A few months back at the start of Spring, the weather was rainy and chilly and we were itching to get outside and get our hands dirty once the sun finally came out. There was an old ditch that we’d been skating for years, not much to it really, just a little sloping rough ditch in the bush off the highway. If you’ve ever driven into Byron Bay, you’ve literally passed right by it, hidden off the main road by a clump of trees that afford enough shade to conceal a small pack of hooligans and provide enough shade to keep the sun off your back. The place is riddled with crawling creatures: mostly spiders, ticks and heaps of snakes. It’s not glamorous, but it’s all we’ve got in a town where the council won’t put a penny towards a public skatepark.
The whole thing started by spending a few days out there using found materials, a couple dozen bags of quick drying concrete and a lot of sweat. We fixed up some cracks, put in some coping, made a few little transitions and even threw in a couple rock obstacles for a little DIY fun. After giving it a week to dry, we came back with some brooms and paint and laid the foundation for some art – cause it has to look decent right?
It was the first sunny dry weekend in a long time, so we got a dozen cases of beer from our mates down the street at Stone & Wood Brewing and we all showed up bright and early to get down to business. We invited some friends from all over Australia to come down with us and paint: Callum Preston (Melbourne), Joel Birch (Brisbane), Raymond Lalotoa (Sydney) Mitch Revs (Newcastle), Johann “Slohann” Ingemar (Byron Bay), David Jonsson (Byron Bay) and more… The boys showed up, drank a few beers and blasted out some fun and original art – leaving their mark on the Byron Bay skate scene and the ditch that we affectionately called, The Snake Pit.
The next morning we awoke and headed back out there. This time with more coldies, more friends and a crew of the AFENDS skate team: Boyd Young, Robert Macalister, Phil Billingsby, Marc Holland, Manu Hepi, along with anyone else that wanted to come down and enjoying the sunny Saturday arvo with a cold beer and some good mates. The crew shredded the pit and needless to say, everyone had a ripping day out in the bush. The beers were gone right as the sun dipped below the mountains and all the clips were in the bag. The idea was to keep the ball rolling, keep adding more obstacles and concrete to our little DIY ditch and keep this little secret for those in the know. Unfortunately, a new highway is being put in place and our little skate stash has been cleared… One more tic for the man. We hope you enjoy and this inspires you to do something like this in your town. Don’t let the man get you down. DIY till we die!
Johann “Slohann” Ingemar
Callum Prestons art
Dave Jonsson and Slugger