VEF, once a glorious factory with a product line ranging from telephones to airplanes, is nowadays a home to various businesses, offices and a night club among others. World famous in the previous century, VEF’s appliances were used all over the world from Cuba to Mongolia, and it provided jobs for 20 000 people at its peak performance times. After the collapse of the Soviet union, the demand for VEF’s products declined, the factory could not compete with imported electronic goods, and they were forced to shut down.
This postindustrial territory, which takes up a whole city block, is a home to VEF DIY skatepark: an Oasis intended for good times spending and healthy self-expression by means of skateboarding. This year VEF DIY celebrates its 6 year anniversary. With the photographer Nauris Dollins and Ed Gaba’s VX we decided to pay a visit and make a tribute to this great skate spot in Riga city.
The park is tought to skate and that is what makes it interesting. Every trick is battle and you need o spend some time to master your tricks.
This quarter is the most skated obstacle in the park. It is steep but melow, and doing trick on it feels good.
Deda found his own way how to skate this thing. The way he is the most familiar with.
The park is built on the remains of an old fountain, however this fountain had a function not a lot of people know about. It was meant to cool down water used in the factory. All of the hot water accumulated during production was drained to the fountain to cool down, and after that it was sent back for production needs. The park is built over a huge water reservoir and the water is still there.
Photos Nauris Dollins
Words Edvard Gaba
Read more about VEF factory history