Text by Ed Gaba
Photos by Nauris Dollins
“Riga skate community is rather small. It sometimes seems that we have more places to skate than skaters to keep these places kicking. For almost a decade, the more active part of Riga’s skate community spent their days at Barax DIY (check Confusion issue #26). In 2021 that era came to an end, and Barax alumni had to find themselves in the rest of the city. That sparked more activity in other places and eventually lead to the resurrection of VEF DIY.
Brief History of VEF DIY
Around 2014, Madars Apse, with back up, gathered skaters from all over to work on a DIY park in the heart of VEF — an old electrical products factory. Back then the VEF building held an important indoor skatepark with a skate shop, that definitely kept the place alive. After the park and shop closed their doors, the DIY was used, but was not a hot spot.
Interest to VEF came back when we learned that it was about to get torn down by the local business owners. As they put it, “we didn’t see much activity in the park, so we thought that we might as well build a parking lot there”. That kick in the balls made some people reconsider the importance of VEF DIY, and made them take action and responsibility for the spot. Business people were surprisingly pretty open to the idea of keeping VEF with the condition that someone will take care of it. That pressure was probably what our community needed before to get involved. The park got some new colors and obstacles. Now we can surely say that VEF DIY is a must visit place if you are in Riga.
VEF is sick
Readers of this mag know really well what kind of atmosphere is in a DIY and what an event in a DIY can be like. Riga’s finest, Tikari skateshop, hosted a VEF clean up jam in the end of April. In the contest, which didn’t feel like one, we found out who was the most gnar, most tech and most rookie local. Beside that, we found out that day was who is the fastest aka death race champ. A long time player in the scene, Marcis Ruikis, got that title. Congrats champ!
DIY gives us an opportunity to connect, contribute and charge. Let’s keep it alive. See you at the spot.”