Last week I had the chance to check out the new Nike 6th and Mill indoor skate park in Downtown Los Angeles. Located just a few blocks away from the Berrics and Fantasy Factory, this skate utopia is full of street obstacles designed by a collection of the world’s best skaters and built by none other than Joe Ciaglia of California Skateparks. The indoor facility was built to help the Nike athletes train for competition and give some privacy to their sessions without the worry of being kicked out by security.

In true Nike fashion this was no ordinary skate park. In addition, to the ledges, shopping cart rail and banked hips there was shipping containers that matched the original venues decor that contained a photo gallery and office space. Upon entering the facility from the small and almost hidden door found off 6th St. was an installation of past Nike P-Rods showing the history of the shoe.

Both Paul Rodriguez and Theotis Beasley were on hand to talk about the shoe (Nike P-Rod VI), the facility and skating in general. Both are real good dudes with P-Rod finding much success through skating and the up and comer looking to secure his legacy within the sport. Here is an excerpt of that conversation.

PR: “So when you’re skating you’re dealing with getting kicked out of places a lot, getting your boards taken away, getting tickets so places like this represents somewhere were you can just go skate and practice your craft, practice tricks you want to do without any interruptions. Without having to run cause security is coming or whatever. It’s pure freedom. It’s all simulated street obstacles. All of the stuff are stuff you would find in a typical street scenario. So that’s what it means to me just a place to practice, hassle-free.”

TB: “Here you can do whatever you want. Skate as long as you want without nobody telling you to leave. Skate as many hours you want to. You can’t help but to get good and constantly progressing.”

PR (on the new Nike P-Rod VI) – “My whole thing is always function, of course so it’s made for a skate shoe. So I just try to focus a lot with Sean my shoe designer that I have been working on the last couple shoes. So I just sit down with him at the beginning and tell him what I want. I just tell him I want some real good board feel, good foot protection and I want it obviously to look good. That’s the three key components I always try to improve for my shoe. And this time around I’m super stoked on this one. It’s an evolution of my fifth shoe, same sole. The Lunarlon is just incredible. The material is so light and protective on your feet. So you don’t have to use a lot of it so you don’t have to make it super thick, so you can feel your board.”

I had the chance to check out the new shoes for myself. After not owning a pair of skate shoes for many years now, I do have to say these are not only functional but comfortable and true to street style. The Nike Lunarlon technology incorporated in the kicks provides an ultra-lightweight shoe with springy cushioning for impact and improved stability, while protecting the foot. Now I just need to get a complete set-up and I’m ready to skate again.