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  • STAFF SPOTLIGHT: GETH NOBLE

    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:

    STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN SKATEPARK

    LEWISTOWN, MONTANA SKATEPARK

    WATERTOWN, SOUTH DAKOTA - 'SUPER' PUMP TRACK

    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.

    STOCKHOLM, 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.

    LEWISTOWN, MONTANA

    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.

    STERLING HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN

    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

    WATERTOWN, SOUTH DAKOTA

    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:

    • FORT MORGAN, COLORADO
    • RIDE IT SCULPTURE PARK PHASE 3- DETROIT, MICHIGAN
    • TAYLOR, TEXAS

  • 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.

  • SPRING 2017 Update

    It's been awhile since we posted to our newsletter so we'll start where we left off. At the end of November 2016 we finished the Rockridge Skatepark in Bend, Oregon. This lunar landscape skatepark comes in at right about 11,000 square feet & should be open to the public when the rest of the Rockridge park construction is completed this summer of 2017. This is by far one of our favorite skateparks that we've designed & built and it will be a unique & fun addition to the Oregon skatepark scene.

    After completing the Rockridge skatepark we built a new quarter pipe at the Beaverton, Oregon skatepark:

     At the beginning of this year we were lucky to land a project in warm, sunny Texas. In February we began construction on the Johnson City, Texas skatepark which is not too far from Austin & just a short drive from the park we completed in 2015 in Fredericksburg, Texas. The Johnson City park is one of our favorite small skateparks we've done. It has a great flowy area with a long skateable path with ledges & manual pads.

    After Johnson City a small crew did some maintenance & new pool coping to the Grindline Skateparks designed & built West Linn, Oregon skatepark. Sometimes old concrete skateparks just need a little TLC.

    Mid-April we broke ground in Darby, Montana. The town of Darby already had a sad little existing park that was basically just a slab of concrete with a bank so we are sprucing that up to make it more FUNctional with some new street obstacles as well as adding another 4,300 square feet of concree skatepark. This surprise skatepark is being funded by the Montana Skatepark Association as well as Montana Pool Service- Jeff Aments skatepark charity. This will be our second skatepark in the Bitterroot Valley- a place Evergreen Skateparks is proud to call home now as we have our second office up the road in Stevensville, Montana where we built a park in 2015. The Darby Skatepark should be finished & ready for shredding in a couple weeks. Here's some shots of our progress so far:

    ABOVE: Demolition & construction on the old existing park

    ABOVE: Montana Pool Service Design rendering for the Darby Skatepark

    ABOVE: Real life Montana Pool Service designed section shaping up.

    ABOVE: New street features being added to the old park.

    Along with the Darby, Montana project we have one of our crews getting started on a much awaited park in Stockholm, Sweden. This is our first park in Sweden and will hopefully be finished before their midsummer holiday in June.

    ABOVE: Skatepark Construction in Stockholm, Sweden

    On the horizon for this summer we will be building another park or two in Montana. We'll also be back in Michigan to build phase 3 of Ride It Sculpture Park in Detroit as well as a brand new park just outside of Detroit in Sterling Heights. We are very excited about the Sterling Heights skatepark as it will be one of our largest design/build projects yet!

    Thanks again to everyone who helps make these projects a reality. Evergreen Skateparks is honored to get to do what we do.

STAFF SPOTLIGHT: GETH NOBLE

FALL 2017 UPDATE

Artist Waves Feature

Summer 2017.....Best yet?!

Skateparks for a Small Footprint

SPRING 2017 UPDATE

2016 FLIPAGRAM

 

FALL 2016 UPDATE

SUMMER 2016 UPDATE

Spring 2016 Update

PIDGEON PARK

Blackfeet Skatepark Best in Montana!

 

Summer 2015 Update

Hernando, Mississippi Skatepark Now Open

THUNDER PARK Grand Opening June 26!

SKATEPARK WORKSHOP WITH PROJECT LOOP

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