Livingston skatepark, (or ‘Livi’ to the initiated) is a magical place bursting with history that stands in testament to the transformative potential that skateboarding can bring to the lives of those who come across it. Conceived as an idea following a Californian business trip undertaken by Livingston’s spiritual father Kenny Omond, and then taken on as a viable project due a confluence of factors tied into Livingston’s status as a ‘New Town’, in many ways the skatepark is somewhat of an anomaly.
Livingston was the last of the large-scale 1970’s style skateparks to be built in the UK as the initial skateboard boom was dying. The original layout – the half pipe, the twin bowl and the downhill slalom area that leads to the infamous back wall – all drew their inspiration from existing 1970’s skateparks which, by the time Livi was completed in 1980, had either all been demolished, or were awaiting demolition, ironically.
Much has been written previously on the influence of famous parks such as Hampshire’s Andover skatepark (hence the ‘Andover section’ at Livi), or Marina Del Ray’s influence on the design of Livi’s bowl so for the sake of brevity, we won’t go into that too heavily here.
If you do want to know more about the back story of Livingston and the factors that were involved in its original construction, (along with some information about the 1992 extension to the park), allow me to direct you to the Kenny Omond ‘Carved in Stone’ interview which will fill in most of the gaps.