Palo Alto, California
Around 2009 Google (yes, that’s right - GOOGLE the number one search engine!) ordered our 5 foot tall half pipe skate ramp kits that was sent up to Mountain View their headquarters in Northern California. They had their own team assemble it inside one of their offices. It lasted many years as hundreds of Google employees skated that ramp. They invited several professional skateboarders over there to skate with them. By around 2018 a new team took over that particular office and had to remove the ramp to replace with desks. Boring!!! This upset a lot of the Google employees because they wanted a ramp to skate on, have a place for them to hang out during or after work hours with their skate club.
We were then hit up by the Google asking us for a proposal on both 4 foot and 5 foot tall halfpipes. The only difference with this new ramp is it was going outdoors. Google contractors needed to build a new outdoor facility that would house this particular skate ramp. In 2019 Google ordered a 4 foot tall half pipe by 12 foot wide plus they wanted it sheeted with GatorSkins for the best weatherproofing protection. So we shipped them the kit and we booked our flights to go up a couple weeks thereafter as our own professional team would install the ramp on site.
One night before we were set to fly up to San Francisco we got a call from the Google contractor stating that we needed to cancel our flights and the project was to be postponed. Evidently there was an endangered owl that was just nested near the Google facility and the city was stopping any type of construction in that particular zone. What in the hooot?!! The city’s fear was that any ongoing construction would cause this endangered owl harm or danger or to move away. At first when we were told this information we thought it was a scene from a South Park episode - but they were serious!! We then were told to be on ‘standby’ until they got the city approval to resume construction and we could then fly out and assemble the ramp.
A few years went by. No joke. At the new year of 2022 we received a phone call from Google employees and contractors that they were very excited to have us up in the month of February to assemble the ramp on site. Our team of three flew up there and started to build the frame of the ramp on the very first day. Check out our Instagram (direct link) clip!
The ramp itself was being placed on a concrete foundation with three walls as they were still working on the outer perimeter and blocking.
The construction staff was incredible to work with and many of the Google employees came out to greet us and tell us how excited they were to finally get their ramp back.
With all of these conversations it certainly did delay our construction process. But nothing delayed us more than going into the Google cafeteria and partaking in their wonderful gourmet food! Between their incredible food and skateboard ramp we wouldn’t leave their facility if we worked there either! We also were visited by Gary Rogers from Thrasher’s Skateline TV. Gary has been a long friend of OC RAMPS and with him living locally he wanted to stop by to say hello plus enjoy the Google tour with us.
We threw him in a construction vest, a hardhat and for the day we claimed he was an OC RAMPS employee. Although Gary is a great friend, after seeing his carpentry skills we told him he should NOT quit his day job haha.
Tom, Christian and Tyler (the owner) finished the ramp on the second day just in time to do a demonstration for the Google employees. See the clip from our Instagram!
One of the tests that we did was a sound test- we sent a contractor up to the third level of the offices directly above the ramp as he wanted to hear the sound from the skateboarding. Tom then wanted to test the wall and drop jump and drop in to the ramp from there.
And of course all of us tested the ramp for several minutes. Skaterboarder approved!!
After conducting all these tests successfully we decided to wrap up our tools and head out to the San Jose airport and fly home - it was a quick and very busy trip.
All in all we had a great time building for Google — their headquarters has a ramp and their CEO has a ramp. There's a reason why they are choosing OC RAMPS! Please let us know if you have any custom projects or want one of our standard kits. We pride ourselves on being the number one choice in the world for skate ramps. Until the next adventure!!