Oostende “Velodrome Bowl”, Belgium: Opening day

The new skate park in Oostende, Belgium is located in the old Velodrome (sloped bike course) next to the harbor, a few kilometers from the North Sea. Built by Concrete Dreams, a Belgian skate park company started by Bruno Vanwilderode, which is at times a collaborative effort with Brusk Collective & locals in whichever city they’re building and also sometimes helped out by Matt Grabowski from Minus Pools and Pudi who makes his own Pool Coping for skate parks and DIY Projects.

Pudis Pool Coping - CONCRETE DREAMS - in its new home in Oostende

The final product in Oostende came out super insane: pool coping around a lot of the “flow” bowl, endless speed lines, a difficult to hit vert corner section (the largest “obstacle” in the park), hips galore, and a crazy U bowl with no flat bottom. It’s not a high, steep skate park, and not super scary… just really fun, which is the most important thing, in my book. The opening party had punk bands, DJs, & graffiti jams on the old Velodrome walls. There was no contest, just whoever wanted to skate could skate, and a lot of spectators seemed very impressed with what Concrete Dreams had created for their city and visiting skateboarders from all over Europe and soon the world! The city of Oostende funded this project, as several cities around Europe are doing, helping the skateboarding scene and giving people of all ages the possibility to find thrills by skateboarding in a world class skate park, rather than smoking crack or shooting up heroin for thrills.

Ooostende, Belgium - Skatepark Overview

There’s not really much else to say, except, another great skate park in Europe – BUILT BY SKATEBOARDERS. So I’ll let the photos + video do the talking….

Koen KOOKIE Willems frontside grinding the sweet corner pocket.

Vinnie. Finger flip to tail on the hip.

Simon Stachon. FS grind in the vert pool coping corner. Harder than it looks.

This kid was ripping. Tim Jacobs. Textbook frontside ollie.

A little smurf told me BMX is not lame any more. BMX dude BLAASTING over the hip! Cant say for sure, but i think this guy did a huge spine transfer, landed on his back wheel, and bounced 15 feet down to flat bottom. Worst slam of the day....almost.

Simon Stachon. Backside air over the central hip.

The Wizard from Antwerp.

Barna from Brusk blasting a backside over the hip.

Quentin Tarantino Layback 5-0 over the bump.

Brusk Mike grinding Pudis Pool Coping

Flemish Punk Rock. Live Music was playing most all the time in the Pavillion.

Grafitti Showdown on the old Velodrome Walls - Screaming Hand???

Simon Stachon. Backside smith grind to a nice frontside...

Mike Van Der Ouderaa with another nice frontside

Chillin in a chair, post accident, watching the action go by. Tim Jacobs ollies the hip.

Stephane Thonnard from Brusk Collective - grinding the big wal in the park he helped build.

Jarne Verbruggen from Mechelen. The kid kills everything.

Jarne Verbruggen from Mechelen. The kid kills everything.

Brusk Mike - one of the main men behind this project

Bruno - a mad man with a master plan

Brunos revenge

Belgium crew. Smokin and drinkin poolside. Belgians know how to live the good life.

Huge one footed Ollie by Oostende Local Timothy Deconinck. No, he didn't roll away, but he landed it.... and then slammed. On any given sunday, i'm sure he can pull it though.

3rd run of the day.. heat stroke, beer stroke, drop in, oh no, cant eject, some kid runs into me 100 miles an hour, slams me into the concrete, busts my shoulder, smacks my head onto the concrete, cant breathe... bruno drags me out the pool speaking some strange language, i think im on mars, here, have a beer, everything will be alright....but i know inside, everything is not going to be ok. i just got destroyed.

Separated Shoulder from Collision in Oostende. 3rd run.

Words + Photos + Video: Jonathan Hay