Tucked away past a playground and across from a pool, Creston Park hosts a hidden gem, Creston DIY. Creston DIY is a skatepark, made by, and for, skaters. DIY, or “do it yourself,” refers to the method of building, modifying, or repairing something without the help of a professional.
Portland is home to quite a few DIY skateparks, including the more well known “Feral Cat Cove,” which is located along the Springwater Corridor. Creston DIY has been a part of the Portland skate scene for nearly two years, with their anniversary coming up in late November.
According to a statement from Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), Creston DIY is not considered to be a permanent installation, seeing as it was not installed by PP&R. Signage hangs above the park that reads “skate at your own risk.”
Outside of the park hangs an old PP&R sign, outlining the rules for the tennis courts that were converted into Creston DIY. Ironically, rule two explicitly states, “Skates, skateboards, bikes and motorized vehicles prohibited.” Inside the fence any trace of tennis is absent. A handful of jumps, ramps, and rails are scattered across the concrete. Each one is made from a variety of materials including piping, brick, wood, and concrete. All of these elements were added by the skaters who first claimed the space as a skatepark.
Personal touches adorn the edges of the park: An older Creston sign made of mosaic tiles acts as the back of a corner ramp; a bench made of used skateboards sits near the entrance; and a part Creston DIY welcome sign, part basketball hoop hangs higher up on the fence.
Multiple unnamed skaters said that they liked the “crustiness” of Creston, and felt that the environment was mellower and less crowded than other, bigger skateparks. The other drawing point for all of the skaters was the DIY element. These skaters included Franklin High School sophomore, Owen Zabell. “It’s cool because it was made by people in Portland. I guess all the parks were, but this one was made by a skate community […] so that’s pretty cool,” says Zabell.
Frequent Creston DIY skater Bryan Brink, aka “Fryin Bryan,” echoes this sentiment. “I like the whole concept of doing it yourself and not waiting for some city to create something […] that you want to do [yourself].”
Because of the more relaxed environment at Creston DIY the space is welcoming for people of all ages, hosting skaters from local high schools and adults of various ages, as well as the occasional dog. Skaters of assorted skill levels skate at Creston DIY. “Everybody is just learning, going at their own pace,” says Brink. Whatever your age or skill level, check out Creston DIY on Instagram at @crestondiy or in person with your board at 43rd and Powell.