Panvel to get a skateboarding ramp

A crowd-funded initiative, spearheaded by an NGO, to construct a 12-feet high wooden vert in Panvel will help skateboarders to flaunt their skills in an ideal venue

Remeber how Heath Ledger showed off his skateboarding skills in the popular 2005 flick, Lords Of Dogtown? Thanks to an upcoming 12-feet high vert ramp in Panvel, set to open sometime next month, you can also experience the thrills.  For the uninitiated, a vert ramp is in form of a half-pipe used to practise sports like skating and skateboarding.

The DIY vert ramp under construction in Panvel
The DIY vert ramp under construction in Panvel

The 55-feet long and 30-feet wide wooden ramp, touted as the first DIY one in the city, is being constructed by the NGO, Skateboarders United Association. "Young kids often try skating in malls and parking lots but they are shooed away by the guards. Our objective is to build infrastructure that will help promote this sport in the city. We couldn’t find a big enough space in Mumbai, so we chose to set it up on a private land in Panvel," informs 30-year old marketing professional Altamash Sayed, who co-founded the NGO a few months ago with fellow skateboarders Nikhil Bhosale and Russell Lopez. In fact, the NGO has roped in a team of young skateboarders to construct the ramp.

Unable to fund the project themselves, they’ve launched a campaign on the crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo, to gather $6000 (approximately `3.5 lakh) in order to construct a state-of-the-art waterproof ramp. "Skateboarding is a relatively newer sport in India, so getting funds is a challenge. Many people don’t understand the concept of a vert ramp. We have found supporters in the USA who are contributing to our cause. Hopefully, we should open it within next three weeks," shares Sayed.

Open to everyone above the age of six, the guests will be required to sign a disclaimer form before they get onto the ramp. "Helmets, knee pads and arm pads will be compulsory. We will also have our coaches at the site to help with the training. We’ll keep the timings flexible (between 9 am to 6 pm)," he adds.

Another project in the pipeline is a skate park in Nerul, for which the NGO has already acquired 15,000 square feet. "Navi Mumbai Mahanagar Palika has promised to see the skate park to fruition. We’ve also given them a blueprint of the design created by Spectrum Skateparks in Canada. We are waiting for an approval. If things go according to plan, the park should be constructed in the next five months. It will be free and open to all," says Sayed.

At: Tulsi Baug, near Simran Motors, Thana Naka, New Panvel, Navi Mumbai.
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