Saint Jean de Maurienne DIY – French Alps

LA COMBE-DES-MOULINS DIY
Photos by Alban Pernet  •  Article by Jérémy Durand

Originally printed in Confusion Magazine issue #23
(now with bonus photos)

1998: France just won the soccer world cup. “Great”. While everybody was partying, I was writing my first letter to my local city of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne (Savoie, French Alps) to finally get a skatepark. They didn’t listen shit, and instead, built another 100s soccer fields (still empty to this day) and one of the worst modular thing you could ever imagine. Nobody ever skated that piece of suck, because even when we were really desperate, and tired, local gangsters would welcome us there with knives and stones.

Overview of La Combe-Des-Moulins DIY. Photo: Alban Pernet

Epic crews build epic spots! Jey want to thank Tony Vignolo for the stone work, JF for the tiles in the pool and the dooway and Pudi for the PPC pool coping all around the park.

Yoann Delassus. Crail slide over Porte de l’Enfer (Gate of Hell).

Christo. Ollie over Porte de l’Enfer.

Yoann Delassus. Judo transfer

Frontside stand up grind over the death box.  Photo: Jérémy Durand

Long story short, years later, I went to Basel, to shoot some pictures of the Black Cross Bowl DIY for my skatezine, Versus. I was instantly blown away by this place. I thought skateboarders were just able to build sketchy wooden backyard miniramp, like I did at my parents place a few years before, but a concrete bowl?! That was just unbelievable for me. From this day on, with having the dream of building my own one day in the back of my head, I started travelling the world, searching for more concrete bowls, pools, with a special lust for DIYs.

Finally this day arrived and it was time to make my dream come true: 2017, after some heavy talks with the city, a couple of articles in the local newspapers, and a few visit at the local police station, we, the YCM crew (Yachting Club Mauriennais) & the association Skate and Create, started to build the legal DIY of La Combe-des-Moulins in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. With crowd fundings, help of amazing local companies and many volunteers, we built over 500 m2 in four months.

In 2018, the YCM crew was already more experienced, so we built even more, including a mini version of the Hirschgarten pool, a bowl, and the now famous (thanks to Confusion) Hell’s gate: 3,25m high with over 60cm of vert, all hand stacked (never again !).

Yoann Delassus. Mega transfer into the bowl from outside the bowl to the far hip

Since then, local kids are ripping, many shredders came from all over Europe, and the YCM crew is still fucking keen to build more crazy shit. Hopefully, the city will let us keep on building our little piece of paradise… I mean, we need a fucking loop there right Oli?! Hahaha.

Do I want to say thank you to anybody? Fuck yeah! But sorry I can’t name you all guys, Confusion isn’t big enough. I know you didn’t help us out for the fame anyway, you know who you are. So thanks again to all of you a million times. – Jey

Yoann Delassus. Backside tail bone transfer from quarter to quarter

Backside grind in the “pool”.

Yoann. Backside air

Yoann. Lipslide

Yoann. Backside air over the gate of hell.

Frontside Smith Grind

One foot ollie

Front blunt

Backside Smith Grind

Yoann. Backside Air

Chausettes. Front rock in the pool

Yoann. Transfer

Yoann. Frontside Lipslide

Frontside Heel Block

Backside Nosepick

Frontside tailbone

Frontside feeble over the deathbox

Frontside Feeble

Sweeper

CONSTRUCTION:

The main man – Versus Jey!

Construction of the Gate of Hell

Frontside ollie off the Opinel volcano

Backside tailslide over the doorway