WORDS: JOEY SHIGEO
“It was a very ambitious job for a one day project,” Al Partanen said while reflecting on a recent DIY build in the heart of Long Beach, California. He would know. As the driving force behind Levi’s Skateboarding’s many skatepark builds all over the world, he’s well aware that when it comes to DIY there are never optimum conditions; you just do the best you can with what you have.
Pitched as a quarterpipe addition to an existing five-foot-tall wall with seven-foot extension, the LB build was in a prime location, but the strict timetable meant there was very little wiggle room. A seasoned vet, Partanen planned every step of the process, down to the last block, ensuring that the DIY came in under budget (his extensive experience was on full display—there was maybe one bag of unopened concrete mix left when all was said and done) and on schedule.
With a solid crew consisting of young bucks Marius Syvanen, Jon Dickson, and Jeremy Leabres, the guys worked through a string of challenges: from hand mixing 35 bags of concrete that kept drying too damn fast, to potential kick-outs by the bus depot guy at any given moment (those orange vests definitely helped keep the bulls at bay—as Al would say, “it’s like camouflage for the common man”).
After some final touch ups, Long Beach had a new hotspot. It’s only fitting that the builders rolled up their sleeves and had first go at their perfectly transitioned creation.
Al Partanen, frontside pivot. Photo: Acosta
"You don’t always have optimal situations. It is DIY and you have to remember that. You do the best you can with what you have."—Al Partanen
Marius Syvanen, backside tailslide. Photo: Acosta
"Outside of just this couple days of skating and building, that spot's gonna live on now. It’s gonna bring a lot of happiness to a lot of dudes. It’s there for skateboarding. We’ll just keep doing those kind of things."—Al Partanen
Jon Dickson, backside air. Photo: Acosta
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