INSIDE "The Shred"

27 March 2016

The Shred, an indoor skate park aimed at Skateboarders, Rollerbladers and BMX riders, owned by Jamie O’Brien and Marc Baker. Not the normal topic of conversation found on our website or social media but this past Thursday I attended one of their BMX nights as a family event and was so blown away by what they are accomplishing, I felt the need to spread the word as much as possible.

Jamie and Marc created this park with the sole purpose of creating a SAFE and FRIENDLY area for people of all ages to enjoy and practice the sports they love. I emphasize the words “safe” and “friendly” because those are two words one never associates with skate parks. We are all familiar with the horrors that happen in our own back yard of Durbanville Skatepark where my own brother has been mugged at knife point, The Shred aims to remove that fear and problem completely. They are equipped to handle children from the ages of 3 onwards, they offer food like hotdogs and toasted sandwiches, many drinks and snacks to choose from and a safe environment. Parents often drop their kids for hours at a time knowing they are going to be okay, I left my laptop bag with my laptop unattended and there was zero fear of theft. On top of that they offer birthday party packages and the venue is available to hire for events. This close knit and friendly community aims to change the way people see the sport of Skateboarding and BMX riding completely.

The number one challenge they face is funding, with government funding almost exclusively for the uplifting of underprivileged areas and very little going to “rich” areas. Valhalla Skate Park is a perfect example, an estimated R4.5 million was used in developing one of South Africa’s most well designed and professional Skate Parks but in an area the average skateboarder and BMX rider is too scared to go. Jamie and Marc hope to do what the government refuses to do, build skate parks in “rich” areas, not because the surrounding people will now be even more “privileged” but because personal safety and security is better for everyone who wishes to use the skate park.

Jamie and Marc hope to grow and develop more skate parks like The Shred all around South Africa and eventually into Africa itself. The next challenge being Edgemead Skatepark where they constantly battle with the local municipality to keep it open, the presence of a graffiti artist has threatened the closure of the park. They hope with the growing support from the community and sponsors they will be able to open new parks and restore old parks. Marc, who has been working with California Skateparks for the last 5 years, has built parks all over the world for the X Games, Dew Tour, Vans US Open and Street League. With this expertise coming to SA we should be expecting some amazing things in the future. 

Myself and Giant Durbanville stand behind Jamie and Marc for what they are doing, we hope they are able to achieve bringing safer skate parks to Cape Town and South Africa where children will be safe and comfortable to do what they love.

For more information find “The Shred” on Facebook or contact them on 021 510 2918, they are located in Paarden Eiland, are open 7 days a week.

By Jannik Joubert.