|The interior of Skate Hard Idaho in Idaho Falls|
For years Mike DeFord and Travis Thomas have shared a passion for skateboarding. There’s one problem in Idaho, however. Several months of the year the ground is covered with snow and ice, or it’s simply too cold.
The two shared a dream of an indoor skate park, and two years ago they finally got started on making it a reality. On Saturday, Skate Hard Idaho, 1550 Jones Street, Unit H, will have its grand opening.
The business includes a skateboard shop dedicated to products and brands skaters find preferable to the mass-produced corporate products found elsewhere. “These are brands that are owned, managed and run by skaters,” said DeFord, the owner. Among others, they include Dogtown, Street Plant, Alva, Real, Toy Machine and Bones.
Alongside the shop there will be the indoor skate park, which will be open year round. The park is designed to provide skaters a diverse landscape, with ramps, rails, boxes, hips and other urban/street style objects. The park will also have “vert,” large vertical walls connected to ramps.
In addition to the park, Skate Hard Idaho is working with local youth and skateboarders to manufacture its own line of skateboards. “This has been a long time coming” DeFord said. “Skating for over 30 years, you see a lot of trends come and go but what has never gone away is the passion that skaters have. We love and live to skate. Skaters have always wanted their own place,
while the public skate parks are great they are limiting, they are often crowded and they are what they are.”
The Feb. 20 grand opening, from noon to 8 p.m., will offer free skating, with plenty of special activities.
The park is open five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Late night sessions will take place on occasion.
There are two sessions per day, noon until 4 p.m. and 4 p.m. until close. The cost to skate is $3 per session or $5 all day
For more information visit www.skatehardidaho.com