Upstate Today

By Greg Oliver

The Journal

CLEMSON — Having struck out on efforts to see one built in Westminster, a Clemson resident is hoping talk of building a skateboard park in his city becomes a reality.

Brady Craig, of Lindsey Road, told Clemson City Council during public session earlier this month that he wants to help move the idea forward.

“I think it would be a great contribution to the community,” Craig said. “Skateboarding was in the past Olympics, and it’s growing as a sport. There’s a lot of Clemson students getting into it.”

Craig said he has been skateboarding for 16 years and added his best relationships and the most meaningful moments of his life have come through the sport.

“I would like other people to have that opportunity to build relationships and overcome obstacles,” he said.

Skateboarding, Craig said, is more than a hobby and a way of life.

“You think about it all the time, and I think for the city of Clemson to have something for skateboarders to facilitate their passion would be a great contribution to this community, to Pickens County,” Craig said. “It would be the only skateboard park in Pickens County if Clemson decided to do that.”

Craig recalled how he and his wife worked closely with the city of Westminster for several years to see a skateboard park come about. Although late Westminster resident Rolann Lee, along with other skateboarders, managed to secure $10,000 in fundraising efforts for such a park in the city, Craig said those efforts proved unsuccessful.

“Our hope is that Clemson is large enough and progressive enough to where they could see something like that would be a contribution to the city,” he said.

Craig said he and his wife now have access to those funds that could help jumpstart a skateboard park in Clemson. The only condition he has is that a plaque with Lee’s name be placed at the park to recognize her efforts.

“That was her dream, to have a skateboard park in Westminster, because there’s nothing to do there,” Craig said. “Just having one here, people would come from all over. I drove 45 minutes yesterday to go to a skateboard park, (and) the day before I drove an hour and a half to go to another skateboard park. I know that something like that in Clemson would be a draw to many other skateboarders like myself outside the county.”

Councilman John Ducworth asked Craig to provide contact information that could be referred to the Clemson Parks and Recreation Department.

“As plans evolve, there’s hopefully opportunities for more citizen input,” Ducworth said.

Councilwoman Catherine Watt added, “It’d be a nice contrast with all the pickleball (courts).”

Last summer, the department dedicated a pump track at Clemson Park. Described as the only one of its kind in South Carolina and “a playground for people with bikes,” the pump track is designed for users of ages and skill levels and made up of a circuit of rollers, banked turns and features designed to be ridden completely by bicycle riders “pumping” or generating momentum by up and down body movements rather than pedaling or pushing. | (864) 973-6687