Christopher Hiett vividly remembers his trips to Lamasco Skatepark as a youngster with his mom and his brother, William.
Hiett loved skateboarding, both as a sport and an outlet for self-expression. However, it didn’t take him long to learn Lamasco was not only past its prime but hazardous. The Hietts went only about three times before relocating to Killer Skate Park & Shop, an indoor facility on Evansville’s East Side where Christopher honed his skills.
“I would consider it dangerous because the ground has gigantic cracks,” Hiett says of Lamasco, which was built in 2001 off Columbia Street on the city’s West Side. “The ramps are falling apart. It’s not a safe place to learn.”
Now 22, the Castle High School graduate lives in the Los Angeles area where he’s made a career out of skateboarding, complete with a personal line of shoes made by Fallen Footwear. Within the last year, Hiett has traveled to Costa Rica and Argentina to promote the brand. Other sponsorships include the skateboard company Powell-Peralta; Hiett has been with the company since age 14 and now is a team member.
But Hiett still keeps tabs on Southern Indiana, and he’s excited by plans for Sunset Skatepark on Evansville’s riverfront. Sunset Skatepark will be a game-changer for the Evansville area, Hiett says, because it can be enjoyed by local skaters as well as those from elsewhere seeking new spots.
“The impact a skatepark has on a community is very important,” Hiett says. “It keeps kids from doing bad things, getting depressed, and it builds community.”
“I have a lot of friends out here from Indiana. Everyone’s excited about it and will want to go back and see it,” he says.
Sunset Skatepark’s opening timeframe is not set, but there’s been progress. Renderings are posted at skatesunset.com, and the park is to cover 27,000 square feet.
Hiett’s presence in skateboarding, meanwhile, continues to grow. He moved West as soon as he graduated from Castle, and he’s been immersed in the sport ever since.
After relocating, “I was terrified,” Hiett says. “I was comfortable in Evansville and Newburgh. Moving that far away was a big step and a big stage, but I had to take the opportunity because it’s something I always wanted.”
He hasn’t looked back. Hiett says he’s living out his passion, in a place where he can enjoy soaring mountains in the morning and a dusty desert in the afternoon.
His involvement with Fallen Footwear opened many doors, and he’d love to have his own skateboard line, as well.
“They blessed me with a dream of having my own colorway with the shoe, with my last name on it,” Hiett says of Fallen Footwear. “Being able to have my own shoe is incredible. A dream come true.”
FOLLOW CHRISTOPHER HIETT ON INSTAGRAM @christopherhiett