|The Wall Street Journal Skateboarding Video|
|Key Holder Skateboard club: The Dos Bowl|
It’s now been a decadelong since the 2000 boom in free public skateboard parks all across the USA. But more and more OGs are turning to private cooperatives, or "key clubs," that are open to a handful of members and guests. They charge dues and maintenance fees that allow members—most of whom are over 30—to ride in a controlled environment free of the nonpaying skaters, scooters and Rollerbladers who clog up public skateparks.
There's no official listing of skateboard key clubs, since being hidden is sort of the point. Most are tucked away inside industrial warehouses, and their members tend to be cagey about the location and stingy with the invitations. In addition to Minneapolis, cities including Omaha, Neb., Portland, Ore., Madison, Wis., and Seattle, all have some kind of private skate club scene. There are probably dozens more: In the Chicago area, temporary clubs pop up every winter. Other parks, like New York's now-defunct Autumn Bowl, have come and gone.
The growth in key clubs has risen in tandem with skaters' age. The first skateboarders are now well into their 50s, leaving an abundance of over-30 skaters with the means and attitude to maintain a private facility. Also, while younger skaters tend to prefer the street style of skateboarding that plays out in downtowns and schoolyards, older guys are drawn to ramps and bowls that are easier on the knees.
It's not the first time that the Key Skateboard Clubs are featured in the press. In 2009, the Hiawatha was already featured in that article.
There are also a couple of those warehouses in California, but you will have to look for yourself to find them.
Read more from Conor Dougherty/The Wall Street Journal