I recall back in the early 80's watching the local heros, ally and nigel blasting airs out of our local 70's skatepark and thinking how amazing it was, and how much i wanted to do that. I soon sold my, raleigh grifter and saved up for a proper bmx, my new bike along with the influence of watching, bob haro ride at the, n.e.c. and skate videos, the bones brigade and animal chin, i was soon completely hooked on anything that was, bmx, skate or ramp related.
Soon after i remember
pestering my father to bring wood back from site so we could build our
first ramps together in the garden.
The first ramp was a six feet high quarterpipe, that turned out to be way to tight, but not to bad for our first attempt.
I still managed as a brave young teenager to get 3/4 feet out of it, that didn't last long i soon had the urge to build more, so the six feet quarter was replaced with an eight feet one, then soon after removed and concrete laid for my first halfpipe build. This ramp was eight feet high and only eight feet wide, quite narrow but room enough for getting 7/8 feet of air, hitting the branches of the overhanging trees.
This ramp was good but i knew it could be better so it was changed again and again, different heights, different dimensions, transitions, everything experimented with until i felt it was right. During this period of several years i had built numerous other ramps. Every opportunity i got i would build ramps, me and the local riders had ramps everywhere. I built for friends, local demos and clubs, etc and travelled all over the country and beyond sometimes happy with the ramps i rode and sometimes very disappointed with what i had travelled to ride, this pushed me even more to do something myself and build ramps that i knew worked well.
From then on my time was spent building, riding and working on my drawing, design and carpentry qualifications. This lead to sharing my rampbuilding time with working part-time as a draughtsman. It was well worth it as my drawing experience is well used in running, Rampchild today.
I had started riding competitions and placing higher each time, soon gaining recognition and getting some magazine coverage and sponsorship. After rising through the ranks, from expert to semi-pro in the late 80's early 90's and qualifying for the, Tizer world championships in, manchester, which lead to a world ranking i decided to dedicate more time to, Rampchild and the rampbuilding.
When, Radlands in, northampton was being planned i was rang by the owner who had heard about my ramp building and asked if i wanted to help with the build along with american builder, tim payne. This was a great opportunity to learn even more about ramp construction, and many discussions were had with, tim during the build. After the initial build i worked with, Radlands for the next 4/5 years building and redesigning at the park for european and world championship competitions. A great opportunity to work closely with professional skaters and riders on numerous layouts and ideas.
Since that time i have been all over the place, consulting, designing and building all kinds of ramps from private ramps to full skateparks, bowls, everything. I have built for celebrities children, television, even a ramp with a tv built into it. I must have built hundreds of ramps by now, i've lost count of how many projects i've been involved in. I have tried whenever possible to travel and photograph ramps between contracts, my travels have taken me to, australia, europe and america, to places like the, Vans park in, orange, california and, Woodward camp in, pennsylvania.
The single most important thing i've learnt is that you need real ramp experience to build ramps well, and that a well designed and built ramp or park will improve a rider or skaters ability. It is important to give a young ramp rider good equipment to practice on. Then perhaps one day they can compete in competitions and maybe turn their passion into a career.
If your going to provide a facility as a local authority, club or private venture, try us and benefit from over twenty years ramp riding and building experience. We have a large client history and work portfolio. Brochure, references, ramp specifications and list of services and options available on request.
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