Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Let's Build a DIY Skatepark Detroit

Last year we visited a pop up skate park outside the Brewster Projects and had a great time watching all the people take advantage of the free ramps and jumps that local skateboarding enthusiasts had put out for everyone to enjoy. It was fun to see kids come from all over and unite over the fact that they love to skate. Detroiters are essentially turning abandoned lots into the new, hip place to be.

The makers of that pop up skate park want to do it again, but this time they want to build something more permanent. They have thrown together a benefit this Friday, May 23 to raise some money to break ground on a new DIY skate park this summer. They are asking everyone to come out and spend a little cash at Third Street Bar in Detroit to get this thing going. The best part is that there is no cover to come out and meet the people behind the park. Instead of paying a cover, you can use your hard earned money to enter to win raffle prizes. The money that they raise from the raffle will go directly to buying the tools that they need to get started. They will also have Wolf Eyes, Blacker Magick, and Nicky Stix performing for your listening pleasure.

We reached out to one of the organizers, Derrick Dykas, and asked him to answer a few questions about the project. Check out what he had to say below and feel free to stop by this Friday to support a great cause. Skate or Die!
HID- How old were you when you started skateboarding?
Derrick Dykas- "I got my first skateboard from my dad on my 12th birthday in 1996. So, long enough to have irreversible damage to everything on my body. But, I think I've still got some good years ahead of me."
HID- Tell us about the benefit that you are having this weekend to build a skate park. How are you raising money and how much of the money will actually go to the skate park?
Derrick Dykas- "I can't wait for the benefit, I've already got six months of work into this project and we haven't even broke ground yet. But it's a free show with three great artists that I've grown up skating with. People might think it's weird that Nick (Nicky Stix) will be on stage rapping just before Wolf Eyes go on, but that's skateboarding. There is no mold, no formula, no rules. But we will have a ton of stuff we will be auctioning and raffling off. A little something for everyone whether you skate or not. So we decided to not include a door fee and just depend on donations, raffle tickets and t-shirt sales to bring in money that we will use on tools to build the park. I've got a $3,000 list of tools that we are going to need to get stuff done. Lack of proper tools is why the stuff we built last year at The Brewster Projects fell apart, we stretched materials too far and didn't have the proper materials. We shouldn't have to sacrifice quality because we are doing it ourselves."
HID- What motivated you to get behind this project?
Derrick Dykas- "This project should motivate anyone who takes pride in where they live and skate. It's got the potential to be one of the best DIY parks in the state, Midwest and country. As long as we can keep money coming in, we can build whatever we want and not have to worry about the city taking it from us."
HID- When will the skate park actually be up and running?
Derrick Dykas- "We hope to open the park on June 21st (National Go Skateboarding Day) with a huge party. I'm sure stuff will get skated once the cement cures, because I'd like to reward the volunteers that are there building, and not the people who just show up when we are done. Those guys are the worst."
HID- What kind of music do you like to listen to while you skate?
Derrick Dykas- "I don't usually listen to music when I skate. I understand why people do it, it's just not for me. I can't stand skating with headphones on and more often than not, I'm skating with my friends and want to enjoy their company."
HID- Anything else that you want our readers to know?
Derrick Dykas- "I just want to thank everyone in advance. I can't do this by myself and I'm extremely thankful for any help along the way. From Roula at Red Bull, Garrett and Kevin at Assemble, Sue at Park and Rec, and everyone who has helped us this far and in the future. I've got big ideas for this park and hopefully we can win everyone over with the finished product. Come check out the party, say "hi", check out some great bands, and have fun. This summer is going to be full of it. Hold on to your dicks."

The Third Street Bar is located at 4626 3rd Street in Detroit. Doors are at 8 p.m. and the party goes 'til 2.


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