The vertramp under the bridge at the Flevoparkweg is one of the most legendary skate spots of Amsterdam and maybe even the Netherlands. This ramp is known by many as the Schellingwouderbrug ramp but that’s not quite right because the ramp is actually under the Amsterdam bridge / Zuiderzeeweg. The name Schellingwouderbrug has more to do with the exit from the ring than to the exact location where the ramp is.

Back in 1983 Joep Hoskamp wanted an indoor ramp to skate, he discovered a nice spot under the Amsterdam bridge. After a long period of planning and lobbying Joep came into contact with Ben Knol from the Stichting Help Indische Dapperbuurt Foundation, the SHID. Together with the Oranjefonds they gathered a budget. A group of disadvantaged young people together with skaters like Robbie Buttner and Jan Roodenrijs built the ramp under the guidance of the carpenter Kees Meihof and in september 1988 the ramp got inaugurated.

schellingwoude hawk mctwist

From that moment on Amsterdam was a skateboarding hotspot with a reputation spreading throughout the entire world. The vert ramp skated supersolid and was one of the best ramps in Europe at the time. The story goes that none other than Christian Hosoi touched the bottom of the bridge once, more than four-and-a-half meters above the platforms! Each pro of this era knew where to find this ramp and there are too many stories to give a place on a site like this. We need to mention the 1989 demo when the Bones Brigade came to town to give a big demonstration. Here is an eyewitness account of Jonas Bader who helped painting the ramp so it would look ‘spic & span’ for this demonstration:

“I have seen that backside air attempt Hosoi with my own eyes! That has to be the sickest action in the history of the ramp I think. My respect for the guy grew enormously after seeing him skate in real life. He landed every air just 5 to 10 cm below the coping … I kept thinking, “Dang Holmes, you best look out for that hang up”, but after a few hours of skating I learned that he did it like that on purpose …. hmm something else from the many ollie-grab-know-what-I-will just-land-this-in-the-middle airs of today. That head on collision between Ben Schroeder and Bram Waterman isn’t a bad story either, but I wasn’t there to see it myself. Jan Roodenrijs might know more about that. And that slam by Jurjen when a chunk of hash lay in the middle of the flatbotom and blocked his wheel. It had fallen from Mark van der Eng his pocket during a previous run. Unbelievable cause Mark was a notorious “meeblower”, never having his own stuff … just like me anyway…

That Powell demo that was me there another one …. I had just migrated from Ghost Town or Uitgeest so I was all fresh to Amsterdam. Every free minute I had I would skate under the bridge. I had not gone unnoticed by the Cockroach team or Rodolfo’s. Jan Roodenrijs, who worked at Rodolfo’s (hoer!!) hooked me up with many good things and put me on the team. Less good things when they asked me to paint the ramp for the demo Powell though. Tony Hawk and some other pros would come and it was my job to make the ramp look all ‘spic & span’. Coming from Uitgeest where I had learned myself some carpentry and such I thought this would be a fun job … I started thinking differently when Rodolfo’s offered to pay me minimum wage whereas I still had to purchase paint and brushes myself! Luckily I got the Lelystad ripper Jurjen to suffer alongside with me and help me paint the ramp. We decided the color of the ramp should be cream colored.
schellingwoude hawk stale 540
Somewhere during summer when the sun was shining we cleaned the ramp first and then started painting it. At a certain point there was more paint in our hair than on the ramp, but it began to look like something, despite the poor quality of the paint. Few days later the demo happened: Tony Hawk, RIP Ray Underhill, Steve Saiz and I do not know who else, were all ripping hard and there was a big audience that had come down to check it all out. That happened back then for vertdemo’s! The atmosphere was good and everyone was amazed at how good and easy these guys were skating, it was another level, I mean they were pros dude! And then also from the States, wow! Tony really stood out and he really liked the ramp, cream colour and all. He tried to make a Stalefish 540 a few times already and it looked like as if he’d done ‘em for years. He proved them never to have landed. Hyped by the audience he went for it and after a few attempts with an increasingly more ecstatic audience, he stuck it clean and the roof went off! Later surely enough there was a sticker-toss session and it’s needless to say that Robbert Boerleider stood in front, and ofcourse people could get their mandatorry signatures.
It was a beautiful day and I felt so stoked that vertpro’s from the States came to our little country to have a good time and I was there taking it all in. This way the sunny California from the skate magazine’s felt a bit closer and the demo made many skaters from the Netherlands a lot more motivated to shred hard because skating is the best fucking thing there is and this made us feel a part of it! “

So there you have it, dear interweb lurkers, world’s first 540 stalefish was made right here in Amsterdam and uncle Jonas was there! Unfortunately, this beautiful chapter has a less happy ending, in 1997 the whole ramp burned down because of a bum and his sketchy cooking skills. He had made himself a home underneath the platform of the vert ramp and the man nor the legendary Amsterdam vertramp survived this little BBQ disaster …

R.I.P.┬áSchellingwouder vert 1988 – 1997

Tony Hawk during the 1989 Bones Brigade demo at the Schellingwoude vertramp