Kambah u-pipe here to stay... for now
'Ride within your ability'... President of the Canberra Skateboarders Association Luke Brown, at the historic Kambah u-pipe. Photo: Jay Cronan
This piece of concrete comes with a warning: skilled users only.
Located amidst the trees in the Kambah Adventure Playground, the facility is well known to skateboarders throughout the country, many of whom have left reviews along with the aforementioned caution.
But this unique u-pipe structure has been pushed into the spotlight by its niche admirers, after concerns about its removal were raised last week.
President of the Canberra Skateboarders Association Luke Brown. Photo: Jay Cronan
An online petition to save the skate bowl, initially posted by Canberra Skateboarding Association president Luke Brown, has attracted hundreds of signatures since an email exchange between ACT Government employees discussing its potential removal were made public.
Released under Freedom of Information laws, the series of emails stated that work on the facility should be prioritised due to "potential for young children to fall into the bowl and then be unable to escape".
The correspondence outlined suggestions for filling the skate bowl after highlighting concerns over the "drop" from the bottom step, which was described as around 1.7 metres.
But Mr Brown said the drop was a curved slope rather than a 1.7m fall, adding that there were many more dangerous skate parks around the world.
"Skateboarders, BMX riders, whoever – you ride within your ability," he said.
"It's about common sense. The Kambah u-pipe is fenced in. It's not like you can stumble into it."
Mr Brown said maintaining skate parks was a difficult task due to the lack of universally adopted standards, but said he was keen to discuss the issue with Territory and Municipal Services.
However TAMS stated that the skate park was not being removed, for the time being.
Manager of design development Diana Hill said the correspondence released by the ACT Government didn't show the final response, which recommended no immediate action be taken.
Ms Hill said a safety assessment of the facility would be carried out in the future, but an appropriate professional to carry out the review was still being finalised.
"At the moment, it's staying in place," she said.
"It's fenced off, preventing people from just wandering into it."
Removing the facility was not the government's preferred option, Ms Hill said, stating that if the challenging facility was removed, young skaters would seek that challenge elsewhere.
"They'll climb places they shouldn't and would be at a higher risk," she said.
The ACT Government could not provide a timeframe for the impending safety assessment.