Skateboarding Halfpipe, Summer 1989
It was the biggest ramp in the Santa Cruz County area at the
time. With 10-foot transitions (10-foot radius) and 2 feet of vert,
it was 12 feet tall and 24 feet wide. And with 16 feet of flat
bottom and 8-foot decks on each side it was 52 feet long. Ramps
like this existed, but mainly in Southern California, and I certainly
had never ridden one. In fact, before I built it, the largest ramp
I had ridden was only 8 feet tall.
However, after my freshman year of high school, having just turned
14, construction commenced in an area that Mom had hired a tractor to
level. I don't remember how long it took to build, but I'm sure we
were riding before school started in the fall. The ramp was
entirely sized by me (designed or engineered would be too strong a word)
and built with my friends. No one over 17 helped, except for my
mom who made countless trips to the lumber yard with me.
Wood was cheap at the time, at least compared to 2006 prices, but
still expensive for a kid. Allocating my clothes allowance towards
lumber only went so far, so we scrounged scrap wood, bought used wood
when we could, and liberated wood from construction sites. And
when buying the first of many layers of masonite (the riding surface
that covered two layers of 1/2" plywood and which had to be
replaced each year due to water damage) at the Home Depot I didn't say
anything when the cashier rang up 40 sheets of 1/4" masonite as
much less expensive 1/8" sheets.
|The completed ramp as viewed from the driveway.
On the stairs a red gas can is visible. When the bottom of
the ramp got wet we would pour gas on the damp spots then light
it to speed drying.
|And a view from above. The driveway and house are out
of the picture to the left.
|Moms fro and a 16 year old Willy dominate the foreground of
this shot, photographer unknown.
|Delsin Ho about to drop in, he was the best all around
skater I knew as he was able to dominate on vert, mini-ramps and
street skating. I was never very good on mini-ramps.
|In the mid 1990's, I think, Will came home for a visit and
burned the ramp down. I was at UC Berkeley at the time and
the ramp had been un-rideable for years.
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