JOE CIAGLIA, CEO of CA Global and California Skateparks
Joe Ciaglia is the founder and president/CEO of CA Global and California Skateparks, the undisputed industry leader in skatepark design and construction. From the early age of 17, Ciaglia honed his entrepreneurial characteristics allowing him to become the founder and CEO of the world’s most recognized skate park design and build firm, California Skateparks.
With his skill set, knowledge and reputation for quality work, Ciaglia fostered an easy transition into skate park design and construction. Realizing that he was one of the earliest skate park designers in the United States, Ciaglia took charge and pioneered how skate parks were designed and built. Beginning with the decision to create skate parks from concrete for its sturdy and lasting nature, he pushed for original designs, incorporated his vast understanding of landscaping and construction and proved that skate parks could be thoughtfully designed to be much more than bland concrete construction.
From the beginning, Ciaglia has used innovative construction methods in his approach to his craftsmanship without compromising on quality — decisions which have earned his respect and cemented his legacy in the skateboard industry.
After more than 15 years of satisfied customers and numerous rewards for skate park design and construction, Ciaglia has fostered key relationships with reputable clients such as Nike, Vans, DC, Volcom, Woodward, Street League Skateboarding and the X Games.
Ciaglia has brought his expertise internationally in the form of over 350 skate parks, located in Panama, Japan, Germany, Spain and Mexico. Just as with each skate park designed and built by Ciaglia himself, these parks provide athletes pristine and safe places for the development of their skills while also bringing communities closer together. The knowledge, passion and creativity of California Skateparks has brought communities together all over the world and continues to be an integral part of pushing progression in these sports.
As a successful entrepreneur for over 30 years, Ciaglia has founded over 10 thriving companies in his portfolio to date.
1 — How did CA Skateparks come to be?
It branched from California Landscape and Design. I was designing and building custom residential projects which included hardscape, landscaping and swimming pools, as well as working for local municipalities. I caught wind of a local skatepark going to bid. We decided to go after the project and we were awarded the job, and built our first skatepark for the City of La Verne in 1998. From our years of experience in quality construction and mastery of concrete the project came easy and we decided to go after more skatepark projects. The real turning point was the skatepark we designed and built for the City of Fontana. At the time cities only allowed skate bowls to be 4 feet deep and I actually flew some guys from the city up to Northern California to show them that bowls could and should be deeper and were still safe to skate. Not only did we convince them to allow us to build deeper bowls for that project, we also expanded the park into the parking lot to create a more inviting and user-friendly environment. We integrated a shade structure and landscaping to the skatepark showing that skateparks can also be aesthically pleasing parks for the community. That project won the CPRS 2002 Award of Excellence.
2 — What makes CA Skateparks unique?
What makes us different from our competitor is that our roots come from quality construction, especially in concrete. California Landscape and Design was started in 1988. Throughout this time, we’ve gained a huge amount of experience and mastery of construction practices. Another unique factor is that we take very careful consideration of everything we do — the height of every ledge, the approach to every rail, where we put each and every saw cut. Even how we control where water has to flow is done with thoughtful consideration because we know that all of the little details add up and contribute to how well a park skates. We also have a diverse team with varied backgrounds — architecture, landscape, engineering, art, design, etc. and it helps to draw from all the different disciplines in order to come up with new, creative ideas and different construction methods. Another reason our parks have become so revolutionary is that we build a lot of temporary parks for contests, such as Street League, X-Games, Vans Park Series, and we get to have the best skaters in the world testing out the terrain. This is a great way to push the boundaries and see what works the best.
3 — Things that CA Skateparks is most proud of (community-centric across the nation, raising money for skate parks when there hasn’t been money, being authentic, pushing progression of parks and skateboarding at the same time, etc.)
What I’m personally most proud of is being able to create safe and engaging environments for communities to come together in an active and healthy way. Seeing the kids’ faces light up when their local skatepark is finally open is extremely rewarding. We have also donated our services and skate features to community parks and have worked with Rob Dydrek and the Street League Foundation to help get skate parks built globally.
4 — What are some projects that you’ve been involved with?
We’ve definitely worked on some amazing projects. We’re very proud to have built private skateparks for top professional skateboarding athletes like Tony Hawk, Nyjah Huston and Ryan Sheckler, as well as some celebrity backyard skateparks including Miley Cyrus and Mark Wahlberg. CA Landscape & Design actually recently worked on the Greek Theatre, the Griffith Observatory and Pershing Square in Los Angeles, CA which for us is pretty monumental.
5 — What’s coming up next for CA Skateparks (2017 events, skate parks, etc.)
We have a lot of projects going on this year.
One of the many noteworthy projects is the Linda Vista Skatepark we are building in San Diego. This is going to be a world-class facility — it will be the largest skatepark in San Diego at nearly 35,000 square feet. The park includes a massive street plaza, a snaking ditch run, a flow bowl, a backyard bowl, a competition sized vert bowl, and a transition snake run featuring a signature full-pipe unlike any other.
Another really cool project we’re doing is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This master project is called — A Gathering Place for Tulsa. It is one of the most progressive new urban park developments in the country. The 100-acre park will include a five-acre playground, a lodge, a pond, gardens, bike paths, two grand lawns that can be used to hold concerts and other public event, various outdoor sports facilities, and the skatepark and BMX pump tracks that we are designing and building.
Internationally we have projects going on in Switzerland, Australia, and Japan. This year for events we have Street League Skateboarding with stops in Barcelona, Munich, Chicago and Los Angeles as well as Vans Park Series in Huntington Beach, CA.
6 — What is your take on Skateboarding set to be in the 2020 Olympics?
I’m really excited about it. But I think in order for skateboarding to be successful in the Olympics they will have to listen to the skateboard community. Put it in the hands of the skaters and make sure it is governed by skateboarders, judged by skaters, and designed and built by dedicated skatepark builders. With Skateboarding in the Olympics, more countries are taking notice and starting to get more skateparks built globally, which is a huge win for skateboarding and skateboarders.
For more information, visit: http://californiaskateparks.com/joseph-m-ciaglia-jr/