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.