Flounder & Friends Skatepark, Valparaiso Indiana
Original Designer returns 24 years later
In 1997, Dug Ketterman was involved in an auto-accident, which resulted in the loss of one of his close friends, Ray “Flounder” Wampler. The months following the accident, Dug was able to help plan, fundraise and design the first Flounder Skatepark in memory of Ray. 24 years later, the city of Valparaiso is ready to rebuild a new and improved tribute to the original.
DugOut was hired to work closely with the city on community engagement in regards to skatepark design. After several successful online sessions, we were able to pull out the communities top 5 desires: Covered Mini-ramp, Dedicated Beginners area, Flow Bowl, Realistic Street features and accessibility for all.
The design is centered around the Golden Spiral, providing a harmonious aesthetic while encouraging growth and inclusivity around the world. We have designed a park that not only meets the needs of the community, but also redefines what is possible by integrating new solar powered structures that will live and breathe with the community. We have also created a first of it’s kind all-wheels access lane around the entire park , which has not been directly integrated into skateparks yet.
As-Built Renderings - Phase 1
Potential Future Phases shown here
We used the Fibonacci sequence, also known in architect and design as the “golden spiral” to establish not only visual harmony, but also to be used as a tool to promote inclusivity and growth, which has always embraced the spirit of actions sports as a whole.
Let nature inspire.
Over the past 4.5 billion years, nature has been developing the most brilliant solutions to some of life’s greatest challenges. By looking closely at how nature solves these problems and mimicking these methods and solutions, we can be truly inspired to make waves into the future. By looking at the fundamental patterns that nature uses to organize itself and its growth, we were able to create a unified design language that will reverberate with its users on another level.
Innovation- Solar Powered Shelter. Lights + Fans
As evening approaches, the solar panels on the roof will engage the lights in sync with the sunlight levels as they drop, providing a seamless transition to your evening sessions. The sun will also power ceiling fans to circulate the air when the temp rises above 80 degrees for cool summer sessions.
One of the most requested features was a basic flat-wall miniramp which is loved by all. This 40ft wide miniramp design features two levels for progression and has two matching hips at the mouth of the ramp. To top it all off, this entire ramp is covered and lit, allowing you to ride till your hearts content in inclement weather.
Another request, which is often mentioned and rarely built, was to cover the whole facility with a roof. Unfortunately, that size structure would leave us enough budget to drop a flatbar in the middle of the room. However, we were able to scale this back and include an amazing miniramp and small slappy curb under the protect roof. There is even enough space for spectators to look on and stay dry.
All inclusive Terrain
We have developed a 400ft long loop that is specifically designed for those riders needing assistance, the WCMX (Wheel Chair MotoX) as well as riders just getting started for the first time. Generally, skateparks are not easily navigated, separated by steep banks, Transitions and tall ledges that makes it virtually impossible for some folks to make their way around the parks. We have developed a park that embraces and showcases everyone that wants to show up and roll around.
The Ray Wampler Musical Manual Pad
In honor of Ray “Flounder” Wampler, we have designed a manual pad that plays the song ‘Bro Hymn’ by Pennywise, the song that was played at Ray’s funeral.
In order to ‘Unlock’ the the song, you need to land a manual (or roll on your front/back wheels only) across the whole pad. The saw-cuts in the concrete will be spaced to match the beat and essence of ‘Bro Hymn’.
By varying the spacing of the cracks we can adjust the tempo and rhythm of the song and by varying the thickness or depth of the saw-cuts, we can change the dynamics of the clicks. From our understanding, this will be the first time anyone has attempted this in a skatepark setting.