Recently I was cruising through my instagram feed and saw that Seamus had broken ground on a DIY park.
Being someone who loves riding concrete I wanted to talk to him about his project and whats it going to take to get it going, the path that has taken him to this project, and what he likes in a park.
Charlotte, NC // Photo: Ryan Fudger
I saw on Instagram that you had put up a Go Fund Me for a DIY spot you guys have going. It caught my attention and I wanted to chat it up with you about it. Can you give me a lil background on what you guys have going on there?
Probably 12 years ago my parents bought an old auto body shop on 2 acres in the middle of nowhere. They used the property to store equipment and materials for their concrete business. Immediately upon purchase, probably before my parents even said I could, supplies were shoved to the side and ramps were constructed inside. The set up was incredible, we had some raging parties and drove my parents crazy as bad teenagers.
Luis Pinzon // Charlotte, NC // DIY Spot
Fast forward a few years and I move to Charlotte and focus more on our DIY spot there. My parents need the space and the now dilapidated ramps start to disappear. Eventually, my parents sold their business, I moved to Georgia, and the property laid dormant for five years or so.
Georgia Bowling // Photo: Chris Burden
Moving to Georgia and having 10 or so concrete parks available at my disposal sparked a love for concrete I hadn’t explored much before and haven’t been able to shake since.
Asheville, NC // Photo: Todd Nichols
After a couple attempts at DIY spots in Georgia that crashed and burned, and visiting some of the best spots in the country really fed the urge to make something private, one of a kind, and with the community I care about. I had to move back to Carolina.
I am very lucky, my parents are awesome. It didn’t take much convincing that I could care for the now dilapidated property and clean up the remnants of their former concrete company in exchange for building my dream out there. Not only do I have access to their knowledge with concrete, I have tons of rebar, all the tools, an excavator, backfill, a huge chunk of the necessary supplies to get started.
I moved back in March 2017 and began cleaning up. We started stacking rubble that I was cleaning and piling dirt on top.This method lasted about 2 weeks until it all collapsed. Haha. So I cleaned up my new mess and started building walls. My parents one stipulation (for now) is that we don’t dig too deep below the surface.
We will be using a few different techniques such as concrete, cinder block, forms, and the natural shape of the land out there to encase the concrete monolith going inside. For now we are just doing everything we can to collect cinder blocks and concrete to pour our footer so we can get to the real fun of making some transition take shape. I work 50+hours a week and currently live an hour from the spot, so all I can do is bust my ass every weekend. But the go fund me has really sparked people’s ambition to help out both financially and physically.
I have a building that is half finished inside that I could eventually live in and print t-shirts out of, (something I do on the side). I have friends who build skateparks for a living and others who just want to work hard to bring this utopia to life. We are all dedicated. Nothing can stop us from making this happen.
You said you found a love of concrete you can’t shake? I know the feeling! What makes riding concrete different or special to you that you might find riding other things?
Well, concrete bowls are awesome because they are like miniature energy vortexes. It’s a confined area where the energy just circulates and people go insane, each persons run revving up everyone else on the deck to challenge their own boundaries of speed and accuracy. It’s totally up to you how high or far you want to go out of the ramp, or you can have as much fun never even leaving the coping. Whether you’re 8 or 80, everyone can find their own way and have a blast. Sometimes it’s not even about the riding, but more about the environment. starting your own little party on the deck, blasting tunes and grilling out. Each concrete sculpture is better for its own quirks and unique characteristics and the hunger to touch them all for yourself is never satisfied.
Whip Snake // Photo: Tom Rissers
That was seriously the best answer. I feel the same way. Sometimes i just want to be around friends and take a few laps but then there are those days that you feel the energy shift and you start feeding off the session and friends.
Are there any obstacles or designs that you want to incorporate into the spot your working on? Maybe something form another park that you like so much you want to recreate it? I would love to remake the old punk/Cinderblock wall that Burnside had in the 90’s. It was seriously one of the funnest things to ride!
Dude you’re going to love my spot. I’ll have shit loads of punk wall haha. For some reason the concrete to cinder blend just looks and feels so cool.
To answer your question, absolutely. I want a crazy box jump like Florence, OR. That park and Grindline parks in general are a huge influence for their imaginative and dangerous designs. I want a big steep bank like FairPlay, CO. I love spines that fan out into a big quarter pipe so you can transfer both ways. The flow of the West Lynn, OR park is unmatchable. Whip Snake, a private skatepark in South Carolina is an abstract sculpture of a park that has taken dozens of visits to even begin to crack the shell of possible lines. I appreciate this in a park more than anything. By all means, build whatever you want. Any bit of concrete poured makes our world more fun. But in my opinion, you might as well make it count and build something you haven’t seen or felt yet. Create your own trademark obstacle.
I don’t envy skatepark designers. Nowadays you have to appeal to a wide array of disciplines and styles, all while giving the park direction that doesn’t warrant collision or traffic jams. Obviously some soul gets lost in that. While I have plenty of crazy ideas and a general layout of what I’d like to make, I’m looking forward to building a little bit, riding a little bit, and letting the creation kind of organically take shape. All the while, keeping in mind the spots and obstacles I am continually inspired by to coalesce an end product that is distinctive but functional and exactly what WE want to ride.
Ya Florence is nuts! It was built by Airspeed which was part of the original trinity when they split. From what I heard is that when Dreamland started when it would approach a city they would say that they still had to put three bids out there. So then that started Grindline & Airspeed. Unfortunately Airspeed isn’t around anymore but I always like the parks they built. Very unique.
I know when I originally hit you up I wanted to bring more attention to your project and the Go Fund Me you have up.
Can you shoot me through that info incase anyone out there wants to help a rad BMX project like this!
Also do you guys have a Instagram for the spot I can link up?
Damn! Shows how much I know. After you told me that I did some research and thought it was hilarious with parks like Waldport, the town just wanted a chill 5 foot bowl and they built that crazy ass mini capsule thing. I’m sure the town was stoked when they saw it. Can’t wait to get back out that way. We only hit 1/10th of all the gems. Anyways, I just made an instagram since you asked haha. Needed to be done. I’m trying to set it up as a non profit and get some cash outta all the NASCAR drivers around here. The go fund me is:
Instagram is @goatpenskatepark