Words by Jérôme Heim
Photography by Alan Maag
Additional photography by Kevin Kohler
Schnell ‘n’ Sun
In 2011, when it was obvious that our beloved Bowl de L’Ancienne had to be removed, we looked for a new place to move it to. We found a home just beside the indoor skatepark PNS in La Chaux-de-Fonds located in an old slaughterhouse, only a week after we had destroyed our bowl. Anyway, the old framework made with Ikea closet doors found in the street couldn’t be reused. And, contrary to a private DIY, a project led by a non-profit organization can be funded by institutions and others foundations. A wooden bowl is indeed expensive, especially when you want some specialties like a waterfall that connect a shallow end to a deep end, volcanoes around the two pillars, an over-vert part and pool copings everywhere. After a funding process and more than 1500 hours of work during one year and thousands of screws, we finished the beast. Seven years later, no fixes were required, except for the coping joints.
Since 2013, a lot of sessions have taken place in the PNS bowl, notably in winter when it’s snowing outside, even if it’s almost freezing inside. Homies are Morille, Batti aka Le President, Lurch, Rob, Billy, Loann, Sid, Steve and I. Occasionally, some killers come, like the Warriors Family, the PortLand crew, the Yachting Club Mauriannais or the Team Trouble Laax on its summer tour. What a pleasure to watch Sam Beckett, Sox, Martino Cattaneo and all those guys destroy the spot.
Sadly, as history repeats itself, our bowl has to be removed from this place. As the owner of the building, the city wants to create a space for something more hype than skateboarding like a wardrobe or a VIP lounge. Fortunately, the skatepark will remain and the purpose is to move the bowl in it. It will mean a lot of work, once again, but we’ll benefit from the several modules assembled to form the framework: each corner or hip is made by a 30° piece that can be transported alone. Back in the day, we already knew that sooner or later the bowl would have to be dismantled. – Jérôme Heim
Bowl de L’Ancienne (photographic history of the bowl dating back to 2006): https://bowldelancienne.blogspot.com/
Inauguration of the Bowl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn1TWZ4TRPU
Park’n’sun bowl opening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS76VdC-5AA
Bowl de la Chaux-de-Fonds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BydCuvYAvk