza myself, to the millimeter. It took {3} years, and the {problem} was it goes {through} all this red tape and community meetings and council meetings and it has to go out to bid…” So Dyrdek realized there {may} be fewer headaches in {trying} to {create} a network of {little} skate plazas all {over} the city.
^hk41^ Rob Dyrdek   I just want to {build} {genuine} skate spots!
As {component} of his presentation to the city council, Dyrdek brought in a {four}-foot high basketball hoop with a bent rim and twisted backboard and rhetorically posited if {} could play basketball on it. The answer was, of course, ‘yes.’ “But is this the way basketball’s meant to be played?” Dyrdek asked them. “No,” came the response, “it {is not}.” Surprisingly, the city was {instantly} responsive to Dyrdek’s {concept}.

“{It is} been a dream come {true},” says Dyrdek. “As soon as I {produced} {contact} with the {} {main} dude, and he sat down with all the architects and city ^hk39^ners, he {stated} `We have 400 parks, and we’ll do a spot in {every} single {}.”‘ Dyrdek’s {goal} is to {develop} a skate spot in {each} of L.A.’s 15 districts, enabling him to {essentially} {create} {} giant skateboarding network in Los Angeles. Southern California is the epicenter of the {entire} skateboarding {company},” he says. “All the {money}, all the pros, {everything} and {however} no {} is {performing} {something}. All they do is {be concerned} about their sales… {nobody} cares about the {fact} that skateboarding is just so fucked. You got shit like the X Games and the Mountain Dew tour and all this shit that has {nothing} to do with skateboarding, and you have all these {people} {developing} these shit skate parks-concrete eyesores with fences {about} ‘em.”
22 Rob Dyrdek   I just want to {build} {genuine} skate spots!
Skateboarding evolved from backyard pools, to ramps and ultimately, skate parks, which {had been} shut down {simply because} of {insurance} liabilities. As the skate parks disappeared, {kids} went to the streets and the urban {environment} became the {standard} by which skateboarding was judged. The {insurance} laws have changed now that skateboarding, as of 1997, has been designated a “hazardous recreational activity,” {providing} cities some immunity from lawsuits. {Because} then, skate parks have {began} cropping up {again}. In the meantime, {locations} that have {become} legendary skate spots {throughout} the city have been skate-proofed with knobs soldered to handrails, giant ^hk39^ters placed in annoying {locations}, and cops and security guards posted on watch.

“The cities realized that skateboarding is {massive} and so they {develop} these shitty concrete bowls,” says Dyrdek, “and in the streets they come down {harder} on the {kids} saying `Look, you have this now.’ How do you {clarify} {that’s} not what we skate? {That’s} not what skateboarding is {anymore}.”

For Dyrdek and the {ten} million street skaters in the U.S., accessing urban skate spots has {become} {} and {} {difficult}.”It {utilized} to be like, Los Angeles was this vast lake and {everyone} could come and drink and drink and drink,” he says, metaphorically. “{Anywhere} you went there {had been} spots to skate, and now, {^hk31^} {essentially} a dry desert with a handful of muddy water holes. This is all {that’s} left so we have to drink the muddy water {simply because} all the clean water’s gone: {There’s} nowhere left to go.”

Now, in order to skate, {kids} have to sneak in, {steer clear of} security guards and cameras, break off the soldered-on knobs and go guerilla. “These two marble benches at the Department of Water and Power {developing} downtown are {} of the most {well-liked} {locations} in the city,” he says. “{It is} just two marble benches in a row, but they are world¬renowned {simply because} they are so {ideal}. You gotta go {through} this pathway, {that’s} all surrounded by water and the security {system} is in the front so you gotta sneak {about} the side past them and hope they {don’t} see you and then {try} to skate for as {lengthy} as you can. And {^hk31^} just two marble benches-{that’s} it but {^hk31^} {} of the most {famous} spots in the {world}.”

If Dyrdek can recreate {some thing} like {these} two marble benches in {} of his city¬ordained locales, he says, “It will be {} of the most filmed and sought {following} skate spots in the {world}. {That’s} how {easy} ^hk31^.” Then, I ask the {question} that apparently {numerous} have {prior to} me, {a lot} to Dyrdek’s disapproval: {Isn’t} breaking in and {obtaining} chased by cops and security guards {component} of the appeal? “No-{^hk31^} not!” he groans. “{Each}one} that {doesn’t} know {something} about skateboarding is {usually} like, `Isn’t that half the allure?’ No! We’re not {performing} it {simply because} {^hk31^} {fun} we’re {performing} it {simply because} {there’s} no legal {location} to do what we do. Our only {option} is to sneak in. If you {put} {these} {same} benches in a field {somewhere} on a slab of concrete we {wouldn’t} have to break in. We {don’t} like the {fact} that we have nowhere to skate, like ‘Oooh we’re outlaws.’ {It is} about skateboarding.”
5 Rob Dyrdek   I just want to {build} {genuine} skate spots!
Dyrdek argues that the loss of these {locations} is genuinely hurting the sport. “There are these skate landmarks {exactly where} if you go and do a trick on them, {you’re} in the game. {There’s} a 16-stair and a {ten}-stair at a {company} on Wilshire, and if you want to come up you come to the streets of L.A. You go to that rail and do a trick {that’s} {never} been {carried out}, {people} take notice. But now {these} spots that {people} built their reputations and careers on are isappearing-they {don’t} exist {anymore}. {Every thing} is skate-proof.” He himself is {fairly} pragmatic about the {situation}, and {although} he {} goes out on weekends and jumps fences to skate (“I {} run from cops to this day,” he says) he understands the businesses’ points of view as {nicely}. “A kid’s flying down a 16-stair handrail in front of your {company}-{^hk31^} not the safest or the coolest {thing}.”

{Whilst} the skate-spot network {may} {seem} {less} ambitious than the Kettering park project, Dyrdek thinks it has the possibility of {altering} the sport {entirely}, which explains his passion and dedication. “{I am} not {creating} any {money} {right here},” he says, noting that the {first} proposed {place}-a $100,000 installation in Lafayette Park at Wilshire and Rampart-will be donated by his {own} foundation. “This {is not} for {money}. This is for my sport. I have {a lot} of {money} and I have a million other projects {exactly where} {I am} going to make my {money} from. {I am} {using} my celebrity to {try} to bring awareness and make a {}-a permanent {} in the sport. {It is} going to be the {case} study model for the future of the sport for {every} city in the {world}.” {Thinking about} how {a lot} his ambition is matched by
his enthusiasm, I suspect Rob Dyrdek {may} be {right}.

Tony Owen is a web developer, skateboarder, designer, musician, traveler and blogger. Founder of Arkitecht and Skateboarding Magazine.


  1. Stevo

    July 25, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Great report. It is good to hear that skateboarders are finally getting recognized for their trials and tribulations and rewarded for it.
    I do suggest that the author of this article learn to proof-read before publishing though.

  2. Tai Kahn

    July 25, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Fuck yeah, right on Rob, you the man, taking control of stuff takes balls.


  3. Sneaker

    July 25, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    I like his idea and hope it all works out, can wait to skate the first spot.

  4. Darrell

    July 25, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    “and into the kitchen with the fridge full A Muster energy drinks ”

    typo, it should be “monster”.

    Good article though.

  5. Alexander

    July 25, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Great article.
    I agree with Stevo though. You should proof read before submitting.

  6. Rick

    July 25, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    I’m a geezer. At 60+ and certifiably a member of AARP, I’ve been the epitome of the other side.

    A couple of weeks ago, as I sipped my vente Starbuck’s Americano, I got into a beef with a couple of young skateboarders and their skateboarding mentor, the barrista who just made my drink. It was all about their blasting up and down a crowded public promenade where it is clearly marked that skateboarding is forbidden. They were being a nuisance, were loud and obviously a public safety hazard.

    The debate got heated, no one convinced the other to shift positions or opinions and everyone left angry.

    I have no clue what those skateboarders did following our exchange, but I started looking up info on the sport trying to understand the true nature of the situation. I approached it with an open mind, not merely with the intent to acquire more ammunition for a one man crusade against skateboarding, and ended up here… reading this article.

    I applaud the author and Mr. Dyrdek, I know neither and Mr. Drydek’s reputation was a complete unknown to me. I haven’t skateboarded since the days when my brothers and I nailed metal skate wheels to 1×6 planks and tried to kill ourselves negotiating a modest downhill run. (You think it’s more dangerous now, you have no clue!)

    We have a skate park here where I live. I checked it out, talked to a few kids trying to skate there and it’s a mud hole. I get the picture. I still don’t think it’s a bright idea to be doing grinds on park benches when young moms are pushing strollers nearby… I witnessed a very close call recently. Thankfully the skateboard that got away just missed the baby so it will have a chance to grow up and try the sport for himself.

    I’m going to lobby my local council and planning commission to consider upgrading our skate park to better reflect what the kids want and need. And I will point them to this article for a little insight. But no, I won’t be climbing back on a skateboard and diving off into a half pipe any time soon.

  7. chom

    July 25, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Been saying this for years.. Skating since 89 and have watched the world turn militant in trapping non traditional sports in cement pain arenas. Thats not the way to learn, thats not where people want to skate, and its not street skating (where skaters began and belong). To top it off these city owned and terribly run parks are generally within throwing distance of a police station..Not the coolest spot to hang out. I hope rob follows through. Id love to do a US park crawl and id respect him a lot more…. Watching him skate that old waterpark on way to vegas was a real treat, what a way to skate or die.!!

  8. Ryan

    July 25, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    I enjoyed this article. It is good to see skateboarding in a positive light. While I never got into skating when I was younger, most of my friends were. They said the same thing Rob did, they weren’t breaking in to break in, they just wanted to skate.

    I also agree with the above comment, use spell check man!

  9. Marten909

    July 25, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    The nearest skate park to me is a hour on the bus away, costs £6 for 3 hours and after going for a year or two I just quit. Police in my area never got off our backs for Skating. I’m not even joking, this is what an officer said after we where skating in the street: “Instead of being a niusence why don’t you go drinking on a park instead”.

    There was a strong skating community in my town, but that has all but died. It’s a shame, i fucking loved skateing and now I spend my days playing computer games because there’s nothing else to do except do drugs or drink which except from the latter (to some degree) am not interested in.

    Just wish there was someone here in the UK that could help me and my friends get back together so I can start skating again.

  10. James

    July 25, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Good job Rob. I still remember you happily giving security hell at sadlands near wright state and lincoln park by fairmont. Keep up the good work.

  11. BK

    July 25, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    ATM is short for “automated teller machine.”
    “ATM machine,” as the story currently reads, is redundant. Please remove the extraneous word from the story.

  12. Skate101

    July 26, 2008 at 6:58 am

    People also need to understand that we don’t want to skate a park which is designated for skateboarding. We want to skate the streets becuase it is just more fun. There are so many obstacles which you find on the streets that are never built in a skatepark. The point of street skating is to find an obstacle which never had skateboarding in mind when it was built, and utilize it for skateboarding. It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t skate, but if you skate you know exactly what I mean.

  13. NONEYA

    July 26, 2008 at 9:04 am

    How can you write a article that ton’s of people are going to read and not check your spelling. Take a little pride in your profession, FFS you get paid to do this for a living.

  14. Ian

    July 26, 2008 at 9:09 am

    “Here, Meat, Dyrdek’s feisty omnivorous bulldog, has his teeth sunk firmly into a beach towel.” Isn’t it Meaty.

  15. Rick

    July 27, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Ignore the nit pickers, apparently they have little of substance to add to the dialog. Better to focus on the spirit of the message, not the spelling and grammar.

    Spent this morning with the Mayor and a couple of Planning Commissioners. Shared the article with them. They understand the key points and are willing to let me pursue the renovation of our skate park.

    “If you’re not part of the solution… you’re part of the problem…” – Sydney J. Harris

  16. Pingback: ROB DYRDEK ON ANOTHER SITE | Vapors Magazine

  17. ron

    August 7, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Good on ya Rick! I’m proud that someone has opened their mind and taken a listen to both sides. Not only did you listen and make a decision for yourself, but you went out and are making a difference. You’re part of the solution. Good for you and who you are – I hope you can make not only some skaters happy, but some Mothers, babies, and other AARP members happy too! Keep us posted!

  18. RLENE

    August 8, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    I think this is a great idea, I dont skate but I am a fan and like to watch.. My little brother skates and I think that I would rather have my lil brother at a skate spot rather than being out on the streets causing trouble or hanging with the wrong crowd.

  19. amber

    August 11, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    i really admire dyrdek for this work. he has FOX calling but he is hands on with projects that benefit everyone and bring no profit. it is so easy to sit back and say “this is wrong” but to actually change it— takes real heart, soul, and brains.

    The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
    - Elenore Roosevelt

    p/s– i cannot imagine what it would feel like to be pulled in so many diff directions at once. not to mention the people like tracking him down and having the balls to go and ring his doorbell! that’s scary. i dont care how much money it would bring me to be famous- u cant put a price on happiness.

  20. Tyler Burke

    August 19, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Do work rob, do work!

  21. jazili

    August 19, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    I definitely agree with Rlene up there, kid definitely need to on the right path to do this awesome sport…, great job rob…

  22. Anthem

    August 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    As a skater, I agree with Dyrdek when he says that we (most of us) don’t enjoy breaking in or skating where it’s illegal but we have nowhere else to go. There is so much truth in that. Me and my friend live for the Lord so we’re never jerks to people that kick us out.. But they automatically assume we are so they yell and condemn us for something we love so much. Skateboarding is so misunderstood by the general public and even for a lot of skaters.

  23. Hays

    October 2, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    The DWP benches have been replicated! At the new skate plaza in Wilmington, Spohn Ranch got exact replicas of the benches built.

    They worked with P-Rod on the park and have reached out to Rob for future projects.

    Wilmington fits right in with Rob’s vision – no fences.

  24. robby b

    October 12, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    yes rob i understand u dog ive broken in to alot of $h!t ya i get kiked out somtimes but it hapens they should also make more skate parks that are free and are not all vert but some street becuse thare are diffrent types of skaters out thare and thay all got diffrent stufff to with rob on this 1

  25. robby b

    October 12, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    ya go robbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb lol thtt my name to funnyy huh

  26. Ryanoh

    November 30, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Right on, im glad to see a celebrity using his power and infulence for good. There are execptions to the rule when it comes to Sk8 parks, some of the best areas to Sk8 are industrial areas that could not be “reproduced” in an open park. I do agree with the comment that kids do need a place to hang, and skate, and not be compleatly subject to the crap/influence that can be a part of thier lives if they dont have a local spot. ive been petitioning with my city for years to buid a park for the kids in our town, I grew up riding anything, and everything and skate parks were some sort of dream in those days, i hope this article will be as helpfull/eyeopening for me, when i bring it to our town counsil. AGAIN. Rob’s da Man, Do Work….

  27. Sayvon Jones

    December 4, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Rod this Sayvon jones

  28. clayton

    December 14, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    hey i need robs addres email me at myspace thanks

  29. Dennis

    January 12, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    might not be a typo though… if they dont have monster’s* permission to use there name then it is a smarter idea to spell it “muster” b/c its close enough and real fans get the point anyways lol

  30. david

    March 12, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Nice, rob u the shit.

  31. Chris

    March 14, 2009 at 10:59 am

    quit bitching over typos

  32. tommy

    April 1, 2009 at 10:44 am

    isappearing shuld b disappearing but tha artcle kix sum ass

  33. d=)

    April 29, 2009 at 2:51 am

    Thats a real good thing that rob is doing fer us skaters. I only hope that rob will put one up in Westchester.Here, the closest park is a 45 minute drive.The closest park is Volcom.We have a tremendous population of skaters here, so i hope rob pulls through.

  34. james

    May 15, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Seriously, if you cant read through a typo and get over it no one wants to hear what you have to say

  35. rebecca

    June 12, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    rob is so fucking hot. he likes skinny dirty girls and i just want to lick his mouth omg

  36. tom

    June 25, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Rob is effin funny

  37. Cj

    July 5, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Ok, its been about a year since this was posted. Can you do an update? How is this project fleshing out? Anyone skate one of his new parks?

    I met Rob down in San Diego right about the time this article came out. He was one of the most down to earth guys I have ever met. I am sure he would be trying to pull this off even if was wage earner just like the rest of us.

    So….anything? I would like to know how this turned out.

  38. Chris

    July 25, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Rob man,bring tupelo mississipp something big man,we need a skate park. Take a look with google earth our kids have nothing to do with there time. I am almost positive everyone here wants a skate spot…Think of the money DC and Monster and we also need a skate shop

  39. Keyeontai souser

    July 31, 2009 at 11:55 am


  40. Mavachootte

    August 31, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Yo homies I was seeing some adverts about dem easy ways to get cash online I dunno if dey legit or not

    I asked my friends ’bout ‘em and dey didn’t know about them here’s som examples: Easy Google Profit

    tahnx in advnaced for you’re help homies

  41. memo

    October 22, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Is there any way that i can write directly to rob dyrdek? I just want to let him know that if he wants to make a real charity he should give to those less fortunate in this world and not give things away to people on some stupid twitter thing and be making skate spots thinking that thats his way of giving back and feeling good about it.

  42. othella adams

    October 25, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Does your skatepark need a place to lock up skateboards! I’ve got a solution “The Rack” please contact me.

  43. Bob King

    October 30, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Finally a pro skater using his status and money ( with no return profit) for good. I have skated for years and to see someone building parks to keep citations out of youngs ones records is awesome. Yes skating street is fun but that is where you go to the planning party and give them your input on it and tell them what the needs are. Dont complain when you had nothing to do with the outcome. Way to go Rob!!!

  44. tony

    March 23, 2010 at 10:26 am

    i like your show rob dyrdek fantasy factory

  45. michelle paul

    July 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    hi rob i love your show of big and rob can i get your # so we talk and are you single guy yours truely michelle paul write back asap ..thanks rob

  46. Big Rome

    August 3, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I’m and old school skater. Now my son has picked up the art, Rob can you look into building a Skate Plaza in the Upstate NY area.

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