Kowalah Kids Review: Rush Skatepark in Stroud
Today we're kicking off our Kowalah Kids Review blog series. We'll be getting a kid's eye view of the best of the Cotswolds' activities and providing advice and suggestions along the way.
This week we visited Rush Skatepark just outside Stroud. Rush opened in 2013, after owner's Jerry and Michelle tired of having to shuttle their skate-mad eleven year-old son up and down the country to find a great park to ride in.
What was it like when you arrived?
Our reviewers: Monty (aged 8), Herbie (aged 8), Dixie (aged 6) chaperoned by Kowalah Helen.
"It was so big!" says Monty. "I thought it was so cool because of the ramps." added Herbie. The park has been custom built in a 40,000 sq. ft building that used to house Damien Hirst's "shark factory" building those crazy formaldehyde constructions.
Monty explains how it works, "We borrowed scooters from the shop. They had awesome scooters you could buy as well. Or you could bring your own. We needed to wear helmets as well."
"The park had a section with street ramps, a middle section with high ramps, and a third section that looked even more scary with ramps that went down and then up."
"I started on a ramp in the street section that was a bit too big, and my brother and I were scared - but then we did it and it was fun!"
Herbie continues, "I was scared of the ramp with the steps, so I just followed my brother around."
"I had a blue scooter with blue handles - it came up to my tummy"!" says Dixie. "The first time I went out it was quite scary because the ramps were quite high."
What was scariest?
"There were about 20 other people so I had to be careful not to crash - which I nearly did a few times!" says Monty.
"Then we went into the middle section and couldn't get down because the sides were too high. Helen and Matilda were having a coffee in the cafe so we had to get down on our own. We pushed our scooters down and slid down on our bottoms. It was cool." says Monty.
Dixie adds, "I bashed into one person but I didn't hurt myself. We went into the middle section and I got stuck. I pushed my scooter up and then I crawled and held onto the edge and pulled myself up."
Your favourite jump?
"I found a really big jump I could do a hop jump off. I had done one at home but this was much bigger. I had to use my feet to land it the first time, but then I got it. And I did it loads!" says Monty.
"We didn't get time to make new friends as we were scooting all the time" Herbie says, "some bigger boys did help when we got stuck. My favourite bit was the massive ramp!"
For Dixie, "I liked the bits where you went up, then flat, then down! I really liked the Slushie we had at the end. I had a mixed one with red and blue."
Any advice for other kids?
"Even if you don't like scooting you should try it" - Monty
"Don't break your arm, don't fall over and go slower by pressing the brake" - Herbie
"It looks scary but it is not!" - Dixie
Would you like to go again?!
Monty, "I scooted for an hour and a half and I loved it. I would like to go again, especially on my birthday. My six year old sister loved it as well - she couldn't do some of my jumps though."
The details for parents
Rush Skatepark was easy to organise - you can pre-book your slot on their very easy to use website. Be aware that an "Open Session" is for kids and adults that have some experience, so for your first trip you should opt for the beginner's sessions on a Saturday or Sunday morning. All timings are available on their website.
The beginner's session costs £6 per child for non-members, and you can also hire a scooter and helmet for £9 combined per child (with a £25 combined deposit per child). We were there on a very busy morning and had to wait for scooter availability - so if you have your own equipment we'd advise taking it - be sure to check your scooters are non-folding though - check the rules here.
There is a wonderful little cafe to while away your time while the kids thrash around. Big CCTV screens show what is happening next door and we saw many parents enjoying an hour of peaceful reading!
We hope you enjoyed this Kowalah Kids Review. If you've been somewhere great recently, or run a great kids activity and would like a kid's eye review let us know!
Kowalah is a mobile app delivering On Demand Childcare across the Cotswolds by connecting parents with local babysitters and providers of childcare. Parents are connected with up to 5 available Kowalahs in 15 minutes giving them speed and flexibility. All Kowalahs have been interviewed and referenced providing parents with peace of mind.