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Concrete Dreams | Dickies X Titus


New DIY Spots for the Netherlands, Belgium and France!

Photos: Dennis Scholz

In the late eighties, Germany experienced a skateboarding boom that is practically unparalleled still to this day. At the time, it seemed like everyone owned a skateboard or at had at least tried skateboarding. The term "public skatepark" was still very foreign and apart from a few halfpipes scattered around, there were essentially no official skateparks. No skateparks? That's just not right!

Inspired by contests like the "Savannah Slammah" or the "Münster Monster Mastership 1989", skaters began creating imitations of the skate obstacles they saw there themselves. At the time, jump ramps, quarterpipes and slider beams were considered “street skating”, and these obstacles could even be found in the smallest villages. DIY, i.e. "Do it yourself", was not even a term, but it was something organically live and well in Germany. The early nineties brought more and more importance to the modern idea of “street skating”, pushing skaters to seek natural street spots and the jump ramps soon started to disappear.

In the mid-2000’s, Germany once again began to experience a boom of not only skateboarding but also skatepark construction. Bowl skating became increasingly popular, but street skaters often struggled with skateboarding bans at their favorite spots and a lack of street-friendly parks. So what did the street skaters do? Started building their own spots of course! The foundation of a demolished building off the beaten track was a prime location to build a skate spot. As in 1989, one thing came after another and a single ledge spot turned into a full line of DIY obstacles. At some point, someone even started digging and just building their own bowl themselves. These times were the foundation of the German DIY scene and the 2018 DIY culture wouldn’t be what it is today without them.

 

There are many positive impacts that result from the DIY skateboarding scene. Not only does it connect people to build something great together, it also gives skaters the opportunity to give back to skateboarding, creating something for future skaters to enjoy. A great supporter and ambassador of the DIY culture is Dickies, who have worked together with Titus on the Concrete Dreams 2018 tour. This two week tour took a group of skaters through Holland, Belgium, and France with a mission of building and improving new and old DIY skate spots. The crew began their tour on August 20th with the first stop in Holland. Let the concrete pour!

The DIY crew consisted of Adam Pryzybyla, Tom Kleinschmidt, Thomas Prochaska and Robin Scholtysik, four highly-experienced "concrete master builders". In addition, the crew featured all-terrain ripper Ben Botta from Southern France, filmer Christian Blümle, photographer Dennis Scholz, Julius Dittmann for construction support in Holland and France, and French legend Jérémie Daclin was on board during the tour’s Lyon stop. The first stop took place in Arnhem, Netherlands near the German border. The boys worked to make a roadside ditch skateable by adding some new concrete sections to the base of the banks and adding a curb obstacle. After the job was finished, they headed to the city to do some street skating before heading to Brussels the next day.

Ben Botta was practically unstoppable during the whole tour! Whether working the concrete mixer, carrying cement sacks, shaping concrete obstacles, or ripping on his board: Ben was at full throttle and quickly the tour earned the new title of "Ben Botta Tour" witihin in the group.

Arriving in Brussels the guys built a kicker to rail at an existing DIY spot. They skated the spot the next day and it happens to be perfect for backside smith grinds. Mission accomplished, off to Lyon!

The final stop of the tour took place in the capital of skateboarding for southeastern France, Lyon. Hotel de Ville, Cliché, Antiz and Jérémie Daclin are all names that come to mind for this beautiful French city. So, it was obvious that we had to consult the French skate ambassador for assistance in directing our travels, Jérémie Daclin! The crew was greeted with open arms upon arrival, making this a great end to the tour. Jérémie set an example of French hospitality by treating the guys to top-quality wine and cheese and even providing accommodation. As a thank you, the crew upgraded his backyard DIY bowl with a China bank and upgraded the pole jam at the iconic "Venice curbs" in the city center to make it really skateable. After three days, the concrete bags were used up and it was time to say goodbye. We are proud to say that some spots in our neighboring countries are now looking better than ever. Thank you to all participants, including the locals, Titus, and Dickies. Without their help, the Concrete Dreams 2018 Tour wouldn’t have been such a success! “Don’t dream it, do it!”.

 

Dickies at Titus: