Rocky Anderson was in Grade 8 when the first boarders barrelled through the spirals of Seylynn skate bowl in 1978.
More than 35 years later, the park has earned the right to be preserved as part of North Vancouver's history, according to Anderson, who is currently campaigning to have the spot recognized as a heritage site.
A Facebook page promoting Anderson's campaign has been liked more than 400 times.
The sound of polyurethane wheels gliding over graffiti-emblazoned asphalt has long been sweet music for Anderson, who describes Seylynn as the grounds where he bonded with his son.
"That's when this park really, really became important to me, when we started skating there together," he says. "We've both broken bones there and left blood behind. .. but that's actually endeared us to the park and made us closer to the park, having both broken bones there and healed and gone back."
But while Anderson's bones have mended, Canada's oldest skatepark has deteriorated.
"It's damaged everywhere from tip to tail," said the personal trainer and kickboxing studio owner.
Adorned with temporary patches and rife with divots and cracks, an expert needs to inspect the site. Besides esthetic concerns, the potential for erosion and hollow spots also constitute a risk to boarder's safety, according to Anderson.
"Let's make sure that our District of North Vancouver and the developers do the right thing, and in my opinion what that is is bringing the park back to its former lustre," he said.
The Lower Lynn park is adjacent to a development boom in the District of North Vancouver, with three of the North Shore's tallest buildings currently taking shape in nearby Seylynn.
The district has no plans to remove the skate bowl, but the prospect of new neighbours has made Anderson skittish over Seylynn's future.
"I think of these guys in their ivory towers looking down on this park, and they see this decrepit, old, unkempt slab of cement with all this graffiti on it:
that's not what they want to look at. That's not what they want in their backyard," he said. "There's a group of us that are very, very concerned about what's going to transpire over the next little while."
Since undertaking this initiative, Anderson said he's heard from skateboarders from Japan, Sweden and Mexico who all want to help preserve the "cultural treasure."
"I don't think this is a skateboarding initiative, I think it's a Canadian
initiative," he said. "I want to skateboard with my grandchildren there."
The district is currently mulling over revitalizing Bridgman and Seylynn parks. One part of the review will explore ways to improve the skate bowl, according to district communications officer Jeanine Bratina.
Anyone with a strong opinion on Seylynn and Bridgman parks is invited to join an open house slated for 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 23 at 1370 Crown Street.
© Copyright 2013