Sunday, April 6, 2008



Monster is the only international standard indoor outdoor ramp set up in Australia with an indoor street course and outdoor vert and mini ramps as well as a skate shop and Xbox Entertainment Lounge.
Designed and built by riders for riders, Monster caters for the needs of riders of all skill levels and riding tastes. The park offers Ride with a Pro clinics, school PDHPE and school programs and is also home to a range of regional, national and international action sports events.
Opening Times
10am until 10pm, 7 days
The Park also has special earlier opening times for pre-booked clinics and school sessions

Monster has been designed and built by Australian Ramp Design in consultation with top skaters and BMXers. Tested and given the massive thumbs up by Bucky Lasek and the Monster Pros: skateboarders Trevor Ward & Corbin Harris, BMXers Matt Fairburn & Mike Daly and inliners Cesar Mora & Toby Heslop.
All the ramps are covered in hARD, an international comp-styled surfaced that delivers a fast and smooth ride (and dries quickly in the wet). The steel structures and construction method means the ramps are portable and can be changed.
14 1/2 ft high, 68ft wide featuring an extension on one side and two monster roll-ins on the other, one 18 1/2 ft and the other 21 1/2 ft. This international competition-sized beast is the only vert ramp of this size in the country.
The ramp is the centrepiece of the park and has been built to support and encourage vert ramp riding.
The flat bottom of the ramp is also used to teach kids to ‘pump’ across the smooth wide surface in Ride with a Pro clinics.

Two adjacent six foot mini ramps connected by a spine, a street spine and a roll through.
This mini ramp is a playground for mini and park skaters alike with an 8 ft extension, 10ft over-vert and a bank section with rails on the wide platform.

Covering 1000 square metres, the street course has been designed for everyone, from beginners on ramps right through to experienced street riders. From gentle 3 ft flat banks to a street spine and 10ft wall ride, this interchangeable set up is a street dream.

Skateboarding has been steadily outgrowing vert—going Mega, Hollywood and boosting bigger than China since the early '00s—but to get to SuperPark, you have to know where vert's been.

Illustration by Chris McNally
Cue evil cackle.Having survived two deaths already (mid-'60s, late-'80s), skateboarding seemed positioned for longevity in its third life. But as the popularity and profitability of ramp skating began to taper off after its zenith in the '80s, vert took a back seat to street—Powell lost Peralta, Vision was Blindsided by Gonz and megastar Mark "Gator" Rogowski murdered and raped his ex's best friend.As street skating rose above ground and blossomed, the early '90s vert recession hit transition skaters hard. Tony Hawk, who bought his first house at 17, sold his second house at 23. Christian Hosoi, on the lam since '95, spent five years in prison after getting caught with a pound and a half of meth at the Honolulu airport.At the same time, Big Brother Mag laid the groundwork for future Jackasses, pant legs were super-sized, Gonz kickflipped the Embarcadero gap and some of the best videos of all time were made. But then, in '95, a few vert careers were given a new breath with the advent of the X Games. Vert standards like Tony Hawk and Steve Caballero not only competed against Ed Templeton and Geoff Rowley in the event's first park contest, but their then-forgotten vert skills were also broadcast into millions of homes.Vert had found a new home. A home that grew in '99 when Hawk, with 80-plus tricks and 100-plus contests under his belt since turning pro at age 16, nailed skateboarding's first 900—his holy grail—and threw in the competitive towel for good.

Lance Dalgart
Tony Hawk invented more than 80 tricks. I'm not sure I can even count that high. "It was another barrier smashed—something we thought we'd never see in skateboarding. Now Sandro Dias does them in contest runs. Danny Mayer does kickflip McTwists in his run. Vert progression is endless," says Andy Macdonald, who has competed at every X Games since the event's inception.Despite the overnight success of the 900, wheels were still shrinking and things bigger than vert were on the horizon: Hawk formed the Loop Club in '96 (although Duane Peters was the first to flip gravity the bird), Danny Way bomb dropped out of a helicopter in '97 (and later, conceived the Mega Ramp and jumped over the Great Wall of China), Dreamland Skateparks built the first concrete cradle in 2001 and a snowboarder won the X Games—the world's highest paying in vert contest in 2007.
On paper, moving away from vert and embracing something new like Superpark makes sense. When you go session a spot with your boys, is it a loop? Is it a Megaramp? Is it the Great Friggin' Wall of China? Is it ... wait for it ... a vert ramp? Your answer is probably no, but if you're lucky, rich or famous enough to have a vert ramp in your back yard, good for you. Can I come over?

The Flying Animal hasn't stuck his 10 when the landing isn't white, but he still gets 14 medals for his efforts. So where is vert still thriving? The Carlsbad Men's Club scene is off the hook: Bob Burnquist's backyard is ever-growing, DC has a private ramp, Vans Orange, Chula Vista and the Claremont and Encinitas Y's all have vert ramps. Planning a Cali road trip? You'll find them listed under private, private, pay, pay, pay, pay.On the other side of the country, the Skatepark of Tampa is still "keeping the dream alive," says SPoT founder Brian Schaefer. "We started the park in '93 with a vert ramp and a pyramid, and it stimulated our whole park at the time. It's a necessity to have all elements of skateboarding be a part of our contest.""Compared with parks, it's hard to find a vert ramp. With the creative park designs going on nowadays, the X Games and World Cup haven't really created ramps that are with the times," explains 6-time X Games vert competitor Omar Hassan. "I don't really rely on vert. I love to do it, but for me personally, there's so much other stuff out there. I can see why they're doing it—to reinvent the whole thing, which will be really good."Good, indeed. It's 2008, and chances are that somewhere near Your Town, USA, there's a skatepark. There are more than 4,000 of them worldwide, after all. You might even skate there, since there are nearly 50 million skateboarders on the planet who classify themselves as street or park skaters (95% of all skateboarders). Your park may even have an oververt section, but it likely has no public vert ramp, since there are only a few dozen left standing."With the skating at skateparks all over the world not being true street or true vert, we want to honor the huge segment of that population that's being ignored. Kids will be able to watch the X Games skateboarding competition for SuperPark and see pros on the same obstacles that they might be able to ride at their local park," says Stiepock.But the million-dollar question remains: What exactly is this "SuperPark?" One part Black Pearl, one part Shanghai, with an inflection of Burnside? The X Games dudes in charge are still working it out, but they know a few things for certain—this can't be just another park, and rider input on course design is paramount. "Essentially," says Stiepock, "we're going to have to build a killer concrete park out of Skatelite."
A killer concrete park doesn't sound half bad, considering the types of features that can be constructed. Take the volcanoes, spines, tombstones, cradles, capsules, full pipes that litter the Pacific Northwestern landscape. Or the "igloo" recently installed in Irrigon, Oregon. Project Manager James Kilnedinst explains the thinking involved with an industry innovator like Grindline Skateparks, "Really, the only limitations are those of skateboarders and physics, and we're pushing those as much as we can. In every park we do, there's something we haven't done before. A lot of the time, it's something that hasn't been done in a skatepark—or with concrete, period."The problem with innovative skateparks at the X Games, however, is that they're not made for vert tricks. "There are tricks you can do on a vert ramp that you can't do anywhere else. I can promise you there will be no 900s going on on the Superpark course—guaranteed," says Macdonald.For a straight up vert dog whose livelihood depends on vert, losing the U ramp has the potential to be bogus. Pierre Luc Gagnon, 6-time X Games medalist and winner of this year's Tampa Pro vert contest contends, "I'm not just going to let vert go. Adding park is good, but they shouldn't replace vert. They're two different events. Vert is a stepping-stone to the Megaramp. How will we secure a future for Megaramp?"

If anyone benefits from this transition, it's Rune. Bro means bridge in Danish, and this guy is on par with Barack in terms of crossover appeal.Macdonald contends that vert doesn't have to, and shouldn't be, nixed. "The solution is a format change. Change it to a jam format so there are guys skating for a half hour straight and it's not like a golf match. The execs at ESPN want to do away with the one discipline in all the sports that's been there since day one, stood the test of time and contained every big moment in X Games history. The 900, Mat Hoffman's no-handed 900 and Kevin Robinson's double flair were all on the vert ramp. They're blowing it, and we're going to miss out on those moments."Ultimately, the X Games is about progression, or so ESPN says, and progression is a warm feeling of accomplishment that's unlike anything else. But you know what? Skateboarding is still super fun when you don't learn anything new and suck at it. And you can do that anywhere—even in a superpark

Vert's dead. Again. It's just that this time, it's the X Games that say so.On April 3, ESPN announced the biggest event shakeup since the inception of the X Games. As of this summer, vert, the oldest discipline in the Games, is out, and a new "SuperPark"-type discipline is in for the 14th year of competition. "It's time. It's been time. ESPN's always a little slow on the uptake. It's no secret that the vert field has stayed the same for the last decade. It's no secret that there aren't any vert ramps for kids to ride outside Southern California. If you want a vert career, you have to move there," says X Games General Manager Chris Stiepock. Vert's TV ratings on ESPN have diminished every year for the last four years. Quiksilver, Red Bull USA and Vans have all moved away from pure vert to events favoring different kinds of transition skating (Mini Mania, Bowlriders Series, Pro-Tec Pool Party, to name a few).The depth of the talent pool has diminished, too. 70 per cent of last year's field was 30 or older, and over a third of these skateboarders have been competing since '95.