Monster Children and Levi’s Present: Skateboarding in Christchurch
On February 22nd, 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake ripped through the centre of Christchurch, New Zealand, followed by severe aftershocks, killing 185 people, destroying a city, a community, and the lives of thousands of people. Five years on and the rubble still lays in the streets of Christchurch as a cold reminder of what mother nature is capable of.
Thanks to Levi’s® Skateboarding we were able to give back to a community in need, following the lead from previous projects from Levi’s Skateboarding in Bolivia, India, Oakland and most recently Pine Ridge. Levi’s® Skateboarding ambassadors Joey Pepper, Marius Syvanen, Al Partanen, Dan Plunkett, Josh Matthews and Pat Moran all flew from various parts of the United States to help with this project and to witness first hand the destruction five years on in Christchurch.
All Photos Ryan Allan
With a park designed, land approved by the Christchurch City Council and a build schedule locked in, we were ready to give back to the skateboarders of Christchurch and start to turn some dirt. But, throw a rich property developer in the mix, a few disgruntled residents and enough money to convince council this was a bad idea and we were headed back to square one—no site, no approval, and a backwards attitude towards skateboarding. After months of setbacks, obstacles and searching for new sites to build on, we were reduced to a few days, a DIY park concept and taking a risk on an overgrown, rugged location.
Within 24-hours of deciding we were going to go ahead with the location we had built a starting point for the local skateboarders of Christchurch, something for them to continue developing, maintaining and a place for the local skate community to be a part of something bigger than a few kickers and quarter pipes. The word spread amongst the local skate community and we had volunteers offering their time, tools, and equipment and even contributing pre-made spots to the park. After a gruelling 24 hours of clearing land and building a DIY park with limited materials and resources, we had the local skate community and Levi’s Skateboarding ambassadors skating the freshly poured concrete within hours of it drying.
We’d like to thank all those involved in the build process and all those who assisted in making this project a success, and especially Levi’s Skateboarding and the team involved.