SK8 camp are coming back to the Playa for the 6th year, bringing free skateboarding for everyone. Support their Kickstarter, let’s bring more stoke. Look out for them at 7 & Esplanade, Dustfish Village.
Post by Marcus (Playa Wood, Founder of SK8 KAMP)
HISTORY OF SK8 KAMP STOKE – YEAR 1 – 2011- The BEST Alarm Clock Ever!!!
As we get amped up for SK8 KAMP 2016, we wanted to give everyone a little glimpse of the magic that is SK8 KAMP, we are going to post a series of posts about the memories of each of the 5 years of SK8 KAMP. Here goes Year 1…
Getting awoken out of a deep sleep by cheering, I think to myself for a moment, ‘What is going on? I think I need more sleep, so let me just ignore it.’ Then, the sound of skateboard wheels rolling on a wooden ramp shakes the moving truck that I’m sleeping on the floor of and another roaring cheer reverberates…30 seconds later, the truck shakes even more and an even louder cheer erupts. Time to get up and see what is happening out there. I crawl out to find 3 or 4 skaters (who I later found out were an awesome crew from Santa Cruz) riding the ramps and about 20 people and an art car huddled around the front of our small camp at 9 & H. That was the moment I realized what we had created, a magical space where people from all over the world, all ages, races, genders, and even in any attire or none could come together and skateboard freely for the first time or the millionth time and have tens if not hundreds of people cheering on their accomplishments of landing skateboard maneuvers. This was like no other skatepark, it was only about positive encouragement of anyone who wanted to skateboard.
Many would call it a bad idea for trying to get sleep on the Playa to have a wall ride against the truck you were sleeping in (which may be true), but we surprisingly realized that this is what I’ll called the ‘Best Alarm Clock Ever’. Whenever there was incredible shredding going on at SK8 KAMP, it would wake me up and I could either lay there and simply enjoy the sounds or I could wake up and join the excitement. Since SK8 KAMP is a 24/7 skatepark, this way I could lay down and get some rest when the park was quiet and whenever things were going off I could choose to wake up if I wanted to join the action. Not completely rational logic, but made sense to me and that was all that mattered. The sounds of the skateboarding was music to my ears knowing that I created something that not only skaters but the many spectators could experience joy out of, as well. TRY IT OUT YOURSELF WITH OUR ‘NIGHT OF SWEET DREAMS UNDER THE RAMP’ REWARD.
This iconic (and tallest) part of our installation of our first year of SK8 KAMP was the 10’ tall, 4’ wide wall ride (we actually made a 8’ radius transition cut off at 6’ so it could fit into our moving truck, and it had 4’ of vert) that used the moving truck that we slept in as the supporting wall and this had a opposing 6’ tall roll-in to gain speed to ride the wall.
This first year of SK8 KAMP had a pretty small park with having a relatively small committed build crew and being a little unsure if everything would fit in the 24’ box truck that we rented. We staged and built the ramps before the burn at Mission Motors parking lot in San Francisco where Derek worked. We had a few late night builds with Derek, Jameson, Ilya, a couple others, and Myself. The pre-built ramps included the 2’ tall, 8’ wide half pipe and a 4’ tall, 8’ wide half pipe (purchased from two local families for $100 for the 2’ and $200 for the 4’ because the parents wanted to get rid of the ramps since the kids no longer rode them) that were separated by 2 opposing 4’ wide banks we made out of a couple manual pads that Jameson had. In the other direction of the flat bottom, we built a 6’ tall (3’ radius with 3’ of vert to re-create the Berkeley Banks) wall ride that was 8’ wide with a DJ booth behind it. And, opposing the wall ride, we had a mellow 4’ tall, 4’ wide quarter pipe. This formed a corner less bowl that we could ride around. A few great artists including Jameson, and Taylor Reinhold and others blessed the ramps with amazing artwork.
We went out to Burning Man without a plan of what we would do with the ramps afterwards. Would we burn them all or bring them back? We decided on Playa that we wanted to keep most of the ramp, but would be willing to burn a few pieces. We spent a couple days asking around if there was an ‘approved’ way to burn the ramps at Burning Man. We asked around BMORG and got the general response that if we wanted to burn them that it had to be pre-arranged as part of the burn plan for one of the organized burns, so ‘NO’. The temple in 2011 was an incredible sight (as most years are) and we decided that we wanted to do a skate session out by the temple before the temple burns and hopefully burn that ramp section with the Temple. Jameson had a pickup truck so he said, let’s load up the 10’ wall ride and roll-in and burn them with the temple. I thought there was no way it would work, but he said that he would figure it out, so I helped him load it into his truck with a little crew and went with it. No more than 15 minutes later he drove back to Kamp and said, grab your boards, and he threw on a couch with the Grandmas (from Smile for Grandma Camp that was across H street from us). Jameson said he was able to get it arranged by telling rather than asking. He drove out and said, where should we place these ramps so that they can be burned with the temple. The crew around the temple was stoked at the idea of a skate session and burning the ramp with the temple, so they in fact helped unload and set-up the ramp and carry it into the burn pile they were prepping. We re set-up the entire 10’ tall wall-ride and roll in out at the perimeter of the Temple. This turned out to be the most magical morning with amazing blue skies with puffy white clouds, a scene that almost could have only existed in our dreams. We did a session for about 45 minutes with Captain Booya, Jameson, Velly Vel, Loren Thompson, James Bones, and me that was a great farewell and thank you to the ramp before burning it.
So, we asked around to see if anyone was interested in taking them home or knew of a skatepark that could benefit from having them. Jameson who lived in West Oakland at the time said that K-Dubs who organized a community skatepark at West Oakland’s Town Park would probably be interested so I got his number so I could call him on our drive back. It did work out to put some ramps at Town Park. The 4’ half pipe and the 2 bank ramps were re-installed in West Oakland’s Town Park Skatepark that lasted for about a year before we replaced it with the 3/4 bowl from SK8 KAMP 2012.
Kool Karlo who we met on the Playa and was at SK8 KAMP almost 23 hours a day the whole burn had a warehouse in San Francisco that he installed the 2′ mini ramp in that was there until July 2016 and we hope to bring it back out the the Playa this year.
LETS BRING MORE STOKE to SK8 KAMP 2016 and 2016 BURNING MAN!
Please donate to help us build the SK8 KASTLE 2016 and share with everyone you know!