It was the summer of 1988 and Steve Alba and Christian Hosoi seemed to be on cover of every Thrasher magazine. My days were spent hanging out at the local skate shop coveting the latest deck from the Bones Brigade and devouring skate videos featuring my favorite skater, Lance Mountain.
One of the most popular neighborhood guys had a 1/2 pipe built in his backyard. Us skate groms would hang over his fence and watch as the older local kids would tear it up (or so it seemed they did).
At that point I realized I needed my own skate ramp. Fortunately we had some space in our backyard and I didn’t think anyone in the family would care if I set to work building a 1/2 pipe even though it would cover most of our yard. I drew up some plans and presented them to my Dad. The plans must not have been very convincing as the ramp idea was squashed, but my Dad did offer to help me build a 1/4 pipe at a smaller scale. I was happy with anything so off to the hardware store we went.
After gathering a few 2×4’s, plywood and masonite we had the materials for the ramp and with my crude drawings we had constructed a 1/4 pipe over the course of an afternoon. I had a grand time with that ramp for a few months that summer and remember selling it to another local kid with big skate dreams later that year.
I’m not planning on building another ramp anytime soon but if you’ve got the itch to ride there are plenty of amazing resources available online that provide detailed plans for building ramps for both skate and bmx.
I came across this great listing from Mike Senese of Skate and BMX ramp plans. As Mike mentions, DIY is part of every skaters DNA and building objects to jump, ollie or drop from is part of the experience.
photo: Thrasher Magazine