Northbrook skate park features California-style 'bowl'

  • Nick Auberger of Elkhorn, Wis., goes downward into the "California bowl" on his scooter as Daniel Mudrick, 12, of Northbrook watches at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook recently.

      Nick Auberger of Elkhorn, Wis., goes downward into the "California bowl" on his scooter as Daniel Mudrick, 12, of Northbrook watches at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook recently. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Nick Auberger of Elkhorn, Wis., goes airborne on his scooter as Daniel Mudrick, 12, of Northbrook watches at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook recently. Auberger said his family had come to Northbrook to purchase a vehicle fender at a nearby body shop, and dropped him off at the park for a short while.

      Nick Auberger of Elkhorn, Wis., goes airborne on his scooter as Daniel Mudrick, 12, of Northbrook watches at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook recently. Auberger said his family had come to Northbrook to purchase a vehicle fender at a nearby body shop, and dropped him off at the park for a short while. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • James Schnettler, 13, of Northbrook makes a jump on his scooter at Northbrook's Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park.

      James Schnettler, 13, of Northbrook makes a jump on his scooter at Northbrook's Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Daniel Mudrick, 12, of Northbrook catches some air at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook.

      Daniel Mudrick, 12, of Northbrook catches some air at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Nick Auberger of Elkhorn, Wis., goes airborne at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook.

      Nick Auberger of Elkhorn, Wis., goes airborne at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Aerial view of the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook. Most of the inner shapes are concave in this overhead view.

      Aerial view of the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook. Most of the inner shapes are concave in this overhead view. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Daniel Mudrick, 12, of Northbrook picks up speed at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park.

      Daniel Mudrick, 12, of Northbrook picks up speed at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • James Schnettler, 13, of Northbrook jumps on his scooter at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook recently.

      James Schnettler, 13, of Northbrook jumps on his scooter at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook recently. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • A Cheech and Chong skateboard belonging to Adrian Roberts of Schaumburg rests on a bench at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook recently.

      A Cheech and Chong skateboard belonging to Adrian Roberts of Schaumburg rests on a bench at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook recently. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Philip Morreale of Northbrook manages to stay on his skateboard as he goes airborne at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook recently.

      Philip Morreale of Northbrook manages to stay on his skateboard as he goes airborne at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook recently. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Mason Lichtenstein, 10, of Deerfield wears protective gear while riding his skateboard at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook recently.

      Mason Lichtenstein, 10, of Deerfield wears protective gear while riding his skateboard at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook recently. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Jake Fahey of Northbrook rides a rail at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park.

      Jake Fahey of Northbrook rides a rail at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Jake Fahey of Northbrook exits one of the bowls at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook.

      Jake Fahey of Northbrook exits one of the bowls at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Aerial view of the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook.

      Aerial view of the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Rob Chatterton, right, watches friend Jake Fahey, both from Northbrook, go airborne at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park recently.

      Rob Chatterton, right, watches friend Jake Fahey, both from Northbrook, go airborne at the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park recently. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Aerial view of the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook.

      Aerial view of the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Aerial view of the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook.

      Aerial view of the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Aerial view of the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook.

      Aerial view of the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/9/2020 4:43 PM

A deep "California-style" bowl that even experienced skateboarders may find intimidating lurks in a corner of the Techny Prairie Park and Fields skate park in Northbrook.

Designed for all skill levels, the 115-by-180-foot park incorporates features accessible to both novice and experienced skaters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

But on the more daunting end of the spectrum is the 15-by-15-foot bowl at the park's northwest corner. Sporting nearly vertical sides, the six-and-a-half-foot-deep bowl looks much like a swimming pool without water when viewed from above.

Northbrook Park District Recreation Supervisor Cameron Edelman said the design of the feature is unique to the Midwest and is similar to what one might find at a California skate park.

"We have the 'California bowl.' You don't see that much in the Midwest," Edelman said. "It's a little deeper than your normal Midwest skate bowl."

Skateboarder Rob Chatterton of Northbrook, who was using the park along with two of his friends, all in their early 20s, said the skate park is one of the best in the area. He describes the park as a "vert park," as in vertical, in comparison to a park in nearby Deerfield that features more ramps in more of a "street park" style.

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Chatterton said he generally doesn't skate on the deepest bowl, though.

"We've got one of our buddies who shreds that. He's straight like 'California,' he loves to skate the pools," Chatterton said, in reference to the bowls. "I usually stick to the rails and the boxes."

A rail is a length of raised metal skateboarders slide on with their boards, while a box is raised concrete used for various skating maneuvers.

In addition to skateboarders, people use scooters and inline skates at the park.

Nick Auberger of Elkhorn, Wis., visited the park with his scooter while his family shopped for a vehicle fender at a nearby auto body shop.

Starting near the entrance, Auberger's typical routine was to rapidly gain speed on a downward angle, go airborne on a ramp, then continue through either of the three bowls before landing on a flat surface at the top.

Chatterton stressed the importance of etiquette since older and younger skaters are using the skate park together, and a collision could cause injury. Skaters should pay attention, take turns, and avoid lingering at the bottom of features.

Edelman said he likes to see people of different ages come together at the skate park, and it makes him happy to see more experienced skaters helping the beginners.

"It's for everyone," Edelman said.

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