Words: Sam Hutchinson
The Dustbowl site was originally scoped out and found by Garry ‘The Wizard’ G and Vince Orr, soon after the old ‘Joint‘ DIY was demolished. The first time I went along with them I couldn’t have been more gutted at how shit it was. Not only did it seem a trek, but it was a mess and to make things worse, the main plot was watched over by a double decker bus every 5 minutes – something our smaller, more private spots didn’t have an issue with.
After a few clean up missions, it started to look way more like an actual piece of land that you could skate on. The first ramps were built by the Wizard and a combo of PUMF / RWTB groups which resulted in a foot high, foot wide flat bottom, near vert, garden edging coping’d ‘half pipe’ (if a pipe was shaped like a schphincter).
This initial build, although fun, didn’t attract many skaters out those ways for the frustratingly brilliant 10 minutes you could sash it for. It also didn’t attract many people willing to feel like it was good enough to build more, to progress the spot. So, the spot lay dormant for a year.
In April 2015 a few of us went down to the spot with the intention of making an actual legit sized quarter pipe. A few weeks later, the OG quarter pipe was born.
From there the spot naturally expanded, with more cleaning and building and discussion, we ended up with a doorway, and wanted to continue building something more interesting than standard DIY.
Somehow we made ‘The Clam’, which was probably one of the most fun ramps I’ll ever skate. Just under two years worth of building created everything that ended up before the demolition.
I’m pretty proud of what we did. I think the dustbowl was the first spot for most of us in the RWTB crew in which everything had been done by ourselves, after years of helping out and skating good DIY we finally had our deformed baby that we had as our own.
We wanted to build things that didn’t exist in skateparks and have our own personal squat. Two memorable events would be the ‘Clam Jam 2015‘ and the ‘Halloween Jam 2016‘. It was the type of spot in which people stayed after dark and had a fire nearly every weekend, and its been very sad to see it go.
What was also worth noting about ‘The Dustbowl’, which I haven’t experienced much previously, was the support from the local community we received, with the local council getting in touch to show their appreciation, even to go as far as to invite us to meetings.
Its amazing to see support for what we do as skateboarders by those of all ages and backgrounds, and for them to appreciate the time, money and effort that was put in- and we welcomed anyone from the local community that wanted to experience it.
We still don’t know much about its demolition apart from the quote ‘the landlord payed us to smash and clear everything’ and that Tesco own the land- they still haven’t built anything however seem to be paying for 24 hour security.
Although it was only technically a short lived spot, I don’t think i’ve skated any one place as much as I did there, so many good things happened, so many slams, so many good tricks, so many people came out to help and visit.
RWTB X DIY lives on though, hit us up if you want to come and support Leeds/Yorkshire DIY and peep some things we have in the works- watch this space! Long live falling to the flat bottom. Long live hanging up. Long live dust in your eyes, concrete in your cuts, sweat in your shinner and long live the Dusty B.
R.I.P. THE DUSTBOWL
DUST NEVER SLEEPS ONLINE VIDEO PREMIERE
An exclusive premiere of the ‘Dust Never Sleeps’, a 20 minute edit filmed by Josh Rose.
Featuring the whole RWTB crew skating mostly the Dustbowl, Stanmore Hill and surrounding Yorkshire spots. Probably the last edit to be produced before the Dustbowl got demolished.
Props to all the boys and good luck for the new DIY build.
DONATIONS + ZINES
To purchase Dustbowl zines and for contributions to the new spot please email:
(All zines come with a DVD, all sales go towards the new DIY fund, keep ya eyes peeled, RWTB.)