The quarter-pipes and bowls where skaters usually shred were covered with sand, so dirt bikers showed up with their toys to play.

To keep skaters from hanging out at the Ralph’s Skate Park while the community is under stay-at-home, social-distancing orders, the city filled the skate park with 37 tons of sand.

Local skaters were irked and also asked if such drastic measures were needed to keep people out of the park. They worried the sand might cause damage to the surfaces.

City officials said they looked at what other communities were doing and got the sense fencing wasn’t going to be enough of a deterrent. They also said the sand shouldn’t cause long-term problems, but any damage would be addressed later.

The story was picked up around the nation, and Venice Beach officials followed suit.

So Conner Ericsson, a dirt bike rider, showed up with a few friends to enjoy a few runs on the sandy surface, then helped some skaters dig out the sand “so they could do some social shredding,” he wrote in a social media post.

View this post on Instagram

Took advantage of the all the sand the city dumped into the San Clemente skatepark then helped some local skaters dig it all out so they could do some social shredding

A post shared by Connor Ericsson (@buttery_films) on Apr 19, 2020 at 5:48pm PDT

“I think it’s a big joke, these kids are cooped up inside their house and just want to go out and have some fun,” Ericcson said in an news segment on KUSI News.

A video posted on Instagram shows Ericcson and friends taking a few runs on mini dirt bikes at the closed skate park, which has no trespassing signs posted up on the fence.

Along with other city-operated parks, including soccer and ball fields, the town closed down access due to coronavirus concerns on April 1.

There has been a debate raging over the extent of the closures as outdoor enthusiasts are feeling cooped up with limited recreational areas open, and others arguing closing such areas will help keep crowds away to curb the spread of infection.

Other towns, including Santa Cruz and Ventura, have opened up surfing and beaches with limited access, while San Diego has eased restrictions on some parks. Riverside this week re-opened golf courses.

The dirt bike crew weren’t the only ones who transformed the skate park, with local surfboard shaper Matt Biolos bringing down a few beach chair to set up a beach scene, criticizing the city for shutting the beaches and the skate park.

We’d like to thank @cityofsanclemente, who after over-reacting and irrationally shuttering all our beaches and trails, came to the brilliant conclusion to use tax payers dwindling dollars to at least create for us a new beach, up in the Ralph’s Skatepark. Now we have an all new beautiful beach to kick back and enjoy a few #Coronas on, while we wait out the #WuhanFlu. Then, when it’s over, we can use even more tax payer dollars to clean all the sand out and carry it back to #NorthBeach, where it’s so badly needed.
– A post shared by Matt Biolos (@mayhemsurfboards_mattbiolos) on Apr 15, 2020 at 8:55am PDT. View this post on Instagram

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