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Want to get a little backside air? Skateboard parks are the way to go

Are you a veteran skateboarder, or just eager to learn?

Whichever category you fit into, it is always good to know the coolest places to skate. I spent a few hours during the past several weekends hunting down some of the best skate parks in the Modesto area.

Modesto

My first stop was the Modesto skate park, one of the simplest I visited, located in cool, shady, Beyer Community Park. The main attraction in this park is a large, oval-shaped cement bowl. If the whole family wants to come along, there's kids play equipment nearby where your parents and baby brother can go while you skateboard. Bathrooms are near the softball field.

Oakdale

My next stop was the Oakdale skate park, a perfect place to relax after school or on weekends. Here, you can find several quarter pipes, half pipes and grind rails. When you're burnt from boarding all day, hit the shady picnic area and relax before you head home. In case you need to take a pit stop, you'll find a few port-a-potties here, too. Be sure to pack a drink because the water fountain near the street was not working. The only real drawback to the Oakdale park is that it's indefinitely closed for repairs. Bummer.

Turlock

Turlock was next on my skate park hunt. This park features an abundance of grinding rails, cement blocks and a small bowl. You'll find only one port-a-potty and a few benches for taking a break. Keep an eye out for passing cars when going to this park, as it is right on a street.

Riverbank

My fourth stop was an awesome park in Riverbank. This park has a small circular bowl, two grinding rails and several cement blocks. Cones are scattered around the park for obstacles, or you can even ollie over them. If you need to call for a ride when you're done, there's a pay phone you can use. Among one of the extravagances of this park is an actual flushing toilet. There are also bleachers, benches, a water fountain and picnic tables.

Ripon

The next weekend, I checked out Ripon's skate park. It has more bowls than your kitchen cabinet, which makes it an ideal place to learn to skate. A working restroom, similar to the Riverbank park, stands near the bowls. There are a few benches around the park, but most skaters like to sit on the grass or on the edge of the bowls. Be careful walking along the edges, because most of the bowls are pretty steep. Scooters and bikes are not allowed there.

Ceres

Next stop, Ceres. Located in the middle of a community park, it's a good place to hang out on weekends. The layout of the park mostly features concrete blocks. Many steps and huge blocks you can skate on are the main attraction here. If you get too tired and sweaty, hang out in the shade and get a drink from the two water fountains nearby. This may sound like an awesome place, but be warned, the nearest public bathroom is pretty far away.

Alex McIntyre is an eighth-grader at Oakdale Junior High School and a member of The Bee's Teens in the Newsroom journalism program.

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