WSJ on private bowls


The Wall Street Journal (online) has a short piece on private skate spots across the country. It focuses on the age of aspect, as most of these operations are helmed by a 30 and older crew. Minneapolis gets mentioned as having an unusually large concentration (Hiawatha, Blood Bowl) but at any given time I think Portland has more. Some of them are there for a while and gone, but I can think of four going right now. Also mentioned in the article are New Yorks defunct Autum Bowl, DOS bowl in Portland and the private vert ramp facility in Seattle (More on that in a little while.) A video clip shows a cool little tunnel under the Hiawatha ramp. Conor Dougherty is the author, and if I’m not mistaken I have corresponded with him before. I think I recall him saying that he likes to sneak in as much skateboard content as he can. Check out I Say, That’s One Gnarly Grind You Just Executed: Aging Skateboarders Join Exclusive Venues to Avoid Those Darn Kids in the WSJ. (I swear that’s a punchline in one of MC’s comics.) Colin was supposed on call for an interview, but they must not have needed him. That’s a shame, cause I would have loved to see his likeness as one of those little point drawings.

– Thanks to Jeff Roenning for the tip.


  1. Um, Hiawatha, Blood Bowl and THE BURRITO BOWL yo. Don’t ignore the little guy.
    There are a total of 4 indoor private bowls (that I am aware of) right now, and 3 have been around for 3+ years, in various shapes and sizes.
    Both Hia and the BB are pretty damn impressive, size-wise.
    Maybe Portland has more, if 4 > 4.
    Or not.
    Also, your winters are for wusses.
    But your outdoor parks kick the crap out of ours, so at least you got that going for you.

    • I knew that would raise some hackles. True, our winters are a cake walk compared to the Midwest, but that’s part of the reason I moved out here in the first place!

      • Sorry, I’m just bitter.
        Anyway, Portland is rad.
        One of my best friends is in a band out there, the Bloodtypes. I need to make a trip west.

  2. kevin c on March 5, 2013 - Reply

    i have 2 bowls at my house , just near montreal canada. i hev my pear camp bowl inside with cradle. and a real cement pool outside for summer.
    i built the first indoor in my 20×30 garage when i was 38 then the pool when i was friend up the street extend his already 12 foot wide half pipe to 18 last year and he is pushing 50 ! then my friend in ottawa poored a bowl in hs back yard he is just 31. so 3 within the area. kilwag has already posted it when it was done. thanks randy , keep the stoke alive.

  3. Marc Buccigrossi on March 6, 2013 - Reply

    I am 39 and two years ago some friends and I began building a private indoor flow bowl located above the Suburban Blend Skate Shop in Jamestown,NY. Now completed, the bowls heights range from 5′ to 12′ with an oververt pocket,(3)extensions,(3)escalators a coffin door and lots of pool coping. Check out “The Jungle Skatepark” on facebook for times and info.

  4. Shameless Plug:


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