Daniel Dhers Discusses Skatepark's Olympic Redesign

DDASC - Daniel Dhers' skatepark on the outskirts of Raleigh, North Carolina - is home base for many of the best competition riders on the planet. Daniel just gave the park its final facelift before The Olympics, so this is officially where riders like Hannah Roberts, Brandon Loupos, Perris Benegas, and Daniel himself will be preparing for the biggest event of their lives. We caught up with Daniel to learn all about the new setup! 


 


Did you design all of the changes yourself?

Yeah. It was a bit of a challenge because certain features of the building made it difficult, so I measured everything a thousand times to make sure I could fit it. I wanted certain obstacles to be there and I'm glad it all worked out.


How long did it take to get them done?

Gutting seventy percent of the park and rebuilding took eleven days.


Who did the build?

Cory Wiergowski with Ramped Construction along with Brent Hile and Nomadic Blader.


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This is your first time working with Cory, right? How was it?

Kind of. He helped with a part on the last remodel, but only for a few days. This was the first time he worked on the full project at my park and it was sweet. He certainly goes hard, man. Super efficient and a lot of attention to detail. The park looks amazing!


Tell us about the new obstacles...

The main thing is the massive spine. It's a six-foot take off and a ten-foot "quedge." It's pretty gnarly to jump. We moved the foam pit and added a smaller lip for kids and quarters on each side. We also positioned the resi box, resi spine, and real spine in a way that you can carve and alley-opp into a resi, regardless of the way you turn. 

I wanted to take the opportunity to make the park more open and friendly to ride for those who are learning, but challenging enough for the pros.


What are you losing by adding these new elements?

I lost the resi hip, the mini ramp with the huge deck for technical riding, and the spox.


 


Are some of the new ramps based specifically on things you compete on? If so, what?

The big spine is something that comes up from time-to-time. Mine is way gnarlier, but it will help to ride the FISE one since that one is a lot mellower. The carve and the alley-opp options are other elements that keep popping up at events - especially the carve to the right. Nine-out-of-ten courses turn left, so I made my park have more features that way so I'm more comfortable riding in that direction.


DDASC is your park. When you do a redesign like this, how much do you think about what you want and how much do you think about everyone else?

The hardest part is to make something that is easy enough for kids, but challenging enough for the pros to ride. With the last design, I wanted a resi hip - and the whole design was based on that. It certainly made the whole park difficult for a lot of people. For this design, I asked the locals what they wanted the most. They voted for a better run-up to the resi box and a quarter to foam, so I made sure we made better use of the space and added what the locals wanted. This was in line with what I wanted, too. This time, I think it worked out great!


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Why was now a good time to make these changes? Won't it throw you off being so close to the contest season?

It was actually now or never. I figured it would take about ten-to-twelve days to do and we don't really have events in March, so it gives us a solid month of riding the new stuff before FISE in Hiroshima.


I'm surprised you didn't add fifty more resis. Have you changed?

Actually, I kind of did. There are more resi options now than before due to the position of the ramps. Resis are a great tool for contests, which is what I've specialized in throughout my career. However, I wanted to add something gnarly - like the spine. 

I miss having gnarly parks. Everything now has a safety case or is a basic design without any challenging obstacles, so it's almost pointless to build an insane park like The Unit or The Animal House if you are trying to compete. 

I also don't really have the space, so I build the resi options for the tricks and call it a day.


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Who all has ridden it so far?

Marin Rantes, Kenneth Tencio, Perris Benegas, Hannah Roberts, Nikita Ducarroz, Justin Dowell and Brandon Loupos. Keiran Really, Bryce Tryon, and the Peru team are all on their way this week.


What seems to be the general consensus amongst the riders training there?

So far, everyone loves it! Everyone agrees this version is so much bigger and faster and has more options. It also has better flow and run-up to obstacles.


Will this design last through The Olympics?

Yes.


Are you going to win The Olympics?

We will see.


 


Who currently sponsors the park?

Gold Data and The Scooter Farm.


Why should everyone go ride here?

We have a combination of the best ramps with best scene. Everyone comes here to achieve goals and have a good time. We have an amazing contest crew, if you are trying to push yourself. We have the locals who ride and have a good time and the best women's scene - which makes me super stoked to see how much their class has grown.


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