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A space to skate
TNT Skateboarding launches indoor park
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Chase Turner, 13, skates at the skate shop TNT Skateboarding Tuesday afternoon. Turner has been skating since he was 6. - photo by Emily Saunders
Luke Davis has been skateboarding for six years. He says he's been to a lot of skate parks, and knows what makes some successful while others flop.
What he likes about TNT Skateboarding, the only skate park in Forsyth County, is the feeling of "community" he gets when he walks in the door toting his board.
"It's an amazing place to come," said the 17-year-old, who has become a regular at the indoor park, which opened June 7. "You always know you're welcome here."
And that's just the way the owners envisioned it.
Tracy and Tim Clark funded the opening of the 20,000-square-foot building in central Forsyth County for many reasons.
For one, they were tired of toting their kids, Ivey, 15, and Skyler, 13, to other skate parks, many of them no closer than an hour away.
"I've had so many moms coming up to thank me for this," she said. "I tell them this is a gas-saving campaign for Forsyth County moms."
Tracy Clark said some parents drop off their children on the way to work and pick them up on the way home.
"It's a safe place for kids," she said, adding the park has security guards and monitors at all hours.
Tim Clark is the head security guard and co-owner of the park.
"I'm so glad we did this," he said, smiling as he watched skateboarders dip and dive through the park. "It was a lot of work, but it was worth it."
He isn't alone in the security department. As a precaution, the park beefs up staff on weekend nights.
For safety purposes, all skateboarders must sign a liability waiver. Only skateboarders and inline skaters can ride.
Tracy Clark said no bikes are allowed, though they may eventually incorporate BMX riders into the park.
Plans are coming together for an outdoor Forsyth County skate park that will allow both bikers and skaters to practice their craft.
California skate park designer Wally Hollyday submitted a final blueprint to the county featuring the 20,000-square-foot concrete obstacle course, which is planned for Fowler Park at Hwy. 9 and Castleberry Road.
Many local skateboarders have watched with excitement as plans have come together for Fowler Park, which stands to receive $18 million from a $100 million bond for parks, recreation and green space that voters approved Feb. 5.
Construction on Fowler Park, which includes many other recreational fields and facilities, could begin as soon as the county begins the bidding process for construction.
Tracy Clark welcomes the concrete park in Forsyth, applauding the county for its effort in pulling plans together.
"Fowler Park is going to be great," she said. "It's different from what we're doing, but it's great."
She said TNT will be able to provide better supervision than in a public park-type of environment.
TNT's skate shop features boards, board accessories, skate videos and apparel. Tracy Clark said it's one of the advantages of having children who enjoy the sport.
"I take what I see at home and I portray it here," she said, adding that inspiration for the park's "chill-axin'" room, a 2,000-square-foot recreational area with a big screen TV, came from watching her children and their friends at her home.
"Everybody gets together in the living room, and they watch skate videos," she said. "The 'chill-axin' room is my living room on a larger scale."
Chase Turner, 13, said he enjoys the "relaxed" environment.
He's been skating for seven years, and said other parks he's frequented don't compare to this one.
"Others are good," Turner said. "This one's better."
It's not just skateboarders enjoying the park. John Sorrow, 14, said the park works well for inline skaters. He's been doing it for four years, and he said TNT is "great."
"I like this park," Sorrow said. "The mini-ramp is cool, and there's lots of space."
Memberships are available at the skate park, but you don't have to be a member to skate. The park is located at 1375 Weber Industrial Drive.
Four-hour sessions at the skate park cost $5 for members, while nonmembers pay $8 per session. An annual membership runs $35.