The Grind: In Search of the Ultimate Ride
The Wood River Valley’s fast-track to total skate park domination
Colter Brehmer: 50-50
Lots of kids at the Ketchum skate park like to ask people if they can drop in on this over-vert corner. Most can’t … and won’t … even consider it. Colter Brehmer doesn’t need to prove anything because he can do crazy 50-50 grinds all the way over it—even in the dark.
We have a lot of room to brag about outdoor activities here. This place is literally full of world-class stuff like skiing, mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing and … skateboarding. Really? Skateboarding? That’s right. Both Ketchum and Hailey are home to amazing skate parks built during the early 2000s. Both parks evolved from the humble beginnings of weathered, wooden ramps to the unique concrete works of art they are now. Skateboarders embrace the do-it-yourself approach to making things happen and the locals here were no different in getting these parks started through grassroots fundraising and lots of volunteer hours helping tie rebar down at the parks. Both parks have also had additions or remodels somewhat recently, making them world-class places to skate. Here we highlight not only the unique attributes of the Valley’s two parks, but some of the skilled skaters who ride them.
Brian Drussel: Ally-Oop
The slanted wall in Ketchum is the most heavily skated feature in the park. It offers almost endless possiblities for those with the ability to ride it. Brian Drussel snaps onto the wall via a stylish frontside ally-oop from the quarterpipe below.
Quinn Baser: Stair Gap
Before last summer’s expansion, the Hailey skate park, built in 2003, didn’t offer many options to skate street-type features. Luckily skateboarders are a creative breed and will find a way to make any feature work with their style. Quinn Baser takes a hard-to-get-to route over the top.
Jens Peterson: Ollie Fakie
Even though the new section of the Hailey park is far more popular and widely used than the older park ever was, those who want to go as fast as possible will always turn to the large, perfectly shaped transitions of the original park. The full-pipe right in the middle can be skated in a handful of ways, through it, over it, or in Jens Peterson’s case, with an ollie to fakie.
Ben Parker: Tuck Knee
This deep bowl in the far end of Ketchum is the only surviving feature from the era of the blue ramps. Although it was reshaped when the rest of the current park was built in 2005, this bowl has a lot tougher feel due to its size and rough pool coping. Ben Parker flows from the new to the old with a frontside air over the love seat.
Michael Walty: Blunt Fakie
Michael Walty is part of the Dreamland Skateparks crew, the contractor that built both Hailey and Ketchum skate parks. Last summer, Dreamland returned to Hailey to slap a street section on as a way to complement the burly transitions that have made the Hailey park famous. Enjoying the fruits of his labor, Michael tests one of the unique rock features with a blunt to fakie.