since 2009

since 2009

Photos from my archive, new and old stuff from the world of skateboarding. All logo designs by Eduardo Pigatto, Brazil (Cover Photo by Alexander Schulte-Stemmerck, all other photos by Chris Eggers unless otherwise noted)

Montag, 17. November 2014

Spring, Texas

With Photos by Lance Childers, words by Ben Andrews 
Vor einiger Zeit verabschiedeten wir Ben Andrews aus Deutschland. Seine neue Heimat ist nun Houston in Texas, USA. Er ist darüber gar nicht so unglücklich, ist Houston doch die Heimat des momentan modernsten und zweitgrößten Skateparks der USA. In Kooperation mit Lance Childers von dem diese gigantischen Luftaufnahmen sind stellt er uns den Park vor. Meiner Meinung nach hat dieser Park endlich mal den Namen SkatePARK verdient. Es handelt sich hier wohlgemerkt um einen Skateboard-Park und nicht um einen SkatePlatz oder Skatergelände oder sonst irgend etwas Spielplatz ähnliches wie so gerne hier in Deutschland die Bezeichnungen lauten. 
Quite a while ago we said good bye to Ben Andrews. His new home is Houston in Texas. He is not too unhappy about that due to Houston being home of the countries most modern skatepark to date. In collaboration with Lance Childers who sent us these awesome airial shots he is presenting the park for us here.
In my opinion this is a park that deserves the name skatePARK finally. This is a skateboard park and
not a playgound-like skatearea or skatersplace like they are called over here.
Hier ist Ben´s Mitteilung dazu:
This is Ben´s message:

"Greetings from America to my German skate family across the pond! As much as I miss the good sessions and good times I cannot say that I could’ve moved anywhere better in the country at the moment.

Viele Grüße an meine deutsche Skate Familie über den Teich. So sehr ich die guten Sessions vermisse
muss ich sagen, ich hätte es nicht besser treffen können.

Houston, Texas. The skate scene here is very on point and is full of incredible rippers! The weather
here is extremely sunny and hot throughout the summer.  I will let you know now that August is
almost too hot to skate outside for more than an hour at a time, but with the extensive amount of
amazing concrete here you’ll find yourself pushing through the heat. There are many parks sprawled
across the entire city of Houston and I could talk about all of them all day, but I will spare you
the ongoing rant.

Houston, Texas. Die Szene hier ist super und voller Ripper! Es ist den ganzen Sommer sonnig und heiß. Im August ist es fast zu warm um länger als eine Stunde am Stück zu skaten, aber hier gibt es so
viel super Beton, da zieht man durch. Es gibt viele Parks und ich könnte den ganzen Tag davon erzählen, aber ich spare euch das. 

Downtown Houston is home to the Lee and Jamail skate park which is home to the largest cradle in
the world! The park is complete with a snake run, street course, kidney pool with stairs, and a large
flow bowl complete with tall transitions and a pristine 13 ft. tall concrete vert ramp in the deep end.

Es gibt hier den Lee and Jamail skate park mit der größten cradle der Welt! Snakerun, Street Course
Kidney Pool mit Stairs, ein großer Flow Bowl mit großen Transitions und eine saubere 4 Meter Vert Ramp im Deepend machen den Park komplett.

However, when Chris contacted me to write this guest post the focus wasn’t directed towards
much more than the brand new Spring, Texas skate park. Currently the 2nd largest park in the world
with an estimated cost of over 5.5 million dollars, the park is overwhelming to say the least. I have
been skating this park many times a week since it opened back in August and I literally still find
new features to skate every time I go there.

Chris hat mich jedoch wegen dem nagelneuen Spring Skatepark kontaktiert, momentan dem zweitgrößten der Welt. Über 5,5 Mio $ teuer, dieser Park haut einem um. Ich bin da schon oft geskated, er hat im August aufgemacht und ich finde immer noch neue Features."

Hier ist Ben´s Beschreibung des Parks auf Englisch (den Interessierten empfehle ich, das durchzulesen):

This is Ben´s description of the park (I recommend reading this to those interested):

"When you first walk into the park you find a very wide  quarter pipe suitable for many beginner riders to learn and dial in their lip tricks. This “beginner” section is also complete with manual pads, ledges, a door to carve over, and many banks varying in transitions. If you follow the park to the right from here you will find yourself in an immense street course with every feature you could ever really need including a concrete handrail! The highlight of the street course for me personally is the giant Texas star section which consists of a pentagon shaped pyramid, very spacious flat smooth concrete and nice mellow quarter pipes with escalators around the edges. After navigating through the array of features in the street course you will find yourself at the beginning of the snake run which is littered with quarterpipes of every transition and coping you could ever want. This section of the park has proven to be an amazing spot for utilizing many transition tricks you would use in a mini ramp while cruising along the run. This snake run wraps around half of the park and has many extensions, banks, a slappy curb, and many more features. A portion of this snake run will remind you of a ditch which is a blast! After the very end of the run there is another flow bowl/snake run on the other side of it which has major potential for some high speed lines and transfers. Near the front
of the park you will find a sort of miniature flow bowl complete with a spine and a few hips and
mostly steel coping. The keyhole bowl has been a major attraction for many big transition skaters
with the large mellow transitions, pool coping, and pristine channel gap. The backyard pool is one
of the least skated bowls at the park, but is easily one of my favorite things to skate. The vertical
 walls in the shallow end make the stairs a challenge in itself to carve over. The loveseat in the
deep end is a blast to carve over as well. If you are a fan of backyard pool tight transitions then
this pool will not disappoint! The barney bowl is located in the back and is sort of similar to a
combi bowl type of shape, but with not too deep of transitions. This bowl is a lot of fun for some
high speed lines and long grinds. To the right of the barney bowl is another bowl that I have not
quite heard a name for. Anyways, this bowl is home of a steep waterfall that will loop you out if
you are not prepared for it. The deep end of this bowl is roughly about 12 ft deep and the shallow
end is about 5 ft. Now for the feature that everyone has been asking about, the “Texas” bowl. The
Texas bowl is centered around a 22 ft tall full pipe that has a mean echo when you carve over the
half way mark. The shallow portion of this bowl has may features including extensions and love seats
 to grind over. One of the things that make this bowl so much fun to skate is the diversity of the
bowl. There are many sections of the bowl that consist of steel coping and many others that consist
of pool coping. The North side of the bowl has two separate vert sections. The first consists of
relatively parallel walls about 12.5 ft. tall and also a 16 ft. vert wall extension. Don’t let the
look that these walls are parallel fool you though. There are some near invisible bubbles and
pockets that can catch you by surprise. The other deep end of the bowl has relatively same transitions
but is rounded and has pool coping. This deep end is commonly referred to as the “Dallas” section of
the bowl and usually goes unskated by most but the brave. The rest of the bowl consists of large super
banks, a cradle, and many hips.

Ich weiß, man meint ich nehme den Mund recht voll wenn man das liest, aber glaubt mir, da sind
mehr features in dem Park als ich hier beschreiben kann. Die Locals sind freundlich und der Park
ist jetzt schon sehr international. Grade letzt bin ich den "Texas" Bowl mit einem Schweden geskated,
vor zwei Wochen skatete ich mit zwei Franzosen, die auch schon dieselbe Vertramp wie ich in Strasbourg geskated sind. Es ist wirklich eine kleine Welt aber überall werden Skateparks gebaut.
Ok hier ist jetzt meine Einladung hierher zu kommen und das mit uns zu erleben und ich verspreche euch ihr werdet nicht enttäuscht! Ihr wisst schon, dass es hier immer einen Pennplatz gibt wenn ihr euch hierher begebt. Ich freue mich auf eine Re-Union Session!
Roll forever
- Ben Andrews

I know reading all that was a little bit of a mouthful, but trust me when I say that there
are literally too many features in this park to fit all into this text. I can say that the locals
are friendly and the park is already becoming extremely international. Just the other day I skated
the “Texas” bowl with a Swedish man from Stockholm, and two weeks before that I skated with two
Frenchmen, who apparently skated the same Strasbourg vert ramp I used to skate in France. It truly
is a small world, but with continuously growing skate parks popping up around the globe every day.
Now I leave you with an invitation to come explore this awesome skate scene with us and I promise you will not be disappointed! You guys already know that you will always have a place to crash if you
find yourself in my neck of the woods. Cannot wait for some reunion sessions in the near future!

Roll Forever.

-Ben Andrews"

Meiner Meinung nach müssen Skateparks in Zukunft so aussehen. So und nicht anders was Qualität und Größe angeht.  Zugegeben in Texas ist alles etwas größer als anderswo, aber wenn Deutschland in Zukunft im Skateboarding etwas reißen will, dann muss hier ein Umdenken in diese Richtung stattfinden.
Skateboarding wird in nächster Zeit olympische Sportart werden, ob wir das nun gut finden oder nicht und es ist ja sicher gewünscht, dass auch deutsche Athleten in dieser Sportart mal eine Medaille holen. Ohne gerechte Trainingsmöglichkeiten wird das aber nicht möglich sein. Vielleicht findet da ja mal ein Umdenken statt, irgendwann will keiner mehr Ringen und Eisstockschießen sehen und die Werbepartner der TV Sender werden sich sonst abwenden.
Der Park in Houston ist 7200 QM groß und hat 6,5 Mio USD gekostet. Nach Angaben von Lance ist der tiefste Bowl 10,5 Feet (ca. 3,50 Meter) tief.
Scheinbar wurde der Park über ein besonderes Steuermodel finanziert, nachdem einige Skater vor 3 bis 4 Jahren bei der Stadt vorstellig wurden und vorgeschlagen hatten, dass das Geld besser in einen
Skatepark als ein Einkaufszentrum investiert werden sollte.
Das Einzugsgebiet für den Park ist groß aber auch aus dem ganzen Land und allen Teilen der Welt haben bereits Skater den Park besucht.

In my opinion skateparks have to look like that in the future.  Not any different than that considering
quality and size. Admitted, everything is bigger in Texas they say but if we want to play a part
in Skateboarding as Germany this ist the way to go. Skateboarding will be an olympic sport sooner or
later if we like that or not and I am sure it is desired that German athletes grab some of these medals. This will not be possible without the proper training facilities.

Maybe there will be some kind of going in that direction. Some day no one will want to see curling or
wrestling any more and the TV advertisers will turn away otherwise.

The park in Houston is 78,000 square feet.  It was $6.5 million dollars.  The money was from a
TIRZ fund, which was allotted toward a really horrible mall a few miles away.  A project had been
underway starting about 3 or 4 years ago to get a skatepark in that area, however it had fallen apart.
A few years later Lance and a few friends went to city counsel during one of their public hearings
and asked that the TIRZ funds be put into the stalled skatepark project instead of a mall. 
With some help from the Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority, the money was put toward the skatepark project.  It is very large due to the funds and space that was available

The deepest bowl is 10.5 feet with a 15 foot extension.  The full pipe is around 22.
There is a massive neighborhood directly behind the skatepark, however people from all over the city, state, country, and world have been coming there

Thanks to Ben and Lance!

Rock´n´Roll Bowl, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2013 

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