IMAGE VIA SWITCH AND SIGNAL
Skateboarder and proud vegan Kerry Weber’s pipe dream has become a reality. Weber grew up skating the streets of Pittsburgh and is well accustomed to how the rainy season and lack of skate parks can really harsh a good skate sesh.
Now, though, the crash of bowling balls knocking over pins has been replaced with the clanking and grinding of skateboards inside the former Swissvale Arcade Lanes. Say hello to Switch & Signal Skatepark.
After removing 16 bowling lanes, Weber worked with Ramp Carnies to build 12,000 square feet of interconnected zones and ramps for skaters of all levels. So, naturally, if you love skating, the first push inside these walls will give you butterflies. No, we really mean it. Not only is Switch & Signal the first skate playland in Pittsburgh since 2001, but everything is new (and that’s saying a lot for a building built in the 1950s) from freshly poured and polished concrete to LED lights so no one will miss your really sick 360 Ollie Kickflip.
Tucked away in the city’s residential neighborhood of Swissvale, Switch & Signal Skatepark is open to anyone and everyone that wants to be part of a community, learn something new, or hone old tricks. The staff offers group lessons for various skills and ages (if you’re really, really new, they’ll even lend you a board and helmet), clinics, and private lessons.
Private lessons are $50 an hour, but these guys are dedicated to helping everyone. Besides, the community did help build this park, whether it was donating to the Kickstarter or volunteering hours to come help. So it makes sense that there’s a reduced entry fee for the youth (18 and under) living in Swissvale and surrounding areas as well as selective-admission classes.
Switch & Signal might be close to the busway, but it’s not close to any food considered healthy. Yep, D’s Six Pack and Dogs didn’t make the healthy list. A cafe is set up inside the skatepark and offers pre-packaged food from local vendors, juice, and ethically sourced coffee. What’s better? The cafe isn’t limited to skaters. Anyone can stop in and grab a snack. Be careful if you do though — the all-around good vibes might convince you to drop in for a session.
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