A Top-Secret Epic Backyard Ramp...

World-renown ramp builder John Saxton recently filled me in on an epic backyard ramp he's been building over the past few months. Before seeing any photos of it, I knew it had to be special based on how excited John was. After seeing photos, my mind was completely blown. A lot of specifics about this ramp need to remain top secret for now - and I apologize for that -  but check this thing out and learn a little bit about it from its creator -


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Alright, John. This ramp is insane. How’d you end up at the helm of this beast?

So, I have actually tried a few times to get the story of how they found me and how I ended up in this position building this dream set up. From what I have pieced together, the story goes like this… They were looking to do a wild set up. They originally approached a concrete company about doing something. After some back-and-forth. these guys decided that company was not for them. They got passed around a few times to different builders until, somehow, it got to Brian Kachinsky. Once it made its way to Brian, he told them he had a guy. Brian reached out to ask if it was something I was interested in getting involved with. The rest is history. 


Where is this?

The location is something that I have been asked to keep under-wraps. We will just say that it’s north of Planet Earth…


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Who is the owner?

The owner is another one of those “under-wraps” situations. There are quite a few people involved with what’s going on, but my vague answer will have to suffice. 


Did you design the whole thing? What was the design process like exactly?

Originally, the design was quite a bit different. It was going to bee more of a skatepark-type layout. Soon, after I showed up on site, I realized that the design was not going to work with the area we had available and would have to completely change from the original. One of the guys helping me throughout the build - Joel Barnett - was there when I showed up and had a design he was playing with of a fun X-shaped bowl. I really liked it as a starting point and I used it as inspiration to get going. Once things started to take shape, I could envision the whole thing, more-or-less, very early in the process. 


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From start to finish, how long did the build take?

We are currently still here and building. The end date could very well be within the next couple of weeks.. We started mid-to-late December and were able to build through the winter, when weather allowed. 

Between weather delays and time off for whatever reasons, the actual build is closing in on the four-to-five month range.


What feature took the longest to build?

Of all the features in the park, I would say the capsule or the vert ramp took the longest. 


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What are some of the standout features that make this ramp unique?

I think one of my favorite features that makes this ramp stand out is the capsule. I have always wanted to build one and have been waiting for the perfect project and spot to add one into a design. A close second to the capsule would have to be the “pump track” kind of setup around the majority of the park.


What materials were used to bring it to life?

Mostly glued-together popsicle sticks.. We had to go toe every grocery store in the area to clear out their inventory of popsicles and ice cream on sticks to make it happen. Eating that much ice cream was more difficult during the winter, but once it started to get warmer, we were good. We also used Skatelite, as well as some nails and screws. 


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You’ve built a lot of epic ramps in your day. Is this one the craziest?

I think the craziest ramp I have ever built would be the one made out fo salt for Daniel Dhers and Red Bull in Bolivia. As far as wooden ramps go, however, yes. This is by far the craziest.


Have you - or anyone else - put tires on it yet? If so, how was it?

We officially started testing the ramp within the last month. Being able to ride at the end of the day made “work life” so much easier! Everything feels great and starting to finally figure out the lines and gaps that we have been staring at for this long is a real treat!


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Any big plans for this ramp? Looks like a great place for an epic jam or contest…

At the moment, there are no plans for anything like that. I would absolutely love to see something along those lines happen. Just to see this park ridden the way it should be ridden would be amazing!


If anyone out there wants to hire you to build one of these in their backyard, what should they do?

If anyone out there wants any ramping - whether it’s a setup like this or, hypothetically, a much smaller setup, we build it all. Reach out to us at SkidmarkParks@gmail.com or on Instagram - @JohnMSaxton and @SkidmarkParks!


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