A couple of years ago, a customer reached out to us after seeing some of the custom skate bowl projects that we had been working on. He was interested in having a custom bowl built at his home in San Diego, California. After speaking to him about this project, we drove down to his home in 2018 to take a look at the property and the space which we had available to work with to make these skate bowl dreams come to life.
We had to figure out the logistics such as how to bring the bowl parts into the backyard. The biggest hurdle we faced was how do you get 10,000 lbs of lumber into this space without a helicopter.
There was a tight space where the side yard was and the majority of the backyard was occupied with a pool. Given this situation, our team had to get clever in terms of how we could load in all of the materials through an alternate route. One of the ideas we had revolved around the empty lot behind the customer's property. We felt that this would be our best route to take for the load in with the skate bowl materials.
Another unique concept which came into play with this project was that the customer was building a brand new home, from the ground up, and wanted to wait until the house, the landscaping, and all other aspects involved in this process was completely done before we put in the bowl.
Little did the customer know, all of the delays which can occur with getting permits for rebuilding a house, this was going to be far from just a three, four, five, six month project. The customer hit us back up at the beginning of 2021 to let us know that his home project had been completed and he was ready to start working on this custom skate bowl project again.
OC Ramps CEO, Tyler Large, drove down to San Diego to take a look at the property after the new year to begin working out the plans for this bowl project. The property was drastically different from when we initially visited in 2018. There in beautiful, sunny San Diego was a brand new, gorgeous home with a beautiful swimming pool and great landscaping. We knew that bringing a skate bowl to this property would bring it that much closer to paradise.
The space which we had to work with for the project was a relatively flat and level concrete surface. It was roughly 35 ft wide x 25 ft long.
We discussed some ideas for optional upgrades such as going with Skatelite Pro or Gatorskins for the skate surface and if he wanted one or two extensions for the bowl. He was debating building the ramp at 3.5 ft tall versus 3 ft tall.
We went through a couple additional ideas with the customer. We discussed the option of filling in the space, every square inch, of that part of the yard with the bowl along with extending the top deck platforms. We also discussed the possibility of adding some different shapes to the bowl such as a kidney shape. The kidney bowl is a common bowl shape in skateboarding.
The only downfall which comes with the build of a kidney bowl is that it requires more labor and more materials which then brings up the cost of the project. The same goes for filling the entire space with the bowl.
The customer had several weeks to think about these upgrades and additional modification. Where we ended up was that he decided to go with a 3 ft tall bowl with a standard, oval shape. He chose to go with one extension which would be 8 ft wide and 1 ft taller making it 4 ft in height.
He wanted to keep the platforms 2 ft deep, but we informed him that he can always add onto this later if he does choose to. With this, one idea he did have was to later, during a Phase 2 modification, extend out the platform where there is additional, open space available to make it roughly 10 ft deep. His vision is to use that new 10 ft deep deck to put a barbecue and some lawn chairs. We are stoked to see how this future project turns out down the road.
To wrap up the final bowl modifications, he wanted to extend the deck to 4 ft deep on the side of the bowl which would be facing a hill. We also discussed putting in a very basic hand rail on this same end. Lastly, he decided to go with brown Gatorskins as his premium skating surface.
Once we got all of the aspects of the bowl project in order from the customer, we began prefabricating everything in our warehouse which is located in Orange County, California.
As always, our goal is to try to pre-cut, pre-drill, and countersink as much of the ramp as possible to allow for a smoother installation process. In this particular case, we were able to build all of the four bowl corners in advance.
We loaded up all of the materials for the project, including the prefabricated bowl corners and headed out to the installation site on an early, Saturday morning.
When we arrived out in San Diego, the tricky part was getting our large, flatbed trailers to the access road behind his property. The next big hurdle was unloading each 800 lb bowl corner and placing it in the proper location.
The weird pie shape which comes with bowl corners brings awkward size, shape, and weight. When walking to the installation site, we had to walk slightly up a hill, downhill, and over paver steps. Essentially an uneven surface. Our installation crew had to call out to guide each other every step of the way. It was a very difficult, tactical, and strategic process just to get those bowl corners off of the truck and to the installation site but we enjoyed every minute.
Once we got the bowl corners in place, we proceeded with transferring all of the flat sections and quarter pipe sections from our flatbed trailers to the installation site.
Our crew got to work on the assembly of this custom skate bowl once all of the materials had been transferred to the installation site. We pieced it all together and assembled the bowl within 2 full days.
The customer was very happy and satisfied with the outcome of his new, custom bowl. We hope to go back soon and skate with our professional team!
Please Contact Us with any questions you have regarding any of our skate ramp or rail kits or even a custom project! Our team is always happy to assist.