How did this bowl come about?
I always wanted to build a bowl. I went to the 2016 Van Doren Invitational bowl contest last summer and somehow got second place doing the half-bar, and all of a sudden had $7500 burning a hole in my pocket. I was about to get married in a month, and I asked my future father-in-law if I could build a bowl on his land. It was basically a test, like “Let’s see what this kid’s got.”
Who was involved in building it?
Mike, my brother-in-law, crushed it. He was there every day for four weeks. Dustin Younie was the only one with any kind of of experience working with concrete, and without him I'd probably still be working on the bowl, ha, ha. So many dudes stepped up and helped it was awesome; too many to name. I’m not from this area, so I didn’t really know anyone around. A buzz started happening about the bowl and dudes would just start coming out of the woodwork. The cool thing about building a bowl is that skaters are willing to come help, and you have a bigger community to help make mods.
How much did it cost in total?
Fifteen thousand dollars. That was everything I had saved from working and stuff. I didn’t want to spend that much, but that’s what it cost and I was in too deep. It was just enough. I was like, “I got a sick bowl, but now I gotta get a job.” No regrets at all.
How did some of the costs break down?
The concrete pump cost a lot. A thousand bucks a day. We shot the deep end in two days. It’s a big job just to run the pump. We got two bundles of one hundred pieces of rebar. We used about 60 yards of concrete, at $125 a yard.
Any issues with the construction?
I used a mini excavator, it took a good week (to dig out). There was a rock half the size of my van I had to dig out. It was like poking it with a toothpick. I had to dig way under and take one of the big-ass trees and jammed it in there, then grabbed the top of the tree with the excavator, and then levered and popped it out. I almost snapped that day. Figuring out all the details took a lot of work as well.
Was that the most difficult part of it?
That, and working the concrete. The concrete was drying so fast (on the first two days of the pour). I had no experience working concrete. Something crazy would go wrong every single day, but somehow we would figure it out. The aggregate was huge in the concrete the first day, and it clogged the pump. The guy didn’t clean the nozzle, and the next day, there were three concrete trucks lined up, and we’re just throwing mud up with shovels and it’s not happening. We had to take apart the pump, and we used a torch and a huge wrench. That was the most stressed I’ve ever been.
Anything you would have done differently now?
I almost wish we didn’t get a pump, and do it in smaller sections, and hand-stacked it.