We have a customer in Virginia Beach that has been buying products from us for the last 5 years and the OC Ramps crew loves this guy!! He first started off with a 12 ft wide mini ramp then he added 8 ft in width to it creating a 20 ft wide mini ramp. Several months went by and he hit us up again to purchase the bowl corners for this ramp. He was our first client which we shipped out pre-assembled bowl corners to. Soon after that, he reached back out for a 7 to 8 ft tall mini vert ramp.
This is an interesting size because it is not technically a mini ramp because it does have a few inches of vert. It is also not the typical vert ramp as it does not have 12 ft vert, in height. For these reasons, the OC Ramps crew called it the mini vert ramp. Our customer wanted it to be 24 ft wide with 4 ft deep, top deck platforms. He also wanted an 8 ft wide extension that would bring the ramp 8 ft tall in that corner. For the top layer, he decided that he wanted to opt in for GatorSkins, a premium skating surface.
Although this particular client works in the construction industry and was able to build his previous ramps along with bowling out the corners, he had mentioned that he was extremely busy with work and wanted to pay to have our crew fly out and assemble this mini vert ramp for him.
Once we ironed out the details for this project, the OC Ramps crew started the prefabrication process in our Orange County warehouse. We had to do minor design changes in our CNC and AutoCAD program to accommodate the cuts needed for this mini vert. We did cut all of the radius pieces out on our CNC machines and then hand cut and drilled all of the 2x4s and plywood sheeting. The GatorSkins were the last step in our prefabrication process and we had predrilled and countersunk all of those sheets, as well. We then packaged all of the materials onto 2 large pallets which weighed roughly 8,000 lbs all together and sent them to our customer in Virginia Beach.
Once we shipped the products out, it was the job of Tyler, owner and CEO of OC Ramps, to look into the logistics for flights, where the crew would be staying, and transportation with all of our tools. Soon after the pallets were delivered by our freight carrier, our team flew out of LAX airport and arrived in Virginia Beach.
The very next morning we started building at 7 am. This was a bit of a challenge for us as we were on California time (PST) which would be about 4 am. When we arrived in the morning, it was rad to see the bowl which he had previously purchased. The mini vert ramp which we were building was only 10 ft away from the bowl. Don’t worry – our next project is going to be how we can connect the bowl to the mini vert.
Before we got to work with the build, Tom Tom had to jump on the bowl and pump around for a little bit. We then started laying out all of the lumber and materials which, as you can imagine, took a long time to layout provided that these pallets were 8,000 lbs, in total. Once everything had been laid out, our team of 4 started assembling the ramp by around 9 am.
Soon after we put in the first screw, we were startled by a F17 jet flying over our heads just close enough for us to throw a baseball at. The sound was so extreme that we could not even hear ourselves talk. We were blown away by both the surprise and by how cool it was. We were also very confused as to why a jet was flying so low over our heads. The customer came out laughing and forgot to mention that we were just a mile away from the naval base and that this would be happening frequently throughout the day.
The first day, we worked until sunset and we were all extremely drained because us California guys are not used to the thick humidity. It was about 90-degree weather, which is not outrageous, but it was full humidity. We would take a 2-minute water break after working for 30 minutes throughout the day. We probably sweat several gallons of water throughout the day due to the heat in combination with the humidity. Despite this, our team was able to get the ramp 90% completed by the end of the first day. Once we got back to our hotel, we cleaned up, pulled ourselves together, grabbed dinner, and went to bed fairly early.
The next day, our flight was at 4 pm so we had to make sure that the ramp was 100% done no later than 1 pm. This was a bit stressful because even though we were almost done, there are always certain cuts which may take more time. We do not like to be rushed especially when focusing on the overall quality of an installation.
Fortunately, the GatorSkins went on relatively smooth and we were able to finish just before noon and had some time to do some finishing touches, caulk any seams, or sand down any scuff marks. It was nice to have a little bit of a buffer time to really polish up the ramp and make it look absolutely perfect.
The client showed up just as we were finishing and was in absolute awe. Him and Tom Tom skated the ramp to test it out and had an absolute blast. Our client was extremely impressed with how quickly and efficiently we were able to assemble his mini vert ramp. He had mentioned that even though he is in construction industry and incredibly savvy with tools, this size of ramp would have taken them a couple of weekends.
After we cleaned things up and packed up our suitcases of tools, the customer came back up and asked us to take some additional time before heading out to take measurements and photos of the rest of the property. His end goal is to have that additional space on his property turned into a full skate park.
The plan is in 2022 to add on even more and continue getting closer to his residential skate park dreams! Stay tuned in the next year to see what more is to come for this rad customer and his Virginia Beach property.