Ramp Camp 2011 Re-Cap

Words - Jamie Collins

   Ah yes, Ramp Camp, the one annual event that truly shows time is speeding up. It happens each year on the third weekend of August, but when you arrive it feels like you have never left. It’s located on a rock spit nestled beside the remote Antler Creek that flows majestically into Port Alberni’s Sproat Lake. This year was Ramp Camp’s eighth annual summer and it was the best one yet! It seemed the weather was showing off with temps in the thirties and not a cloud in sight.

   Friday began with Spencer Allen, Dave Graham, Evan Schuhmann, Kirk Philips, 2pops and myself putting the final screws in the four foot mini ramp while there were kegs of beer provided by Victoria’s Phillips Brewery carefully being loaded on a houseboat that was ready to depart on its two and a half hour voyage. The mini this year had been artistically splashed by Instrumental’s talented Art Director Russ Morland and looked incredible with the lake as its backdrop. Now that the ramp was completed and the SS Tri Starr, under the direction of captain Jarod Mallory, was now on its way up the lake I cracked a cold Lucky and thought to myself, “It’s time to skate this little piece of paradise sitting right under our noses."
   When the SS Tri Starr was spotted rounding the peninsula, about five minutes away from the destination, I decided it was a good time to test the lake booter I threw together quickly earlier on. It was a fairly steep transition with a tight little launch at the bottom. This little kicker was something; the launch had a few flaws that made it super hard to skate and nobody knew how it was going to turn out. I ended up getting tossed but this didn't really matter because slamming into the lake is a nice change from concrete any day.

   The SS Tri Starr was soon securely tied to the beach and the crew who had been working on lightening the vessel's bales by consuming as much of the smooth Phoenix Ale as they could now had to set up camp. There’s nothing like watching half cut skaters scratch their heads while staring at a pile of camping gear. Teamwork is what turned out to be the answer to their dilemma. With camp all set up and skate heads that I hadn't seen in years randomly popping out of the bush, our first night in paradise was quickly speeding by. Darkness quickly sunk in and some halogen lights and generator were turned on to illuminate the whole rock spit giving life back to the ramp and party. The skating would carry on into the early hours of the morning with skaters going through rotations on the mini. As the generator started sputtering on it's last sip of gas, the lights fell asleep and we all quickly followed suit.

Jamie Collins - Backside Noseblunt    [o]Connor
    Saturday was one of the best days of my life. Being a little older, I’m just so stoked to be able to share this weekend with my younger skate comrades. The day started with the sun blazing down on us like it was trying to one up the previous day. I don’t think anyone had a problem with it at all and the stir of a morning crowd emerging form tents it was time to get up. Right away I had a good chuckle after checking out the artwork on our good friend Keighley's tent. After that it was time to substitute a nice brisk morning swim for a coffee. This is only because I had totally gapped out and forgot to bring the java, but the lake quickly takes your mind off of that. The rest of the day was much of the same with lots of joking with friends, skating till you were overheating while walking 5 feet to bathe in the crisp lake, and lots of beer consumption. This went on pretty much all night with people wanting to make the most of their weekend and skate the ramp as much as physically possible. 

   Sunday morning lacked high energy levels based on the all day output from the two previous days. The fact that it was tear down day and that the overcast weather was telling us to go home didn’t really help either. We all gladly listened to Mother Nature’s warnings and made short work of tear down. After boating all the materials back to the loading docks and unloading them, the sky opened up and it poured rain hard all night. It was as if the sky was a small child protesting our departure. A huge thanks goes out to everyone that showed up and made Ramp Camps what it is, and sponsors Philips Brewery, Jay’s / Lace It Up (Port Alberni), Storm Surf and Skate (Tofino), Instrumental Skateboards, DVS Footwear, Concyse Clothing and Higher Groung (Victoria). I can’t wait for next year's Ramp Camp weekend in paradise, I’ll see you next year if you know what's good for you!

Video Made By: Brenton Paupst

This entry was posted on Sunday, 25 September 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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