Here is the interview with Tero Pikkarainen about the Suvilahti DIY Constructing of the Suvilahti DIY skatepark started in spring 2011 when the Finnish Skateboard association rented 900m2 of empty property from city of Helsinki. A group of local skaters got together and started raising money from private sector to build a kind of concrete skatepark that didn’t yet exist in Finland. By the end of 2013 the park have grown massively and a group of these local skaters have started a skatepark design and construction company called Concrete Proof and finished several other concrete skateparks in Finland. Suvilahti DIY will continue growing in spring 2014.
Since the 1st January 2008 the real estate company “Kiinteistö Oy Kaapelitalo” began developing, renting and maintaining the facilities.The facilities are being renovated for use by artists and other cultural activities. Suvilahti is already home for photography studios, artists… You have skated there before the 2011 who came up with the idea of a skatepark at Suvilahti?
The whole idea was probably brewing in many diffenrent minds simultaneously because other smaller scale DIY in Wamma Park was taken down in 2009 by some city officials. We didn’t have any concrete to skate anywhere in the central Helsinki. Originally, not far away from actual Suvilahti area, two skaters, Mäxy and Jone started building their own DIY spot without permission beside the sea. Some people helped there to build some other obstacles. That got people inspired, and finally Anssi Paukkunen from Finnish Skateboard Association rented the corner from the vacant parking lot in that actual Suvilahti area. And that was the actual beginning of the DIYpark.
How was the place before the skatepark and how it’s now?
It was just a abanadoned parking lot in an old abandoned gas factory area. There was nothing, except shitty asphalt and trash in the bushes.
The place is rented … for how many years will be there without problems? What was there before the skatepark?
Untill 2016 hopefully. The area is under heavy construction, and the park will probably be demolished under the coming years of construction.
This project has brought even tweak to start your own construction company Concrete Proof. Are any new skateparks in progress?
Yes, theres some that we have designed ourselves, and few building projects pending.
The structure that you prefer, which prefers the majority?
The structures I would prefer to build are bowls, quarters and more flowy stuff. But I like to skate everything. Te majority of the parks I used to in Finland are mainly street oriented, so I would like to expand the horizon of Finnish skating by building lots of bowls and gnarly stuff!
When , in the next years , was expand you had already a project in mind or has been built with the flow…
We are always wanting to expand the park, but as we have a company now, we an contribute to the building as much as we would like to. Fortunately, younger crew have started to emerge from the dudes who like to skate there. So, the fire is burning!!
Is this park already a popular destination for the various teams on tour when they are in Finland?
Yes, the Kingpins Drive – tour had the last sessions there, and in the time of the Helsinki Hookup competititon the park is packed. Even Tony Hawk has visited it, while he was driving Gumball 2000 race in Finland in 2013!! That was insane to hear, too bad we didn’t see him skating there!! We saw that only through instagram photos, Bummer!!
..and who impressed you the most? Which is the Best trick ever landed in the park?
Most gnarliest thing I’ve witnessed have to be Julien Benoliel and Fernando Bramsmark busting huge backside ollies and Indy air in the big quarter. On the day to day basis I have to give it to Aapo Olervo who i s always ripping like hell, and of course Eniz always killz it!! But the most stoked I am when I see these tiny kinds wondering to park and starting skating there. They will rip so hard in the future!
Who has helped you and the skaters in this project …some companies?
We have had donations from various companies. Too many to start naming them all. (my memory ain’t what it used to be. One can find them in https://www.facebook.com/SuvilahdenSkeittiparkki)
Any advice for someone who wants to do such a thing?
Just start doing it. It doesn’t come true if you dont start actually doing it. Everything else will follow!!
Which structure is the easier to build , for someone that would like to build a small DIY thing ?
The smaller the the easier, because of the amounts of the concrete needed to be handled. And you can practice while doing it. Ask questions from everybody who knows anything about pouring and troweling. Then get bigger and bigger!! And have fun while doing it, and bring brews!
Contest ,events for the 2014?
Nothing yet planned. I would like to see some Skate Rock type mayhem at the park. Skating, Metal, Beers, Chicks, Burning stuff and all around insanity!!