Article by Daryl Nobbs
Photos by Henning Braaten, Morten West, David Jedda and Daryl Nobbs
A few years ago on a one off build in Norway with a British company, I met a couple of awesome Norwegians called Kasper and Øyvind with big plans. We kept in touch and soon after they asked me if i wanted to be involved in their Norwegian skatepark venture, for some reason they were under the impression I really knew what I was doing, haha. Anyway that was pretty much the birth of Betongpark for me.
Since then I’ve been working up here for almost three years. It’s been a crazy, busy and awesome time. Naturally, we had some teething problems in the start and the crew has changed a lot, for the better, since the early days. These days things are running like a well oiled, albeit a little dysfunctional machine! I’ve been lucky enough to snatch up some of my best working friends from all over the place. Despite everyone we come across thinking we are polish for some reason, we have at least six different nationalities across the crews, and have had even more at times.
I’d like to give props to everyone who’s been involved and all the guys in the crews particularly Linus Rösell the wild Swedish drummer and ripping concreting skater; Rasmus Sand the universal champion of any skate session and a real Danish power house on site; Felix Parker my long term friend from the UK and owner of the most extensive and impossible mini ramp trick selection; David Jedda of Swedish origin but long term Norway resident, a ripping skater and worker, whose steel work is better than yours; Robin Asserson who is half your size but will out work, out think and out skate you; and since last year we’ve been lucky(or unlucky enough haha) to run a entire second crew headed by the man, the myth and the legend that is Mr. Ryan ‘Danger’ Carruthers all the way from Oregon, USA. Well, actually he just came from the same apartment as me in Copenhagen. We have an office full of work-a-holics busting their ass 24/7 to push everything in the right direction including the nicest dude ever and owner of the meanest frontside flip in the game Henning Braaten. We also regularly have the pleasure of teaming up with the awesome dudes at Bryggeriet and FSR Beton, so big props to Will, Pär, Robin, Herm, Balder, Peter and Gorm you guys are killing it.
It’s been a tough time cutting through all the bureaucratic red tape up here and getting to the point where we can build some really awesome shit, and there’s been some real fucking leeching so called ‘designers’ and ‘consultants’ trying to keep skateboarding back in the 90s and line their own pockets purely at the cost of the scene. But they know who they are, and we are fucking coming for you!
Regardless of that shit(head) in the last couple of years, we have worked on some really awesome projects. We have built in towns as small as Grong with only 2,300 inhabitants tucked away far in the North, but then also in bigger towns like Jessheim, and in Gjøvik and Fredrikstad working with the very talented engineer/designer Eirin Aaseth. And that is just to name a very small few. We’ve built small plazas, gnarly ass parks, skateable art in school yards, and now there’s even plans for some small bowls in schools. I mean how much more awesome would that have been than smoking cigarettes behind the bike sheds when you were a kid!?
So yeah, next time you’re in this part of the world come check out what we’ve been up to and lose yourself in some Lord of the Rings ass nature, but remember to buy your beers and smokes in duty free otherwise you’re gonna be broke! – Daryl Nobbs