Posts Tagged ‘skateboard’

IXX Escha Clothing

October 3, 2009

Here are some images of my clothing label IXX Escha. Now stocked at Stussy at QV.

They will be stocking it over the summer 09-10, so check it out if you are around Swanston St. and have a spare minute over the holidays.

Check out for the full range.


Mannequins and window front display

Mannequins and window front display

Interior banners

Interior banners

Wall mounted artwork- Screenprint on fabric

Wall mounted artwork- Screenprint on fabric

stussy sign



Rookies Ledge

October 3, 2009

This obstacle is called Rookies Ledge. Why? Because it’s designed for skaters that are at an intermediate skill level.  A spot where amateur skaters can hone their skills.

Page 2- In use

page 1 -Hero Shot- Draft

Rendering 02

The design has been tweaked since last week. The shape has been modified to fit tooling and to make it easier to skate on. I’ll post some pics of the design testing soon. Got some footage of it but it’s too long to put on youtube.

The Barrel Wave

September 26, 2009

After making lots of smaller wire mesh and clay models, it was time to play around with scale. The scale was going to be crucial in terms of the functionality to the design. It also determined WHO used it and how experienced they were. I’m making this object for people with 3 different skill levels, so I had to control certain parts of the design. The obstacle can be approached in 3 different directions according to skill level and according to your mode of transport; skateboard, BMX bike, roller blades and scooter.

My research and design development stages have involved the beach in some way or form. The sand, the water, the lifestyle also. Skateboarding also evolved from surfing in the 1950’s and was called “Sidewalk surfing”. So it was very appropriate to add some surfing FLAVOUR to my design. I was inspired by the barrel surfers went through and so i wanted to incorporate this in to my form design somehow. I want to achieve the same feeling surfers get as they are riding through a “barrel”- a big wave.

I also want it to have that aesthetic of an old drain pipe. Skaters like to find spots that aren’t meant to be skated. That’s what makes it an authentic street skate.  So check these following images and i’ll let the design speak for itself.

Barrel Wave

Barrel Wave

Drain Pipe Skate

Drain Pipe Skate

Air dry clay & wire mesh backing

Air dry clay & wire mesh backing

blog clay2

blog clay3

Skate Terminology

September 4, 2009

If you think I’m talking gibberish and its hard to follow me. Click the link below for a list of skateboard terminology. I’ll try to keep things as simple as possible.

Here are some general terms, tricks and equipment-

Next week- user participation #2

September 4, 2009

After categorising skaters’ skill levels, I still wasn’t sure how I could translate this into physical design. I needed some actual data that could help give me direction with my form design. So I’ve come up with these variables:

  1. Obstacle height- Low, medium, high
  2. Obstacle steepness- Shallow slope, medium slope, vertical and over-vert.  (curved transition and flat banks)
  3. Speed- How fast the skater riding.

Next Tuesday I’ll be going to an indoor skate park called the ‘Ring of Fire’. I’ll get my friends to skate a series of obstacles and I will be measuring their performance. I would class them as Intermediate level skaters. They have been skating for at least 5 years now. I roughly know how high and how far a beginner can jump (Ollie) on flat ground; about 180mm high and  800mm in length moving at average speed. I’ve calculated average skating speed to be 14 km/ph or 4 meters per second. (That is 3 times average human walking speed).

  • I’ll be measuring how far they can ride up a ramp.
  • How steep the ramp is.
  • Ill measure how far they can jump on flat ground.
  • I’ll take note of how fast they need to travel to complete these tricks. What kind of assistance is needed to generate the speed?
Here are the participants- Eye on the prize

Here are the participants- Eye on the prize

Here is the skatepark i'll get them to skate- 'Ring of Fire'

Here is the skatepark they'll be shredding- 'Ring of Fire'

Coping on top of a quater pipe ramp.

Coping rails on top of a quarter pipe ramp.

This is a video showing these professional skaters building a portable ramp and putting it against a wall to skate. This is a massive amount of vert (vertical ramp section) that can only be done by extremely skilled skaters.

Here is an experienced skater doing some tricks. See the difference in size of the vert. Also notice how they have used quick-setting concrete (aka. quickcrete) to make a ramp out of a standard road barrier.

Site analysis

September 4, 2009

So the two sites I chose to study were Birrarung Marr and Flagstaff gardens. These locations were chosen in first semester as they were actually declared ‘skate safe’ zones by Melbourne City council. The first site (Birrarung Marr) is located just behind Federation Square. The riverside views attract tourists and other visitors. This means that I am more likely to design an obstacle that is sculptural in form. It does not need to be recognised as a piece of seating. If there is nobody skating it then I believe people would see it as a piece artistic sculpture that can be climbed on, sat on, and slid down.  Surprisingly there are little/ no recreational sports happening in this park.

There were a few locations in the park that I took photos of and analysed. These were the main criteria that should be met:

  1. Should be a relatively flat site uninterrupted by poles, trees and other obstructions.
  2. Should have a decent size run-up (preferably already concreted).
  3. Needs to be an area with few pedestrians walking, cycling, jogging past.
  4. Needs to have a safe distance between the river, roads, playgrounds.

As I was walking through the park I realised that there were 2 suitable sites connected by a downhill ramp. I had assumed I was going to use a single site with a flat surface. This means I could install 2 obstacles and skaters will be able to set up a “run” (A series of tricks). And because of the downward slope it means they can use little effort when skating between obstacles (No pushing = easy skate).

Main path through Birrarung Marr- Red zone is experienced skaters and yellow for Intermediate.

Main path through Birrarung Marr- Red zone is experienced skaters and yellow for Intermediate.

Main path looking at experienced skate zone.

Main path looking at experienced skate zone.

Flagstaff Gardens is the second site. I was analysing it using the same set of criteria. The park is a lot more structured and feels like it is maintained regularly by personnel. The north side of the park is closest to the apartments and other housing facilities. It has been designed for recreational purpose. It has a tennis court, basketball court, a large lawn bowls course, and a children’s playground. It has a relaxed atmosphere where people can sit on the grass and have a picnic or do other recreational activities. It is also opposite to the Victoria Market.

The South side of the park is facing the business buildings. There are only public seats and bins. People pass by quickly. Because it is in such a “business” district it is well maintained and looked after. This park is less about design and more about function and efficiency. There are at least 12 pathways that intercept each other, connecting every corner of the park. This makes travel times faster when walking. The park also slopes downwards from North to south. This means I will be able to set up a range of obstacles on different paths so that skaters can choose their own direction depending on their skill level.

Flagstaff Gardens- Yello is the intermediate course and the blue is the beginners course.

Flagstaff Gardens- Yello is the intermediate course and the blue is the beginners course.

Intersection where beginners and intermediate courses seperate.

Intersection where beginners and intermediate courses seperate.

The park is busiest during the morning and afternoon peak hour because it is connected to Flagstaff Train Station.

Because this is a business district I will be making my seats look a bit more recognisable. The people using the south side of the park are more likely to use a seat that looks practical. I will be designing them for beginners and intermediate level skaters. This will mean that there will be “Low Risk” tricks being performed on these obstacles.

Beginners, Intermediate & Experienced skaters

September 4, 2009

The concepts and models were fine so far, but I still felt that there needed to be a more substance behind my designs. Sketches, scale models, and words can only inform my design to a certain degree. I needed to look more closely at the ACT of skateboarding. I made a list of all the different skateboard tricks.


I could then associate the different types of tricks with different obstacles.

I could then categorise the tricks and obstacles into 3 main grading levels:

  1. Beginners ( blue box)
  2. Intermediate (yellow box)
  3. Experienced (red box)

We discussed this in class the other week and agreed that this will help direct the form of the objet. It would give me some limitations to the surfaces and scale of my design.

User Participation #1

September 4, 2009

I gathered my favourite clay models and wire mesh models and took them to the skate park (Riverside). I wanted some skaters to take a look at the models and give me some feedback on the designs. They didn’t seem too interested in what I was saying at first, but when I pulled out the models they all started to gather around and take a look. I didn’t really want to sketch and takes notes of what they were saying and I didn’t want to ask them to sketch out their ideas either. So I cut up some squares of wire mesh, gave it to them and said- “show me your ideas”.  So they all started to model up some ideas… They produced some basic shapes and curves and gave me some advice on what they thought be good to include.

1- Shallow transitions

2- Transfers between some obstacles

3- They wanted to skate obstacles that didn’t look like benches or other familiar obstacles.

So my design needs to be less like a seat and more like a sculptural installation. skaters and the general pubic (tourists etc) would find this more interesting.

Sand sculpting… amazing!

August 30, 2009

So after my sand models I wasn’t really sure where to take it next. It was suggested that I look into professional sand sculpting. WOW these model makers are amazing! They create such intricate design out of sand (with a limited amount of time).

I really wanted to find out what additives they were using in the sand mixture. This is a lot harder to find then i first thought because it is banned in most professional competitions. Nowadays they just use sand and water. I heard it may be a mixture of Gelatin and salt. Others say its concrete mixed with sand. But it’s my mission to find out exactly what they use. Why? Because if I can get my hand on some I will be building massive sand sculptures and skate obstacles… And making them permanent features! I will mix in way too much hardener and sculpt myself a bench. I could leave it as- is. Or I can take that design and cast myself a mould out of concrete of plaster. Could you imagine building a piece of sand furniture that hardens, and then you pick it up and take it home.

The best sand to use is sand from a river bed because it has larger triangular grains that stick together. (River = No waves!) Beach sand is not the best because the grains are rounded and smooth. This is because the waves and tides have been crashing down causing the grains to wear down over hundreds (millions?) of years.



Believe it or not but they plant explosives in these sculptures as they build them. When the competition is over… BOOM!  And I thought kicking over a sand castle was fun.

Pound- up process. Building the frames up virtically.

Pound- up process. Building the frames up vertically. Usually done the day before a competition.

They use a method called ‘Pound-up’. It basically involves building a framework out of timber. These timber walls are built up vertically until it reaches a desired height. Each section is filled with sand and is then compacted down by whacking it, jumping on it or pouring water on it. (machinery can be used to compact the sand as well.)

This is a very interesting process that I will look into further.


August 30, 2009

Before I  got started I was in need of some inspiration. I found these images of people skating different obstacles.

The Great Petition Sculpture- Burston Reserve, Melbourne

The Great Petition Sculpture- Burston Reserve, Melbourne

Rolled steel was used to create this sculpture.

I found a video that shows the meaning behind this sculpture and the design process (including fabrication). It’s really quite interesting.

Another Problem with street skating and urban design is the Cultural Significance of the location or obstacle your skating. Skaters may or may-not know what the obstacle was designed for (unless they read the plaque). And so you get a lot of skateboarders damaging sensitive sites around the CBD. Moreover, it is also seen as disrespectful when you skate at a location that is valued highly by individuals. Some examples include Lincoln Square (Swanston st) that is now a memorial for the Bali bombing victims. Churches and any other location with religious meaning. The ‘great petition sculpture’ represents women’s rights.

So to stick a bunch of anti-skate products on one of these “sacred” obstacles would detract from the meaning of the obstacle itself. And this is something skaters unfortunately take advantage of.  I would like to design an obstacle that avoids this issue.  The last thing I want is for the skater using my obstacle to be called insensitive vandal.

Skateparsk in the states

concrete bowl

concrete bowl