By Matilda Preisendorf
In October 2022, Garland opened The Boneyard, a 46,000-square-foot skate park and the second-biggest in Texas. Now the park is receiving attention once again after famed pro skater Tony Hawk joined a North Texas social media group calling for the park to become “The Jon Comer Memorial Park” in honor of the local adaptive pro skateboarder legend.
In the video shared on social media, Hawk talks about Jon Comer’s legacy and the impact he had in adaptive pro skateboarding. “He was a pioneer in skating … and a huge inspiration for adaptive athletes, especially in skating and action sports,” said Hawk adding that the memorial would help solidify his legacy as well as serve as an inspiration for skaters in the years to come.
Update 6/29/2023: The Boneyard Skate Park was officially renamed the Jon Comer Skate Park during a city council meeting on May 16, 2023. The city is currently working to get a new sign for the park to reflect the new name.
Jon Comer, who died in 2019 aged 43, is considered the grandfather of adaptive skateboarding after being the first professional skateboarder with a prosthetic leg. He suffered a car accident when he was four years old that led to the amputation of his right lower leg three years later.
Not easily discouraged, Comer found a passion in skateboarding when he was 12. That would lead him to a professional career in the 1990s and an award-winning documentary in 2004 called Never Done Before: The Jon Comer Story.
“The stuff that he was doing on vert ramps on a prosthetic leg when nobody else was, was as good as just about any other pro skateboarder at the time,” Daniel Gale, co-founder of Adaptive Action Sports next to snowboarder Amy Purdy, told X Games after hearing the news of Comer’s passing. Gale added that he considers Comer directly responsible for bringing adaptive sports to X Games, the annual extreme sports event.
He is also remembered for his solidarity with fellow adaptive athletes. Evan Strong, a gold medalist for snowboard cross at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics recalled Comer’s encouragement while he recovered from his own car accident in 2004.
“Before the accident, I was an up-and-coming amateur skateboarder in Hawaii and somehow he heard about my accident,” said Strong. “He actually reached out to me while I was still in the hospital just to see if he could help out in any way. I told him, ‘Man, I don’t know if I’m ever going to skateboard again’ and he said, ‘Oh, you’ll be skating again, guaranteed.’ It felt like such a far-away concept at the time, and he brought it right to me.”
Since The Boneyard park opened last year, the skateboarding community called for the park to memorialize Jon Comer, with the help of a fellow pro skater they’ll get their wish.
Originally Published by Local Profile