Mini ramp open for business 0
Banff's skateboarding community is celebrating the opening of their brand new mini ramp.
And they built the thing themselves.
Volunteers worked day and night to construct the new addition to the skatepark that replaces the older ramp that was falling apart.
It had been a process since April when skateboarders met with the town to discuss what needed to be done to improve the park in the parking lot at the Rec Grounds.
"We went over what would keep skateboarders in the community happy until the prospect of a permanent park came along, which could be years away," said Jonathan Chew, who helped organize volunteers to build the ramp.
"The best option was to buy new wood and build a ramp that made the old ramp look puny."
And that's just what they did.
The Town of Banff purchased the wood with the agreement volunteers would construct the ramp, and Chew said they were more than happy to oblige.
"No matter who I called, whether they skateboarded or not, everybody was willing to help," he said.
Sometimes it meant eight hours a day hammering nails before heading to work, but no one is saying it wasn't worth it.
In all, it took three weeks to build the ramp, and while a few touches still need to go on it, skateboarders are already lining up to try it out.
The mini ramp should now tide skateboarders over until the skatepark itself can be upgraded, which could be several years away depending on the town's budget.
The park has older features and could use some work.
"It's really dated," Chew said. "If it was 1995 people would be happy with it."
Not to mention it's built on an old parking lot so falling on the asphalt is like falling on sandpaper.
Chew said ideally, the skateboard community would like to see it replaced with a concrete park.
"People have this impression it has to be gigantic to be fun. It just needs to be well constructed," he said.
Until then, the mini ramp will get plenty of use before skateboards are traded in for snowboards.
"This is the most fun I think I've had all summer."