Photos: Roderick Stewart (Full gallery here)
Hey man, could you give us a little background on yourself please?
My names Ruari, I live in Leith (you've all seen trainspotting right?). I've got a young baby but before he came along Leith DIY was my baby. I'm a life-long skateboarder and have always liked making things with my hands so the two work well together.
How did you initially get into park building/DIY?
I've always built ramps, since I built my first jump ramp with my Dad as a kid (love you Pops). Got involved with The Space in North Berwick where I learned a lot and I've also been good friends with Youngo of Concreate for years so picked up a few things from him (cheers boss!) Mainly I just feel like skating here sucks and the Yanks and Scandi's are ten years ahead so I'm just trying to help to do something about it!
Ruari, Backside Air.
Being heavily involved with the Leith DIY park, when did the idea for the new ramp come about?
Around the time Edinburgh City Council told us to 'Get tae fuck' regarding our concrete DIY spot 'Rat City' , we heard talk of a 'community meanwhile use project' potentially happening in Leith. So we (James Copeland aka 'The Apeman' and I) started going to meetings and pushing our agenda. So far there hasn't been much else happening in the space but we got to build a ramp in a great location so we are happy.
Who has been involved in the ramp so far?
It’s been the usual suspects really, and a few random new faces to find jobs for! I'm so proud and grateful to you all, but, the only names I'm gonna mention are TJ and Ross Weller who have truly gone above and beyond on this one!
Pete Back Smiths.
Could you take us through a few of the challenges you guys have gone through getting the ramp sorted?
We have endured endless bureaucracy and tedious committee meetings to get this off the ground. It's been worth it in the end, we've got a great ramp to skate in time for summer, but the crew also want to get back to 'proper' DIY building - out with the confines of such trivial matters as law and order, where we can be free.
Best thing you have seen go down at the ramp so far?
Best things I've seen there? Euan's 5 goes without saying. So I don't even need to say that the boy's a fucken hero! That, Colin Adam's first run, Ron that time he turned up, Seb Innes, Young, TJ and Pete- when he wakes up in the middle of a run and does something amazing!
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What are your future plans for the ramp/DIY?
Leith DIY will continue to find new locations and build on them, be it legit or otherwise. We will continue to push the progression of skateboarding in this part of the world because we love it. I dream of doing an indoor park that changes a lot and is built with purely skateboarding in mind one day... In the meantime, please come and join us for a sesh! And, if you can afford it, chuck a few quid towards the ramp fund (crowdfunder link) for the next thing, it's coming! P.S thanks to Ash, Brodie, Maw, Cree and David Cosmo!