Carpenter Andreas Schützenberger is a passionate skateboarder and his extraordinary expertise, coupling his hobby and his profession, makes him one of the most successful skatepark builders in Europe – through his company IOU-Ramps.
Andreas is especially proud of one particular project – for the action sports festival MASH 2018 in Munich, Germany, he designed and built a skatepark with an innovative course concept for the festival’s sponsor, Red Bull. Securing the wooden course required an impressive 80,000 screws and because Andreas relies heavily on quality, he once again chose HECO’s reliable fixings for the job.
The Munich Olympic Park witnessed a truly exceptional event: 88,000 enthusiastic spectators watched the show on a sunny June weekend at the Munich Mash 2018 action sports festival. For the fifth time, the competition brought together international stars from the wakeboarding, BMX sports and skateboarding scenes. To ensure the event left a lasting impression among spectators and athletes alike, the festival’s sponsor, Red Bull, had a clear vision: Building a skate ramp unlike anything they had ever seen before. It was supposed to challenge the athletes physically and at the same time impress from an architectural perspective.
Wooden roller coaster style skate ramp
Everything happened very quickly. Red Bull’s request came in January, the site inspection took place at Munich Olympic Park in March, and in April designers spent three days on the drawing boards. The result: The ‘Red Bull Roller Coaster’ – a 300m long skateboard track.
Andreas Schützenberger developed the unique concept together with Switzerland’s Oli Bürgin, the triple European bowl skating champion. The ramp was to be reminiscent of a roller coaster and was therefore designed to start at the highest point and go only downwards from there. What made the descent so special was that it combined elements from various skateboarding disciplines like ‘Street’ and ‘Bowl’. Bowl skaters ride in bowl-shaped ramps, while street style skaters perform tricks, e.g on walls, stairs and railings.
The Munich course covered 12 vertical metres and meandered under trees, over roads and through water basins. Andreas Schützenberger recommended the use of spruce wood as the building material for the installation. The natural material fitted visually into the park environment and conjured up associations with a traditional wooden roller coaster. Another advantage was that the wooden structure could easily be dismantled after the festival.
Adrenaline guaranteed: Spruce wood and HECO screws
The six strong team of experienced ramp builders used a total of two and a half kilometres of material. The track surface consisted of 450 birch plywood panels. More than 1,400 transverse and longitudinal beams, 1,800 support legs, and a number of frames and diagonal supports, gave the ramp stability and shape. As the support legs were of different heights and stood on uneven ground, Andreas Schützenberger and his team cut each support to size individually. The individual elements were fastened with wood screws from HECO. This was when choosing the assembly fittings, the carpenter attaching particular importance to good workability, time saving insertion and high load-bearing capacity.
“There are worlds between fasteners from different manufacturers,” said Andreas Schützenberger. “I know what quality means – that’s why I use HECO screws for my constructions.” Apart from the material, clean processing also played a crucial role in ramp construction. The individual track boards had to be screwed together as closely as possible without any gaps, and there could be no differences in height greater than three millimetres. This was the only way to guarantee the safety of the skaters and ensure maximum skating enjoyment. “Equal competition opportunities require stable construction of the ramp. Good fasteners remove any concerns in this respect,” commented Andreas Schützenberger.
Stable and secure
The ramp builder chose the HECO-TOPIX part threaded screw for the assembly of the substructure in the dimensions 6mm x 120mm and 5mm x 80mm. To secure the surface panels, he chose the HECO-UNIX fully threaded screws with 6mm x 40mm. With their variable thread geometry, they pulled the components together and at the same time ensured optimal hold even with low material thickness. The surface made of 9mm and 18mm thick plywood panels could thus be mounted safely and without any gaps. Naturally, the stability of the construction, as well as the functionality of the individual elements had to be tested after the individual construction phases. The keen skater therefore hit the ramp every once in a while to ascertain its functionality first-hand.
In the case of the Red Bull roller coaster course, the ramp builders were certain that the combination of elements would offer the participants maximum skating pleasure and challenge them at the same time on an athletic, as well as creative level.
And indeed, the facility thrilled enthusiasts and spectators alike at the Munich Mash 2018 and became the main attraction of the extraordinary sports event.
Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 12 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector – interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe. Will manages the content strategy across all platforms and is the guardian for the high editorial standards that the brand is renowned.