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Skateboarding DVD Video Review:Grindline Skate Parks - Design Build Contractors

Grindline Skate Parks - DVD Skateboarding Snowboarding skateboard snowboard DVD Video Review Four Star skateboard DVD review rating

Released: 2006
Rating: 4 Stars

David Grauette, Alex Horn, Ryan Williams, Dan Drehobl, Chet Childress, Al Partanen, Darren Navarette, John Dils, Scotty Sorenson, Dirty Dan, Bobby Snowden, Ethan Fitzpatrick, Jordan Sanchez, Josh Anderson, Jesse Nelson, Derek Plourde, Cam Barrett, Max Holbein, Justin Carrey, Karma Tsocheff, Ryan Wilburn, Matt Mumford, Lance Mountain, Alain Goixotexa, Jimmy The Greek, Jeff Taylor, Ryan Johnson, Shaggy, Tim Johnson, Danny Tunia, Joe Moorman, Mikey Burton, Dan Gordon, Jared Csakany and more.

This review of "Grindline Skate Parks" is based on the free promo DVD packaged with The Skateboard Mag's issue #32 (Nov. 2006).

Remember that week in gym class when all the footballs, baseballs and basketballs were stowed away as the class was asked to master the ancient art of archery? Every now and then, someone would hit the bull's eye, but most of the time you were content to simply hit the target every now and then. You may have heard the phrase, "missing your mark".

This DVD opened up with a mystical look at the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge with cool music and an inquisitive tone that likens the mysteries behind these creations with the intricate attention to detail that goes into all Grindline projects. OK, fair enough. The Grindline folks build spectacular parks all over the world especially on the West coast of the US. However, this DVD sort of misses the proverbial mark.

This is a free DVD and free is good. You can probably get a copy at your local shop or you may have had one delivered to your home with your subscription to The Skateboard Mag. Either way, I suggest you snag a copy before they're gone and some enterprising jerk starts selling extra copies on ebay for $50 per disc.

The DVD features a ton of parks and a ton of renown and local skaters. There's a lot of good footage, but each rider's screen-time is limited to a minute , if that. There are no "parts" as you'd find in a traditional sk8 vid. The point here is to highlight the parks built by Grindline and show some prominent skaters thrashing the ‘crete.

If you're a park junkie and love getting a view of what's being built out there (without going on endless road trips), then this is the DVD for you. You'll get up close and bird's-eye views of some of the most impressive, awe inspiring parks ever built. Plus you'll see a host of riders cutting lines that clarify all the transitions and grades. Then you can plan your road trips to the parks that stood out.

Featured Parks on the DVD

There are additional parks in the Bonus footage. Check the listing at the bottom of this page.

Missed Marketing Opportunity

Here's my biggest gripe...
There wasn't enough consistent skate footage to keep me stoked and there wasn't any info about the parks other than location. This DVD will get the Grindline name out there, but why stop there? There was little, if any, info on getting parks built in your town or how to go about it. If some enterprising kid sees this vid and gets the motivation to try and make it happen, shouldn't Grindline provide a bit of insight? I'm sure they would, but why not include some of that on the DVD? We've all seen parks before, so dazzle us with some stats and info about getting the town to build a park.

Look at Rob Dyrdek's DVD, Groundbreaking, about the skate plaza he helped design in his hometown. It's much the same premise... show off the design and construction elements AND THEN offer info on how it was done and how to make it happen in your town. Dyrdek wasn't even promoting a construction company, he was promoting the idea of a skate plaza - regardless of who built it.

With this DVD, I think Grindline missed a great opportunity to talk about themselves as designers, builders and skaters. Sure, the parks they build are awesome and a picture is worth a thousand words, but it wouldn't have hurt to make more of a PR effort with this disc. City planners and Town Councils won't be impressed by cool transitions. They tend to be more monetarily motivated. This may explain the large number of SunRamp parks erected in vacant parking lots. "Here's your park, kids".

Design / Build

What the Hell is Design/Build?

An excellent question which was not really addressed on the DVD. I happen (for the time being) to be employed by a design/build architectural firm. This term simply means that one company does both the design (blueprints and schematics) as well as building the final product (pouring cement and framing). You deal with one cohesive company that works together from start to finish rather than working with separate design and construction companies that may not always agree on things.

Think about home construction. Typically, you hire an architect to draw up your plans. Next you find a construction company that can take those plans and build the physical structure - your house, for example. One problem is that architects and construction folks don't always get along and don't always see the final structure (your house) the same way. A lot of fighting ensues - often you are involved with the fighting.

Design/Build firms have worked hand-in-hand on both the architectural plans and the physical construction. This may seem like a trivial point, but when you apply this idea to skate parks you'll quickly see why it's vital to have a good relationship between the designers and the builders.

Picture this... You find some hotshot designer who knows how to design skateparks. He knows about transitions, lines and creating an environment that fosters better skating rather than boredom. Cool! So, he gives you the plans and you get a construction company to come in and build your town's dream park. Then it dawns on you that typical builders have more experience with swimming pools and sidewalks. Are these the guys you're gonna trust to create beautiful transitions with a baby's-ass smoothness? I hope not.

The Grindline guys design, build and skate. They know how to fit a park into your site, how to lay it out schematically and how to properly build it to a completed entity - a skatepark that will endure both time and skater's abilities.

Bonus Stuff

The Bottom Line

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