Talking skatepark design with Rune Glifberg. A few months back Rune rolled through London to film for Sidewalk’s Concrete Dinosaurs project. There was of course, it being England, a rain day so we took the opportunity to chat with Rune about his skatepark design company Glifberg & Lykke, the economic benefits of a good skatepark, what impact the Olympics could have on park design, and more besides…
Header photo by Jelle Keppens | Featured photo by Keke Leppala
Beginning with skatepark obstacles, what was the first obstacle you designed and built?
I built a jump ramp when I was around 11 or 12, but I want to say the first original design I came up with that was built was the Volcom vert ramp. I guess that was copied over and over, a lot of people have done vert ramps with the closed in angle on the end walls since. That came about because we didn’t have that much room, at the time when vert ramps were really wide, we had a warehouse with a big pole in the middle so there was only so much space that we could use. It wasn’t wide enough so I thought why don’t we try to angle in, so you can come down and it will shoot you back where you came from. It’s almost like a boomerang effect, you go as fast as you can towards one end and it has something to catch you and shoot you back just as fast, so it almost makes the ramp twice as wide.
Almost like skating a bowl corner in a vert ramp?
Yeah, in a way. I think that one was probably the tallest one out of all of them, if you’re making an extension the taller the better because it will give you way more speed, I think it was a 2ft extension. I’ll say that was the first one I came up with that actually worked. I was working with Remy Stratton at the time and brought the idea to him, he backed it, Team Pain built the ramp for us and it was a great success. It was copied over and over, it’s almost like a normal thing for people to build vert ramps that way now. Pretty proud of that one.