Having your own place to ride is sweet but it's easier said than done to get your local park. The core builders of The Promise park know all about it. It was work, work and more work for months. 2 divorces and 1 broken relationship later they have their own spot to ride. Learn more about the park with Max Laisina:
When did the park open to the public?
Max: The park opened 12 July, 2 years ago.
Who helped build the park?
Max: a lot of people helped out, but there were only a handfull of people that put in almost all their spare time, doing the actual building. I don't know if I should say this but 80% of them ride bmx.
Can you give any indication what sacrifices you guys had to make to get the park built?
Max: Apart from the 2 broken marriages and a broken relationship that really happened during the building process, it was mainly time that could have been used to ride ourselves. But hey, the people that didn't only run their mouth about how they need a skatepark to ride in, understood that if you don't put in any effort it's not gonna happen, at least not the way you want it to.
Who made the initial design for the park?
Max: The design was made by a few people (Daniel, Twan and me) of course we had plans how to build and what we wanted to have, which was pretty important because the city could see we were very serious, and able to build what we showed them, everyone can say they can build ramps, by showing them the plans they knew we could do it. Along the way some plans were altered though. But it turned out pretty well I guess.
Who financed the wood and who belongs the location to?
Max: The city financed the wood, tools and screws, and they also rented the location we're in, for 4 years, with an optional 5th year. We pay the city rent every month, which is put aside for the future.
How many visitors do you get per month?
Max: that depends on the weather or school hollidays. During the week it's pretty quiet, a busy day would be 20-25 people, weekends that would be 75-100.
Do you believe bikes and skates can go hand in hand?
Max: They should!!!!!!! I don't want anything to do with that us versus them feeling, it sucks balls, it's all about respect, we all want the same, we just do it on a different thing, and that is what I try to teach kids here. I really hate skateparks that don't allow bmx-ers, of all people they should know what it's like to be sent away by some security idiot, telling them they are destroying private property, and instead of learning from it they became the people they used to hate. I don't want seperate days for different sports either(with the exception of mountain bikers, they aren't allowed on weekends, because it's too crowded and that's when I need to filter out some people, but during the week there usualy is room enough for them, so I'm cool with that).
Is a skatepark sort of a "social project" to keep the kids off the street and give them a chance to do something positive?
Max: That is a difficult question, I think time will tell, to be honest, I don't think there are too many kids that became locals that would have become criminals without the park. Kids that ride here on a daily basis, would have found another hobby I think. Unless you think keeping them from riding street, being "vandals" that way, you may have a point. But again you never know what would have become of the younger kids that have started riding here.
What "famous" riders have come to the Promise park for a session?
Max: Paddy Gross, the Odyssey team (Aitken, Berringer, Foster, Fraggle, Young, Hitchcock, Foakes, Banton), Wicke, Sebo, Aze, well almost all the Germans, the Cools brothers, Ed Templeton and of course some people I forgot or don't know.
What's the best part of running the park?
Max: Meeting lotsa cool people.
What's the worst?
Max: not being able to ride as much as I'd love to.
Any events coming up?
Max: this Friday there's a bmx sleepover, from 18:00 - 2:00 bmx only, then sleep, or just watch some video's and start riding at 8:00 am again. We'll be having contests shortly though, it's in the works
Thank you, hope to see you soon
More info on the park at: www.thepromise.nl