DIY is one of the oldest principles of skateboarding. It is an aspect that every skater will have relied on whether they know it or not. In Europe, the DIY park culture is something growing in popularity and the evidence of this is clear. Through initiatives such as the 'Set in Stone' project, Kingpin have been able to document a series of DIY projects across the continent made possible with input from Carhartt and Emerica. This Top 5 features some of Europe's gnarliest, funnest and most elaborate DIY skate spots. There are so many more sick DIY spots all over, this is just a small fraction of them. Hopefully this article will inspire you to create some of your own spots this winter... or maybe wait till summer.
Betonhausen Spot in Berlin
Berlin's Betonhausen spot began as a small DIY concrete quarter pipe collection filling in the space next to an existing skatepark. Since then, it has grown with the help and guidance of Lennie Burmeister and some locals to fill the entire space between the two buildings. Now, the spot entails a large, yet really choppy, mass of concrete transition with plenty of pool-style elements. After the success of the spot, the building on the other side has been taken over by the DIY madness, and now stands as a full indoor DIY park. Theres a decent little series talking about building the original spot and documenting the construction of the indoor section, that might be worth checking out if your interested. Here is the first episode.
In the meantime, check out this more recent little edit highlighting the spot and a new feature...
TBS (Train Bank Spot) in Malmö
Thanks to the recent success of Polar Skate Co and their edits, TBS is probably one of the most well known DIY spots in Europe. Train Bank Spot has gradually grown over time, spreading along the side of an old disused factory in Malmö, Sweden. It was originally built in 2004 in response to the loss of previous DIY spot 'Savanah Side' and consisted of a wall ride and china bank spot. Since then, Pontus Alv and friends have constructed the rest of the surrounding area into an expanse of 100 metres. The spot now features ledges, wall rides, banks, a pole jam, gaps and more flowing transition type elements. TBS has been featured in many of Polar's edits but can be seen in some local Malmö scene stuff too.
This video shows how TBS was made to be skated...
Suvilahti Spot in Helsinki
Suvilahti is situated within the grounds of a disused industrial complex in Helsinki. The people who owned it initially stated that the skaters could occupy the area until some time in 2014, but who knows what is going to happen as we are soon to approach that date. The DIY build consists of a gnarly mass of concrete tranny flowing between large pump humps to hips, a rainbow extension, big bowl corners and dynamic, naturally flowing concrete waves. Oh, and some transition topped ledges. As its probably clear, Pontus Alv lent a bit of his expertise to this project, helping out with some of the physical construction techniques and adding to the original layout and design. You can see the resemblance in style to some his Malmö build's. This DIY spot has so much flow and character and definitely has a lot to offer. Get down there if you ever get the chance.
Here's a sick edit of Samu Karvonen shredding the spot to its full capacity...
Sheafside Spot in Sheffield
Sheafside spot in Sheffield inhabits the grounds of an abandoned building at the far end of a Tesco car park. For years the spot has been skated with the addition of little short-term obstacles built up and changed over time. When the 'Set in Stone' project was brought in, the whole spot got a good seeing to with new long term features built such as: the 'whoop de whoop', a red brick looking double-hipped flat bank, a pole jam, a bank to ledge and a couple quarter pipes. These joined some original obstacles, to make a full rounded, opportunity filled street style spot. Since then, new additions have been built including a manny pad with ledge extension. Some of the local skate community are trying to raise money to continue building and maintaining this spot so by the looks of it, the full potential of Sheafside is still yet to be realised. Unfortunately, the block and flat bar have been recently destroyed by vandals but everything else is still skate-able. If you're ever in the Sheffield area, Sheafside is definitely worth a visit or two.
Creedence DIY Park in Brescia
Creedence DIY spot in Brescia, Italy began as a planned skate park. The initial funding and plans however fell through and a few locals decided to take it into their own hands to get the job done. Two grand's worth of materials and concrete flat ground was in the hands of the skaters and left to them to make of it what they could. The Creedence spot originally grew to feature a speed bump, a corner, a funbox, a manny pad and a pyramid. With the help of the Carhartt and Emerica project, a complex series of transition has been formed, all topped with pretty slick pool coping. This DIY park is different to most as it would pretty much pass for an official construction, but this just goes down to all the hard work put into it. The Creedence DIY Park in Brescia is definitely the place to visit if you're ever planning a trip to the area. There's so many creative opportunities as the park combines gnarly elements of both tranny and street.