Snake Run skate park in Albany WA gets heritage listing
A skate park in WA's Great Southern region, which winds downhill for 140 metres and was designed to simulate surfboard riding, has been placed on the state's heritage register.
Albany's Snake Run is believed to be the oldest community built skate park in Australia and the second oldest in the world.
The Snake Run was built in 1976 after a group of Albany High School students began fundraising for the project.
After they raised $3,000, the Albany council donated $10,000 and provided the land for the park.
Brothers Steven and Graham Macaulay were at the opening of the skate park and their father Jim Macaulay played a key role in getting the park established.
Graham Macaulay said skaters were relegated to practicing their moves on footpaths and roads before the park was built.
"This place was just sitting here and it was the best thing to happen to Albany as far as the kids go," he said.
Since its inception the Snake Run has attracted global attention.
World renowned skate boarder Russ Howell has travelled to Albany from the United States for 40th anniversary celebrations of the park.
"Every skate show I've been to since I've been here knows about Albany," he said.
Howell says idea behind the unique slope was to replicate the flow of waves sought out by surfers.
"The Snake Run is kind of old school. At the time skate boarding was surfing's little brother" he said.
"We were on skate boards because the waves were down and so we tried to emulate surfing."
"The Snake Run is emulating the flow of waves back and forth."
The park is the third skate park in the world to gain heritage listing.