BARN RAMP - Joy Rd - Ann ARBOR, Michigan
Living out on a farm in the country gave me a rare opprotunity to have an indoor ramp. Here was the deal. There was several barns and large buildings on this property. Most were being used for various farm activities. There was one building that wasn't usable for farming but made an excellent place to host a half pipe. The building had collasped at one end and most of the roof was gone or had huge holes in it. We started fixing the holes in the area we planned to build the ramp but there were to many to deal with. So we ended up hanging a huge tarp, up next to the ceiling and at an angle so any water that did fall through the holes would just run off to one side. It sounds cheesy but it actually worked pretty well. The ramp was 24' wide and had 12' of flatspace, made with 10' transitions but only 8' tall. The whole ramp was coped with cement pool coping. That was the one big thing that made our ramp fucking awesome. REAL grinds on REAL pool coping were rare in Michigan. On one corner was a severe vertical extension that was 4' tall and 8' wide. Pure vert. We took a sheet of plywood and built a heavy frame for it and attached it to the deck. It was cool to thurst up onto the extention then use that speed to blast moves on the other side. At one time there was a cement curb on top of it. Now THAT was a bitch to get up there! Doing curb tricks were hectic! due to being way up in the ceiling rafters of the building. I could frontside grind the curb. Brian Mank did lien to tail and fakie rocks on it. The extention was also very fun to blast airs off of.
Besides being indoors, the ramp also featured huge decks with couches, making it a nice hangout scene. Stereo system, nice big flood lights and storage for beers. Some spectators were tolerated, but as rule this was a "skater only zone". Besides, if you didnt skate you had no business being out there. With the closet neighbors being about a mile away ment that we could skate at any time of the evening. And we did. On the weekends.. damn.. it wouldn't be unusal to have 30-60 skaters out. Crews from ALL over Michigan, Ohio and Indiana made the trek up. MANY MANY midnight sessions were in FULL effect. Skating till 4-5am at times. Consuming beers and throwing down grinds. In the wintertime it was THE best place to skate. Many skaters braved snow storms and icy roads to make their way out for a few hours of session. Several pros made the trip out to skate. Reese Simpson skated it a couple times. If you can find his interview that was done in TransWorld Skateboarding say... around 1989-1990. All those pictures were taken at my ramp. Jimmy Murphy (Alva), Monty Nolder(BBC) and Jamie Mossberg(BBC) was on tour and stopped out for a session. That was an awesome evening! Those cats loved the pool coping and perfect flow of the transitions. Monty Nolder stoked me by saying that I did the best "frontside rock and rolls" he had ever seen. I'll never forget that. Ben Schoeder (dogtown) came out a couple of times.
Pretty much any skater was welcome to come out. Oh..there was one rule, no FUCKING BMX BIKES were allowed. I remember bumming a few guys out with that one.
The ramp was only around for 3-4 years. In that time there had to have been at least several hundred different people who skated there at one time or another. It was without a doubt THE place to skate at that time. It was as close to a perfect situation as you could get. We ground the FUCK out of that pool coping. *grin*