SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Members of the Goleta Skateboarding Movement invited the public to hear them out at Skater's Point.
The Speak Up for Skateboarding event was called to improve their public image after the city of Santa Barbara threatened to close the park following a summer full of problems.
Parks and Recreation Director Nancy Rapp said she received video proof of drug use and fights that led to a temporary closure in July.
One young skateboarder told the crowd the bad behavior of a few is ruining the park for skaters following the rules.
Yet a majority of skateboarders at the park Wednesday rode without helmets and protective gear spelled out in a list of rules posted at each entrance.
Some boarders said they couldn't afford helmets even though skateboards cost far more.
Cottage Hospital trauma nurses were on hand with helmets costing only $9.
Some are available for free.
For more information call the trauma Injury Prevention nurse at 569-7478.
Skateboarders hope the community will eventually support their sport and favor building more parks.
When Skater's Point is crowded the closest alternative parks are located in Solvang and Ojai.
Skaters hope to have enjoy similar parks in Goleta and Carpinteria in the future.
Until then, they plan to ride by the rules.