It’s called Slashiter Cove, and it’s pretty impressive.
Our community has bonded together to create a one of a kind skateboard bowl under the Quest University bridge. A collaborative project brought to fruition from the hearts of local skaters with the determination to make it possible, no matter what challenges lie in their path.
The project did not have the funds, approvals or even much of a plan in place. What it did have was a vision. And with persistence, patience, and collaboration, the Slashiter Cove was built.
Mike Hager and Mike Quesnel are the two main pillars behind this project. Hager has a long history of building skateparks in the corridor and abroad. He led the design and building of the Slashiter Cove Bowl while Quesnel took a more organizational role. Mike Q runs Stuntwood Skateshop in town and is a major ambassador for our skate community.
They make a great team and should be recognized for their contribution to our community.
Q & A with Mike Quesnel
Q: What is the background of the Slashiter Cove Project? How did it start and what are the major steps it’s gone through?
A: When I first moved here, my Dad lived on the Boulevard and I was watching the construction of the bridge. I went up there and scoped it out along with many other possible bridges, Mashiter Creek was by far the best. No riparian issues, neighbours far enough away, no chance of being flooded, and all in all an amazing location for skating.
We started digging small, the first intention was a mini ramp which evolved into Slashiter Cove as it is today.
Once we started getting into it and hauling materials and pouring commenced, we would load dry concrete into garbage pails at night in the rain and deliver them to site. Doing our best not to bring awareness to the build.
On weekends in the winter we would work under the cover of the bridge, out of site, mixing and pouring one panel at a time. Our thoughts were to get as much done as professionally possible before being caught, in order to show the community what we were capable of doing.
We managed to construct a third of the project before bylaw shut us down and the municipal bureaucratic process began.
After a year and a half of meetings, fundraising, engineering approvals, and liability issues being tackled, we managed to come to a positive agreement with the municipality and were granted a 1 year trial period. It took the entire first year of the agreement to even get the build finished.
In all, it took 2 ½ yrs to complete the project. The final plans turned out great and Slashiter Cove is now a destination spot for skaters from all over the world.
Q: How has the project treated you? What were some of the challenges in bringing the project to life?
A: Well, other than dealing with my own anxiety and stress I take upon myself, this project has been a great experience. It has been unbelievable how everyone has come together to make this happen through the entire process.
From the initial rush of building in the darkness, stacking municipal meetings, voicing support in front of the Mayor and Council, fundraising to complete the project, creating engineered plans/drawings, working with the district staff and getting dirty under the bridge mixing ‘crete.
The support has been tremendous and I give much love to all involved! It’s truly shown me that we live in a wonderful community.
Q: What is the Masons Association?
A: SMA was formed due to legality issues. Once we entered the bureaucratic system we had to form an organization, that organization is SMA. SMA is a play off an OG skate company “Santa Monica Airlines”. But our SMA stands for Skateboarders Mason Association, I believe Hager came up with the name.
Q: What is it like working with Mike Hager?
A: I spent a lot of time with the monster under that bridge, and he taught me a lot of things. I would say the best thing about working with Hager was learning to mellow out a bit and not let things get to me so much and recognizing the humour in all of it. Always joking and laughing, something that I am not the best at.
Dealing with all the heat of the municipal staff and emails from an angry resident, it was always refreshing to get under the bridge and work with Hager who just made things happen and didn’t let things get to him.
Q: What are the numbers on the build? How much concrete was used? How many pours, labour hours, spent money vs. donated money, insurance costs etc…?
A: I would say the whole bowl took about 25 cubic meters of concrete and about 25 actual pour days with all of the prepping, digging, and forming days. Mixed over the last 3 years, minus almost a full year of shut down to due to permitting issues.
The District requires a $5 million liability insurance policy which is $6000 a year, a feat in itself.
Almost all of the concrete was donated and most of the money was used for the $5000 damage deposit to district and insurance. The rest of the funds collected have been used for rebar, cinder blocks, building materials, engineering fees and steel for handrails.
Q: Anything to Add?
Outside of thanking everyone, I just want to say how rad it was to see the whole community get together and make this project happen. From people hauling ‘crete into town – to people using their equipment from local businesses to get us material under the bridge.
Some of these people don’t even skate but are just stoked on seeing us making things up.
Like Ted from Dreamwizards and his crew of mountain bikers, you guys rule. Even the District really worked hard with us, even considering we started out the wrong way. I’d like to give them a huge thanks for being so cooperative and understanding of this project.
This project sure made Squamish feel a lot more like home to me.
For a more in-depth look at the design and creative methods used to build the bowl check out a Q & A with Mike Hager on Rubenovitch.com
The SMA would like to thank:
Squamish Council, Dave Price from Concrete North, Ted Tempany of Dream Wizards, Danny Hagge of Vancouver Urban Timberworks, Brett Black Tusk Cranes, Brad Hawker, Florin Bosnea (engineer), Steven Fofonoff (geo tech), Mark Simone/buildshelter.com, New Era Plumbing, Matt Simmons, Deluxe Distribution, Brian Forbes, Jean Snow, Oli Gagnon, Paul Bussey/Ashlu Mechanical, Luke Kass, Vans , Renee Renee, Mikey Rencz, the neighbourhood, all the volunteers who donated $ and lent a hand to help make it possible.
Please Respect Slashiter Cove and the neighbourhood, pick up your garbage.