WELLFEET — Spring brings some privileges to those who’ve waited out winter here. For skaters, these cool preseason days mean the chance to tool around the park until the sun goes down, “and having the place just about to yourself and your best friends,” says Wellfleet skater Sean Fitzgerald. “There’s nothing better.”
The metallic grind of their wheels on concrete before takeoff and the staccato snaps of their boards landing again fill the air at Baker’s Field with the sounds of spring that Fitzgerald and his friend Tommy Flanagan look forward to all winter.
The pandemic caused something of a skateboarding renaissance across the country. Here, too, skaters who had put down their boards for a few years picked them up again and headed to the park in Wellfleet and to Finch Skate Park in Orleans.
At this time of year, Fitzgerald said, “It’s usually just me and a couple of ’Fleetians down there having fun skating, hanging out, and watching the sunset.”
Wellfleet’s Kevin J. Fitzgerald SK8 Park was renamed in 2014 in honor of Sean’s older brother, who died of cancer that year. Kevin was an extreme sports athlete and a superb skateboarder.
“I’ll always love this skate park since it’s named after my brother, who shredded like no one else,” said Fitzgerald. “I will always look up to him,” he added.
One section of the park has the letters “KF” painted in black with the words “Shred for Kev” around them. The phrase was put on wristbands and stickers that locals carry with them, so Kevin Fitzgerald’s legacy as one of the town’s best skaters lives on. —Ryan Fitzgerald