Evergreen Skateparks BLOG



    I sat down with Lance Spiker, a veteran in the skatepark building industry - he's built more parks than I think even he can count - to talk his experience in the scene, Haiti and work-family balance. Check it out (and don't mind Ali's stink eye up there). 

    Interview by Nicole McNulty - February 23, 2018

    Nicole: Hi Lance. So, how did you first get into building skateparks?

    Lance: I got laid off my restaurant job and had some time off, so I was at Lollapalooza in '98 and saw Omar and James and Matt there. And they were building in Florida. Lollapalooza was in Orlando, Florida - it was a travel-around thing back then. I saw them and I had just enough concrete experience in the past- I had done some concrete floating docks and some sidewalks during and after high school, so I knew about concrete. I'd built enough [wood] ramps to know how to cut a tranny. So, a few days later they needed help and I started building in September of 1998. 

    N: Nice. What was the most memorable band from that year at Lollapalooza?

    L: Getting the job building skateparks was the most memorable factor to me, but I think Jane's Addiction was the headline band. 

    N: What were some of the first parks you worked on?

    L: One of the first was Satellite Beach, Florida, and then Breckenridge, Colorado, Salida, Colorado and then Nashua, New Hampshire, and then Silverthorne, Colorado. So, that was the first year. 

    N: Wow, busy year. 

    ABOVE: Jean shirt, slick hair and a secret boat pool in Sarasota, Florida, 2003

    L: Yeah, and then I also helped build a vert ramp in Louisville, Kentucky for the X Trials in '99. 

    N: Wooden ramp?

    L: Yeah, a wood vert ramp. 

    N: Rad. How would you say the skatepark building and construction process was different then compared to now and what kind of evolution have you seen?

    L: Evolution in tools and more of a refinement in concrete mix design are probably the two major ones. It's trial and error that's gotten us to this point. 

    N: Nice. Now, your least favorite question: what are some of your favorite skateparks you've worked on?

    L: There's been so many, it's hard to pick just one. Colorado Springs probably sticks out in my mind first. That's where I live now. The backyard jobs have been fun. Building for friends has a different feel and reward. Like Tuck's and James' pool. The skate park of Tampa was pretty cool - to finally build something for Brian Schaefer after all the years of hounding him to do so. Recently we built Lewistown, Montana - a mirrored design of Jeff Ament's Treasure Bowl that he helped fund. Plus he came out and set pool coping with us. That was a blast. But all the projects have been fun. 

    ABOVE: Jeff Ament & Lance set pool block on the replica of of Jeffs private bowl that we built in Lewistown, Montana.

    ABOVE: Lance ripping at Memorial Skatepark in Colorado Springs

    N: What are some of your least favorite skateparks?

    L: Ohh, the least favorite was definitely Deltona, Florida, because that city tore down our vert ramp and then insisted we build a street plaza. So, that's my least favorite. But I guess for a street plaza it's pretty good. But just the fact that we showed the community that we wanted a vert ramp in town and then we had to build a street course instead made it a big bummer. It would have been nice to at least build a bowl and a street course, so that's my least favorite. 

    N: What's your favorite place to skate?

    L: I grew up skating Kona and Stone Edge. So bowls are probably my favorite thing to skate. 

    N: Where are those?

    L: Kona is in Jacksonville, Florida and Stone Edge is in Daytona, Florida. They built Stone Edge in '88, the same year I graduated high school. 

    N: Is that where you're from?

    L: I'm from St. Augustine, Florida, which is about 45 minutes from both parks. That's where I really got into skating and building. I built a small ramp in the woods near my house with friends. Plus other ramps around town. We had a contest in the parking lot of the Surf Station for several years in a row. Then I moved to Daytona after high school. Then in '02 we built our own bowl on a friend's property in Daytona and that's where we moved the vert ramp to. It was our DIY spot. 

    N: Like high-level crafstmanship DIY. 

    L: Ha yeah, it was pretty memorable. It took a lot of people to build it. 

    ABOVE: Lance rockin' at the Nude Bowl outside of Palm Springs, California, 1996. He STILL has that elbow pad - he literally just showed it to me at work. 

    N: So, what other countries have you built parks in and what was it like working abroad compared to the U.S.?

    L: Belgium and Haiti. Went to Belgium twice, so the second time was a little better because we knew the local guys there, we knew where to go, we knew a little bit of the language - just enough to get us in trouble. We had some full pipes going also. Skated them every Sunday. It was awesome. Haiti was fun, too. It was just a private backyard job. It's always great to be able to see other cutlures and experience it for longer than just a few days. 

    N: What years were you in those places, respectively?

    L: Belgium was '05 and '08...? Haiti was... 2014?

    N: So, after the earthquake. 

    L: Yeah, so I saw a lot of the devastation being rebuilt. 

    N: That must've been crazy, building while.. 

    L: It was a little while afterwards, so there was some stuff rebuilt. It was in Port-au-Prince there, in the capitol. 

    N: Who was the bowl for?

    L: It was for these two brothers - Russell and Akim. They went to college in the US and they grew up in Haiti surfing, skateboarding and dirt biking. They wanted a vert ramp. But then went with concrete because it would last longer. Haiti is beautiful but the city is dirty because it's so crowded. It was a fun trip. It's just not set up as a tourist destination, so not many people travel there. 

    ABOVE: Bowl in Port-au-Prince Haiti by Lance and Team Pain, 2014

    N: That's badass. Alright, what do you find the most challenging about building skateparks?

    L: Hmmm, it's hard to describe. I guess I can say it's gotten a little easier after the progression of things to build it. But just collaborating on design and bringing it all together, I guess, is probably the hardest part. Everyone wants something different. Putting it all together and making it user-friendly, I think, is the biggest challenge. At this point we know how to build just about anything, so making it all work together is the biggest challenge. But, that's what's so fun about it also. 

    N: As in collaboration within the team or collaboration between the company, the city and the community?

    L: Actually a little bit of it all, for sure. But in the end it comes out really good. 99% of the time. For us any way. 

    N: That's a good margin of error. What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about building skateparks?

    L: The obvious one: to be able to ride what you build. Definitely the most rewarding. It's also very satisfying to help provide a skatepark to communities that need and want them. The art of sculpting the concrete and pride in craftsmanship is rewarding as well. 

    ABOVE: Lance & Team Pain building the full pipe in Antwerp, Belgium, 2007

    ABOVE: Lance skating a full pipe in Antwerp, Belgium, 2007

    N: How do you juggle having a family and being on the road building skateparks?

    L: I try to bring my family with me when I can. I take time off to spend time with them. It's actually given my family a unique opportunity to see a lot of things that they wouldn't have otherwise. We actually moved to Colorado from Florida because my family went to Colorado so many times. My wife Bonnie fell in love with it, so now we reside there. My family came to Lewistown, Montana - their first time in Montana. We went to Glacier National Park and watched fireworks in Lewistown. It was a dream trip for us. Another time we camped on Rabbit Ears Pass outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It was 4th of July weekend and we made a snowman. My son Van just loved it. It was such a unique opportunity for us. 

    ABOVE: The Spiker family (left to right): Lance, Bonnie, Van, Alayna, Reggie (bear-dog) in their new home in Colorado Springs 

    N: Hard not to fall in love with Colorado. 

    L: Yeah. 

    N: What do you see as the future or progression of the skatepark industry and its construction?

    L: More skateparks. They're proven time and time again to be a popular addition to recreation departments. I think the positive attitude of skateboarding is helping the industry. Skateboarding also just keeps growing. Because there are so many skateparks being built, I think the repair industry is going to be there soon, too. Weathered parks will need repairs and adding new features to them as well. There were a lot of small parks built because cities didn't have the budget for a large park. Here we are ten years later and some of the cities are adding to them. So, I think those are the three things that standout in my mind first and foremost. 

    N: Definitely makes sense. Being a veteran in the industry, what do you think is the key to longevity for the crafstmen?

    L: Be patient and never stop learning. I'm still working on both. 

    N: I think that sums it up. You have experience working with several of the best skatepark companies. What do you find is different and unique about working with each company?

    L: Each company has their own style of design and application. 

    ABOVE: Lance knows a thing or two about lip slides, can you tell? Vert in Virginia Beach 

    N: Do you notice large differences between each or are they more similar?

    L: Skaters probably know the difference. The regular person probably won't notice this difference. But definitely the skate community knows the difference, for sure, and each company definitely has their own flavor, like each restaurant has their own flavor. Depending on your taste that day, that's what you're going to do. So, that's the beauty of it. 

    N: Definitely. And what do you like about working with Evergreen?

    L: Because they're a positive, progressive company that embodies 'never stop learning,' and they have a good program that's efficient and progressive. They're investing in themselves and in their employees and making it happen in their own, unique way. They give communities really high-quality, fun skateparks of all different levels. That's good for everybody. They're just good hard-working people dedicated to skateboarding. 

    N: Awesome, well thanks for talking with me. Do you have any last comments or thoughts you'd like to add? 

    L: I'd like to thank Evergreen Skateparks for wanting and believing in me and for everything they do for my family and I. I'd like to say thank you to everyone - past and present - that I've met, worked with and / or working for. I wouldn't be who I am today without you. 

    N: Well, thanks again Lance. Bye Internet. 


    Get to know GETH NOBLE- a real one of a kind guy and one of the originators of modern skatepark design & construction from BACK IN THE DAY.

    Interview by Nicole McNulty- December 13, 2017

    N: How did you first get into building skateparks?

    G: These friends of mine were building a park in Southern Oregon- Talent, next to Ashland. So my girlfriend was going to school in Ashland, so I happened to see this park and I was like "Okay, I'll start working on it." I started working on it as a volunteer, of course we all were back then. So that's how I got started.

    N: What were some of the first skateparks you worked on?

    G: Talent, Ashland, Jacksonville, Lincoln City, Newport, Newburg (all in Oregon), Aspen Colorado, Newburyport, Massachusetts.

    N: What timeframe was that?

    G: I started in 1997. So from '97 to 2000, I was just working for cities, as a volunteer, or just floating, a vagrant, homeless, living in my van. I lived in a VW Van.

    N: Color?

    G: Yellow. It was a VW, an air-cooled, yellow, 1972.

    N. Badass.

    G: A little piece of crap.

    N: What was the first skatepark you built as a contractor?

    G: Newburyport, Massachusetts in 2000 or 2001. I don't quite remember, it was around then.

    N: What was the difference between the freewheeling volunteer days and working as a contractor?

    G: Back in those days, most people didn't have any clue how to build a park. Nobody knew. A few dudes knew a few things, but it was nowhere near the skill level of today. Now you have skaters doing everything, from the design to the dirtwork, the welding, the fabrication, everything. Everything! And at a super high level of skill, whereas back in the day, there were times when we would rely on just construction guys who didn't skate. Like the first parks I worked on, we worked with a concrete finishing crew and none of those guys even skated and they were the ones finishing the concrete so it didn't really come out that good. Now everything is better because everyone skates and everyone has skills. That's the biggest difference. It's so much easier- everyone's on the same page because we're all building something to skate.

    N: What was your company called?

    G: Airspeed LLC

    N: I've heard it described as the wild west days, is that how you would describe it?

    G: Yeah it was hectic. There were hardly any companies. There was just Airspeed, Grindline, Dreamland, and Team Pain in the U.S.

    N: What other skateparks did you design/build when you had your company?

    G: Jacksonhole, Wyoming, and then I went to Mexico- Pescadero, & Baja, California. And then I think Waldport, Oregon. But if you have a crazy accent it's Wildport.

    N: What is your favorite skatepark project that you have worked on? Why?

    G: I guess Reedsport, Oregon because it's got a full pipe. Just south of Florence, Oregon.

    ABOVE: Reedsport, Oregon Skatepark built by Airspeed Skateparks

    N: So, you've built a lot in Oregon?

    G: Yeah. The whole idea, the reason I started Airspeed was to build a park in my hometown, Florence. So that's almost my favorite park, too. But I think Reedsport is a little bit sicker, not by much though. And then overseas parks, I worked on a really sick park in Rio De Janeiro, huge, gi-hugent park. It's got a big deep vert bowl and a little peanut and a big huge street area. It's even got a downhill slalom run. Like '70's parks, back in the day.

    ABOVE: Skatepark in Rio De Janeiro

    N: What does it mean to be an over vertical specialist?

    G: Every park must have an over vertical feature. And, not only just over vertical but you've got to be able to loop it. So it's gotta have a speed line that sends you into the loop! Like, not some kind of full pipe that's so big you can never loop it.

    N: Like the one in Golden, Colorado.

    G: Yea, it's like how can you loop that full pipe? It's impossible?

    N: Yeah. So, back to Reedsport, that you were talking about with the full loop. I saw a photo of you upside down there.

    G: That was the second Loop Challenge competition. The first year nobody looped it. Although, Red looped it before the competition.

     ABOVE: Geth performs the back to back loop in Reedsport, Oreogn. YEAH GETH!

    N: But you looped it the second year?

    G: Yeah, the second year I looped it.

    ABOVE: Geth gets over-vertical at the Reedsport, Oregon Skatepark

    N: Did anyone else or just you?

    G: Yeah, Screech, and Packy and one or 2 other dudes might have looped it but I can't quite remember.

    N: So, you were one of the first to loop ever?

    G: No, not ever. Like back in the day somebody looped, I remember I head rumors of Dwayne Peters or somebody. I remember some people we haven't even heard of looping back in the day. But I don't know about that. People built wooden loops in the early 2000's.

    N: When was that loop contest?

    G: Ah, I don't even know man. 2000-something. Could have been 2005? Maybe? We could look it up on the internet and find out for sure. There were two, it was a tradition for two years.

    N: There should be another one.

    G: Totally.

    N: How many different countries have you built skateparks in? Which ones?

    G: Chile, Brazil, South Africa, Ireland, England, Indonesia, Mexico, USA. Almost 10. I built a mini ramp in Argentina. That was back in the day, around 1990, all wood, no concrete. Need to get some more countries. I need to make a goal: a skatepark on every continent you can build skateparks on. It would be rad to build some parks in Alaska.

    N: Maybe Hawaii, too. Where did you get your inspiration for you design/build projects 'back in the day'?

    G: Playing around with Rhino, a 3D modeling software. I got Rhino 1 when it first came out and I started designing skateparks with it. And so, it was like a video game and I was addicted to it. I was designing all this crap, some of it was pretty sick, ended up building some of it. Designed a bunch of stuff that was pretty crazy, will probably never be built. But maybe. I designed somethings that should be built but have not been built yet.

    N: Do you still have those designs?

    G: Yeah, I've got them on a flash disk. But I don't have a computer anymore. I have my Samsung, and that's all I have, but that's all I need. No computer!

    ABOVE: The Buki Bowl Geth built in Bali, Indonesia

    N: How was the skatepark building/construction process different 'back in the day' compared to now?

    G: Back in the day! What I talked about, a lot of people didn't have skills, a lot of construction people involved that didn't skate. And we didn't use so many drains, nowadays we use a lot of drains, a lot of drains. Back in the day, parks would have 2 or 3 drains typically. Maybe 4. We didn't have so many moguls, we didn't have pump tracks back in the day. That's the biggest difference - we're building pump tracks. Lunar landscapes. No flat. No flat at all, ever.

    N: What do you find as the most challenging thing about building skateparks? What do you find to be the most rewarding?

    G: It makes me sore. Like when we're pouring concete every day, 27 yards a day, I get pretty tired, get pretty sore. But luckily, as a result of being a fitness professional, I've learned how to heal myself. The most rewarding thing is skating the new park afterwards. Also when you come back to the park 20 years later, and it's still there and people are still skating it and it's covered in graffiti and stuff, that's pretty cool.

    N: And it gets hot out there. I've heard stories of you finishing concrete in a hoodie when it's 95 degrees outside.

    G: Hell yeah. Totally, because it keeps the sun off my back and it's actually not that hot because I sweat, and the hoodie gets wet, and it's like an automatic refrigerator. I wear a hoodie all day, every day! I have like 10 of them. This one's a thin one, like a t-shirt hoodie, whenever I see a t-shirt hoodie I make sure to buy it because they're really hard to find. People in Indonesia wear hoodies all the time even though it's wicked hot. They believe if the wind enters your body it will make you sick. Ma su ka nin- don't want any wind to get in your body.

    ABOVE: Geth in a nice t-shirt hoodie.

    N: Woah. Well, what about your eyes? Or in your mouth when you're talking?

    G: Well, talking is OK. Don't talk into the wind. That would be bad. Bad news.

    N: What do you see as the future/progression of skateparks to come?

    G: Well, I don't know. Probably I imagine more people are going to want to get into building so it's going to get more competitive. So, we're going to be under more pressure to make the projects profitable. So, they'll probably get smaller, as far as height-wise, 3-foot and under trannies, maybe a lot more flat. But then again, you never know. There's pleny of things that need to be built that have not been built. We just need to get some people to throw down some cash. Maybe if marijuana is legalized throughout the USA, there will be so much money and we can build crazy parks. People need to smoke lots weed so we can build parks.

    N: What do you like about working with Evergreen?

    G: I get to move lots of dirt. There's lots of dirt work in these parks and I like to run the machines. The more drains there are, the more dirt work there is, and that means more machine work for me. Wohoo! Yeah! I like working with dirt and mud. It's kind of my thing.

    ABOVE: Geth gets some air time at the new Evergreen park in Fort Morgan, Colorado

    N: Any last thoughts/comments you'd like to add?

    G: I'll have to get back to you on that one. I'll email it to you.

    N: High five.

  • FALL 2017 UPDATE

    Well since fall is almost over and it's starting to feel like winter it seemed like a good time to write a much overdue update of the goings on the past few months here at Evergreen Skateparks. We'll pick up where we left off on our last blog update with a few finished photos of our summer 2017 projects:




    STERLING HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN: Winner of 'Most Innovative Concrete Work' in the state of Michigan

    This fall construction carried on in Fort, Morgan Colorado with a skatepark featuring bilateral symmetry, loads of transitions & cool shapes, & a fun street path (finished photos to come):

    Another crew worked hard to complete the 3rd & final phase of Ride It Sculpture Park in Detroit, Michigan. We did not build the original phase 1 of this park but Evergreen Skateparks did complete a 2nd phase back in the fall of 2013. Phase 3 features a new pump bump in the original park, a fun snake run with a doorway and new art sculptures from Powerhouse Productions.

    For the winter you will catch us building the long awaited Taylor, Texas skatepark for the hardworking folks at Project Loop. This park will be located in downtown Taylor and will be super fun and unique for the area.

    ABOVE: Taylor, Texas Skatepark ground breaking. BELOW: Taylor Skatepark Concept

    And last but not least this spring we could not be more excited about the new park we are designing and building in the beautiful community of Frisco, Colorado. Nestled in the mountains near Lake Dillon and at 20,000+ square feet this will is sure to be one of our biggest and best skateparks yet!

  • Summer 2017..... Best yet?!

    Well summer is upon us and 2017 is shaping up (no pun intended) to be our biggest and best yet. Late June we finished construction on our project in Stockholm, Sweden- a unique addition to the surprising plethora of skateparks in Sweden.


    Designing & building skateparks in other countries can be complicated but at the end of the day it's pretty cool to think that there are Scandinavian people in another corner of the world enjoying an Evergreen park. Photos by Richie Conklin.


    Back in the states we've been working hard in Lewistown, Montana. The Lewistown Skatepark is a funding collaboration between Montana Pool Service, The Montana Skatepark Association and the local non-profit Make It Happen Foundation. Lewistown is a nice little town smack dab in the middle of Montana. The park features a fun lunar landscape section, a mirrored Treasure Bowl replica, and a street section. Some of the Evergreen higher ups (who will remain nameless) think this skatepark maybe our best yet. Construction should be completed late July.

    ABOVE: Initial Lewistown skatepark design concept

    ABOVE: Mirrored 'Treasure Bowl' replica courtesy of Montana Pool Service

    ABOVE: Whole park overview pre-concrete. Yep, we got a drone.


    While one crew wraps up construction in Lewistown we have another project starting in Sterling Heights, Michigan as of this week. This will be our largest design/build project to date and we'll be working on it for most of the rest of 2017. This will be our 5th skatepark in Michigan and Sterling Heights is just a short drive (and the next town over) from the skatepark we built in Clawson, Michigan. We're proud to say that the Michigan skate scene just keeps getting better and better.

    ABOVE: Sterling Heights, Michigan Conceptual Design


    In August another crew will break ground on the Watertown, South Dakota skatepark.

    ABOVE: Watertown, South Dakota Skatepark Design Concept

    Other jobs for fall/winter of 2017 include:


  • Skateparks for a Small Footprint

    When it comes to skateparks we are always going to want to build as much square footage as possible (we are in the business of building), but often times space and primarily budget limit what can be built. Because of this we have strived over the years to find away to build skateparks with small square footage that are still dynamic, a great ride & pack a lot in while also being extremely functional. Just because a community has a small budget doesn't mean they can't get an amazing skatepark.

    A prime example of this is the park we just completed in Johnson City, Texas- a little under an hour west of Austin. At just 3,000 square feet it is on the tiny size but the unique design is made for speed. We also made the adjacent path super smooth with some fun ledges & manual pads.

    ABOVE: Crew member Keith Powers takes some test runs.

    In this shot above you can see the whole lunar landscape style park with the street path on the left.

    Of all the small skateparks we've done, the Johnson City, Texas park is probably our favorite for both aesthetics, refinement, flow, and function. As an added bonus it's right on your way to the much larger park we built in Fredericksburg if you're heading west from Austin.

    The Hays, Montana Skatepark on the Fort Belknap reservation is another tiny park we completed last summer with Montana Pool Service coming in at just 3,300 square feet.

    ABOVE: Hays, Montana Skatepark

    Many Portland skaters will be familiar with our Alberta Skate Spot on 52nd & Alberta at Khunamokst Park in NE Portland. It's important to note that during the design process the 'skate spot' was supposed to be even smaller (hard to believe- I know)- we had to push the city & architects just to get it to the size that it is today. Althought the Portland skate community definitely could use and would accommodate a much larger park, we were happy to do our best to make the most of the small space.

    ABOVE: Alberta Skatespot- Portland, Oregon

    Nice little overview of the #albertaskatepark with @jeremyhasasidekick skating #portlandoregon by @strike_everywhere

    A post shared by Evergreen Skateparks (@evergreenskateparks) on


    Our smallest public skatepark to date was built in Eau Claire, Wisconsin back in 2013. The skate community had a lot of requests for the teeny tiny park so we did our best to pack a lot in to the just 2,400 square foot park.

    ABOVE: Eau Claire, Wisconsin Skatepark- 2,400 Square Feet

    And lastly- our tiniest park of all- the Portland mini skatepark at a private residence. Just 750 square feet of fun.


Lewistown, Montana Skatepark Wins First Place Award for Concrete Excellence!



Artist Waves Feature

Summer 2017.....Best yet?!

Skateparks for a Small Footprint






Spring 2016 Update


Blackfeet Skatepark Best in Montana!


Summer 2015 Update

Hernando, Mississippi Skatepark Now Open

THUNDER PARK Grand Opening June 26!


Evergreen Crew Skating the Thunder Park!

Evergreen in Belding, Michigan

VIDEO: Evergreen Crew Skating the Milliken, Colorado Skatepark

New Evergreen Skatepark coming to the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana