In recent years, Polar Skate Co.'s Pontus Alv has been leading a global resurgence in building renegade do-it-yourself skate spots. The result has been a unified growth of skater-built spots in skate scenes everywhere.
The do-it-yourself credo is nothing new to skaters; they've been bleeding this ethos since the first set of roller-skate wheels was screwed to a two-by-four. Because of this, Red Bull Skateboarding has decided to aid the efforts of hardworking skaters, focusing on the East Coast, with a video contest called Red Bull DIY Spot Supply.
The goal of Spot Supply is to keep seven skateshops and their crews skating DIY spots of their own fabrication by providing them with materials to improve the location of their choice. Each shop was delivered a truckload of building supplies of its choosing to fabricate or resurface existing spots.
No rules or constraints were put on the shops; they were to use the materials however they saw fit. In turn, each skateshop produced a short video creatively documenting the build and skate sessions that ensued. (You can check out the edits at redbull.com/skate.) The seven shops chosen were Krudco in Rochester, N.Y.; Orchard in Boston; KCDC in Brooklyn, N.Y.; NJ Skateshop in Hoboken, N.J.; Armory East in Philadelphia; Nocturnal/Kinetic Skateboarding in Philadelphia; and Pitcrew in Frederick, Md.
Building spots is a difficult labor of love for true blue-collar skaters. Most generally have to work 40-hour weeks, so finding time to build is always a challenge. Torrential rainstorms and blistering heat waves also hit the East Coast this summer, adding another layer to the builders' challenges. The shops were given three months to build their obstacle, but many had only a few solid days of decent weather to do it. In the end, though, the spots were amazing and the scenes are that much better for it.
The winning shop will be announced at the end of September after a prestigious panel of Red Bull's professional skateboarders screens and votes for the winning edit. The winning shop will receive a Red Bull experience at Camp Woodward for its entire team, and Red Bull will send pros Zered Bassett, Ron Deily and Luis Tolentino to shred the winning spot for an exclusive video.
Look for next year's DIY Spot Supply to be held in another region.
Just a quick disclosure: Under contract with Red Bull, author Chris Nieratko acted as the main shop liaison and helped manage the logistics of the DIY Spot Supply project. He's the owner of NJ Skateshop, which was a participant in the contest, but was not at all involved in the voting process for the winner. -- Ed.