For those who may not know, a skate park is a purpose-built recreational centre exclusively for skateboarding, BMX freestyling, scootering, wheelchairs users and aggressive inline skating – we are lucky enough to have a full-on retro, 1970s park right here in Harrow!
Many skate parks are equipped with half pipes, handrails, funboxes, vert ramps, stair sets, quarter pipes, ledges, spine transfers, pyramids, banked ramps, full pipes, pools, bowls, snake runs and a variety of other objects.
Harrow Skate Park, or Harrow Solid Surf, is among the only two shotcrete skate parks built in 1970s and still operational. It is perfectly located next to Byron Park and Harrow Leisure Centre. Largely, due to its age and infrastructure, it is recommended as one of the most popular and commonly visited in comparison to other classic ’70s design parks worldwide.
Plans for the skate park were drawn up in 1976 and it was completed and open to the public just two years later in 1978. The main design architect was Adrian Rolt assisted by Jim Rennie and Rodga Harvey. The design of the pool is a replica of the keyhole pool at Skateboard Haven in Spring Valley California.
The latest features added include a concrete halfpipe, the pool, a street section with a concrete bank and a wooden quarter pipe. The exceptionality of the site is depicted through the UK skateboarding, roller skating and BMX scene and is used as a place for the public to chill out and socialize along with the chance to ride the ramps.
Over decades since 1970, it has been the preliminary base for many professional skaters and BMX users such as Steve Douglas. Its worth has been renowned by the leading architectural historian, professor Lian Boeder, who stated that it was used in 1980 by the best-known London skaters and Harrow regulars.
Over the years, there have been a number of threats to close the skate park and it was in fact, out of operation for a couple of years during the ’80s however in 2003 it reopened after refurbishment and received a grand opening ceremony attended by the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority and Minister of London.
It operates free of charge from 09:00am till dusk. You can access the park via Byron Recreation Ground in Wealdstone. The popular singer-songwriter Kate Nash, a native of Harrow, has recorded parts of her music video for “I Hate You This Christmas “ at the park.
Enjoy the facilities in the skate park and have fun reconnecting with other skaters, both beginners and experienced, and you could even be lucky enough to gain a tip or two.