Local skateboarder opens a new indoor skatepark

Owner: Skaters can escape the cold and practice year round in the new facility


Photo by Kendall Ruchti

Tommy Adams, the founder and owner of Urban Roots Skatepark, said he acquired many of the ramps for his indoor park from the local YMCA located in downtown Eau Claire.

Story by Andrea Montgomery, Staff Writer

Tommy Adams started skateboarding his freshman year of high school, but the 2012 Memorial High grad had nowhere to practice in the winter months besides in garages.


When Adams graduated from CVTC in December, 2015, with a business management degree he became one of the visionaries and founders of Urban Roots Skatepark.


“There is definitely a big scene around here for skating,” Adams said, “so (skaters) need a place to go when it’s raining or when it’s winter because it can be winter for 12 out of 12 months here.”


He said this is why they decided to build an indoor park.


The park, which is housed in a 7,500 square -foot-warehouse located on 3110 Louis Ave., had its grand opening on February 5th to the public, Adams said. All skaters have to do to go in and skate is sign a liability waiver, he said. Adams said this can be done in person or online.


Adams said the skate park is constantly changing, and keeping it fresh is a way to bring more people in.


“We are always adding new things, you’ve got to keep it fresh for people,” Adams said. “We throw in new obstacles; we’ve been changing since we opened.”


Adams said he purchased the majority of the ramps from the YMCA in downtown Eau Claire and repurposed to fit the new park.


Urban Roots doesn’t only cater to experienced skaters; there are lessons for people of all ages who want to learn how to skateboard. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, experienced skaters use their skills to teach anyone who wants to become a better boarder, Adams said.


“Skating is a humbling experience anywhere you go. If there are people who are skating, you have friends automatically,” Adams said. “I didn’t know there were this many skaters in Eau Claire and I’ve been around awhile, it’s really cool to see them progress.”


He encourages more girls to come out and skate and said a goal of his is to have a ladies night eventually if they can get enough girls to come out and skate.


Jake Schmidt, a sophomore business administration student at UW-Eau Claire, said his neighbor gave him a skateboard when he was six years old and has been hooked ever since.


“The commitment it takes to be good at skateboarding, you have to spend days at the skatepark to mack down one trick,” Schmidt said. “I think a new skatepark is a great addition to our community, it will be great to have a place to practice even when the weather is bad.”


Urban Roots is open from 3 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.