Tallinn just got a new DIY built at Skoone Bastion with the help of RedBull. Some of our mates including Fricis, Kristaps Judris and Zimis were there to help out with the building. To find out a bit more about Skoone, we had a quick chat with our homie and the project manager of the DIY construction, Siim Sild.
All photos by Lauri Taht
You battled for Metsakooli DIY last year now you have Skoone Bastion, is it a good substitute for Metsakooli?
Luckily, the fight for Metsakooli was worth it, the park is pretty much redone now and will be open shortly I guess. Yeah, it won’t be 100% DIY anymore but all the main obstacles remain the same, so I’d still say it’s definitely pretty DIYish, just with new asphalt and a few added elements. So Skoone won’t be a substitute but rather another option for DIY lovers. Skoone Bastion is really centrally located, just next to the Old Town and the port. So it’s a great meetup spot to warm up before hitting the streets and the opposite as well. Go there after a heavy street sesh, have a few beers and grind a couple of rainbows, classic.
You had the box at Skoone for some time. How did that start?
The whole Skoone thing began about 15 years ago when they put new asphalt up there. Skaters have a pretty good nose for these kinds of things, so soon after that the first plywood box was taken up there and over the years different wooden & metal skateable elements started showing up there. In 2012 the first DIY project was carried out and a few concrete obstacles were poured in place. I wasn’t personally involved with the planning of all that but I’d say because of inexperience these didn’t turn out to be too great. When the concrete truck showed up there, some of the forms weren’t even ready, the driver was in a hurry, there weren’t enough people to properly shape all the obstacles etc. So yeah, it was hectic and you could see it from the end result. About 3 years ago (I was in New Zealand at that time), some of the guys decided to build a ledge up there from granite curb blocks. That kind of sparked the interest in that place again for a short period but within a few years the blocks ended up kind of misaligned.
How did the expansion ideas of Skoone came about?
I received a call from Red Bull in November last year and they said they have a budget to execute these kinds of projects but they need a place for that and someone to manage it. I realised pretty quickly that Skoone would be the perfect place but I was pretty skeptical if the city would allow it. At first, they said they’ll only allow us to fix the old obstacles but we still decided to present them with our “dream plan” that wouldn’t be too over the top for them to agree with. About the obstacles that we decided to put in there – we had thought about building a quarter to get more speed for the ledge already for a while, so that was easy. I also really enjoyed skating taco looking obstacles in New Zealand, so I knew I’d want to go there as well. Slappies are fun too, so we had to put in a slappy curb. Anyways, I presented my ideas of the park to Mihkel and Pärtel, we made a few additions here and there and that was about it. Luckily the city was really chill with our plans, it went way smoother than I expected. It sure helped a lot that Red Bull is such a known brand.
How did Fricis & co. got involved in the project and how was it working with them?
It seemed fitting for this project to include a bit of an international crowd and I also think that Mind Works is doing a great job overall with the parks they build, so that’s why I decided to involve them. When the time started to get closer, I found out that Fricis is also coming, which was great with him being a pretty renowned DIY enthusiast and all. The guys put in crazy hours but were always really cheerful and positive. Kristaps even stayed up there for one night to finish some of the obstacles. Working with Fricis was definitely fun, unfortunately, I had to cut some of the crazy ideas he had but I think we struck a pretty good balance in the end haha.
How did the scene receive the new DIY? How do you like it?
The DIY was definitely well received, people couldn’t wait to skate it. I guess it was also the first time that some of the younger guys were involved in building a DIY skatepark. It feels different when you skate something that you yourself have created, so they’ll get the hang of it now. We somehow ended up with a rainbow themed park in the end which is pretty cool I think. I love it actually. We had a few rainbow looking obstacles planned from the start but as we started building, we somehow ended up adding 2 more. So there are 5 rainbow’ish obstacles all together now + an amazingly good looking ledge carved out by Aigars (Zimis) [editors note].
Do you think a DIY spot is better than a proper skatepark?
Parents don’t drop off their kids at a DIY skatepark generally, so it will most likely be less crowded most of the time, less scooters. Also, when designing a skatepark they have to ask for everyone’s opinion etc. With a DIY skatepark you don’t have to make some of those compromises. We were lucky that we had this freedom to change things up at the last minute while building something right next to the Old Town, crazy. I think skating DIYs sets you up better for street skating as well. Well okay, the skateparks in Estonia aren’t actually that perfect anyways, haha, but I think you get what I mean. And the vibe… you don’t get that in regular skateparks.
Video by Rainer Kaur