Spot Check: Beast Rampz Skatepark, Manchester

Manchester’s skate scene are looking forward to a new indoor skatepark opening this Sunday 5th May. The layout of the new 27,500 sq ft indoor Beast Rampz Skatepark has been designed by the good folk at Four One Four Skateparks and is located inside a warehouse just outside of town in the Eastern quarter, two minutes from Ashbury train station.

The project has been built by a team headed up by long time skater Dave Arnold, whose ongoing commitment to building pools, bowls and parks in the North should be commended. We spoke to him this week to get the lowdown on the new build:

“The guys behind this project have a background in building rollercoasters and worked on the infamous ‘Son of Beast‘ in the USA, that’s where the name comes from. The project has been simmering for the last two years but it all came together this January. The preliminary design was drawn up by Sean Scarfe (Four One Four) and then myself and Tim Stamp from Uniform Skatepark Construction were drafted in to carry out the ramp construction and tweak the design alongside ‘The Beasters’ themselves.”

The Manchester scene seems to be spoiled with options right now. The completion of the new Projekts Plaza from Freestyle has handed locals another fantastic dry spot to skate in the winter months in addition to Black Sheep’s indoor Central Skatepark. Drive out of town though and you are surrounded by other options too. This area of the country is awash with fantastic parks right now including Liverpool’s Rampworx down the M62 who are also looking to develop further to push their park to a whopping 70,000 sq ft.

“Beast skatepark is certainly living up to its name!” says Arnold. “Although there are bigger parks (sq footage) in the UK this place looks huge! the actual structures look like they are on steroids, the sort of place The Thing and The Incredible Hulk would skate.”

Beast Rampz has been designed to cater for everyone. The impressive 60ft wide hipped Midi-Ramp stands at 6.5ft high and rises to 10 ft at one end. There’s also a 24ft wide Mini Ramp and a 20ft wide Micro Mini Ramp alonside a beginners area for the nippers. Add a 16ft high x 24ft wide Vert Wall into the equation, a Taco Wall-Ride plus a huge BMX Rhythm Section (also very skateable) and a lavish split-level street course with bowled corners, hubbas, driveways, steps, gaps, pyramid, ledges, rails and more, you start to get the picture that this place will bring something special on the opening day.

The Beast would not be as beastly without the addition of a vert ramp though. The North have always enjoyed being part of a very strong vert scene so its inclusion in the design seemed like a no-brainer. Heathen Skateboards rider Riess Johnson made a plea for local vert skaters to help in funding this and with great support it became a reality. Nobody is more stoked on this than Arnold himself though due to the legendary history that is involved in the erection of this ramp:

“It’s 36ft in length and 12ft high, made possible via online donations. This ramp has been built by the skaters for the skaters, the way it should be. The funny thing is, that this ramp is a stones throw from the site of the original Ardwick Vert Ramp also built by myself and Tim Stamp back in 1985. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy that we have built yet another skate structure for a ‘minority’ group 28 years later.”

Ph: Tony Alva skates Ardwick back in 1985. Dave’s sister and Mike Pardon in the background.

You can find Beast Rampz at www.beastrampz.com and on Facebook. Address is Montague House, Matthews Street, Ardwick, Manchester, M12 5BB.

New Cirencester Skatepark incoming

Skaters around the edges of the Cotswolds area of Great Britain will be delivered a brand new 890 sq metre plaza this summer. Kingshill Sports Ground in Cirencester has been awarded the facility after securing a grant from the Sport England Inspired Fund. We spoke to park designer Marc Churchill from 1Skateparks last night to give us an insight into how this all came together:

“We’re really stoked to be starting work on the Cirencester project. It’s been a long time coming, we’ve been working with the Cirencester Council and Decimal Skate shop really closely tweaking back and forth the design until it was exactly what everyone wanted.

There were in total 3 consultations and 5 revisions with Gaz and the crew at Decimal, but those guys knew what they wanted – a rad Plaza! Work begins really soon so it should be ready for shredding by the summer.”

For updates and info check out the Decimal and 1skateparks Facebook pages.

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Baysixty6 re-opens with a bang

What a weekend for skateboarding in the capital. After a 2 month wait, the new Baysixty6 skate park re-opened with a full house to skate what NikeSB had delivered in the re-build. Various team riders opened the park with the first NBD’s on what will be a long list in years to come.

Over 1000 turned out for the celebration that saw Theotis Beasley, Tom Harrison, Sean Malto, Fernando Bramsmark, Tim Zom, Korahn Gayle, Neil Smith, Chris Jones, Justin Brock, Wieger Van Wageningen, Kyron Davis and more rip the place apart for 90 minutes of madness.

We will drop a video edit from the session very soon but the est news is that the park is now open again. Session times are below. Each session is £7. Beginners weekend session is £4. After school club £2.

Opening times:

Mon: 12.00pm-4.00pm – 4.00pm-9.00pm
Tue 12.00pm-4.00pm – 4.00pm-6.00pm – 5.00pm-10.00pm (BMX only)
Wed 12.00pm-4.00pm – 4.00pm-10.00pm
Thu 12.00pm-4.00pm – 4.00pm-9.00pm
Fri 12.00pm-4.00pm – 4.00pm-9.00pm
Sat 10.00am-12.00pm (beginners only) – 12.00pm-4.00pm – 5.00pm-9.00pm
Sun 10.00am-12.00pm (beginners only) – 12.00pm-4.00pm – 5.00pm-9.00pm (BMX welcome)

Newest recruit Kyron Davies smashed it on Saturday. 50-50 on the big rail. Ph:Zac

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Watch Sidewalk‘s coverage here:

Scooters and the Death of the Skatepark

scootersaregayThe scooter problem in the UK has forced the skateboard community of Midsomer Norton to make a short documentary on the problem they are facing at their local park. Remember the build up to the opening jam back in August 2010 and the elation this skatepark gave the locals? It seems that this sentiment has long passed and has now been replaced with the words Death of their local skate park instead from this recent docu put together by Lewis Jelley.

The question is, what problems do you have at your local park and how do you tackle them? Is this problem just discipline based? Is the obvious answer actually teaching kids how to respect others around you at a skate park instead of just shouting at them? Is it a case of they are so young they don’t actually listen? How long will it be until there are hundreds of skaters at your park instead once these kids realise skateboards are actually the way forward. Will you still get a run when this happens? By building so many concrete parks are skateboarders naturally enjoying being pushed back into the streets where skateboarding belongs?

So many questions, but only you hold the answers.

Help decide the future of Bay Sixty 6 Skatepark

As you may remember from December 2010’s appeal, Bay Sixty 6 skate park in London was under threat due to various plans being proposed to turn the park into offices. Since then, the owners of the skatepark have fought a hard battle to renew their lease for another two years and the local council now recognise that there needs to be a facility for us. The park will be issuing a statement soon about redeveloping the park which will be more good news for you but this battle has not ended yet, it still needs your help, and it needs it right now.

Why? Because the long term future of the park is still under threat and there’s more for us to do to secure its future.

Proposed plans to put offices on the skatepark site remain. The council have said that an alternative location for the skatepark would have to be provided. BUT there is no specific alternative for relocating the park. The draft plans are not specific enough to guarantee the future of the skatepark and we ask that you join us in petitioning the planning department of Kensington and Chelsea council further.

The new petition is now live and needs your support today at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ensure-the-future-of-bay66-skatepark.html to raise awareness of just how important it is to keep this alive over time.

This is very important, so please read this and sign it today and then spread this post on your facebook page by liking the page above, linking this post through twitter and emailing it to your friends today too. Everyone you know connected with the park should sign this asap and do their bit in helping the long term future of London’s only privately run skatepark.

Here’s our last Xmas Jam video from the Bay to remind you why we need to keep this skatepark alive and continue to bring people in our scene together. Thanks for your support.

Scooters with Garcia, Hawk, Brock, Olson, Leeper and more

William Strobeck has a short film titled Scooters out this week featuring Reese Forbes, Alex Olson, Kyle Leeper, Austyn Gillette, Jake Donnelly, Danny Garcia, Riley Hawk, Justin Brock and many more. There’s some great skatboarding in this, don’t miss out.