Photo of the original construction design, 1978.
SkatePARK Het Hulsbeek The skating course on recreation park “Het Hulsbeek” is legendary. It is one of the best courses in Europe and the oldest in the Netherlands. On top of that the unique design makes it one of the most special courses worldwide. Therefore, the significance of the course for the skateboarding sport cannot be underestimated. This presentation will provide information on the value of this course and why it should be recognized as a municipal monument. The construction In the late 70’s the American ‘sidewalk surfin’ reached The Netherlands. This led to a true skateboarding craze in 1978. This is when the development of the recreational park ”Het Hulsbeek” in Oldenzaal started. Recreatieschap Twente (now known as Regio Twente) ordered De Hollandse Wegenbouw Zanen BV to build a skiing slope on a natural hill in the park. Designer Ton Kurvers, however, thought a skating course would be more appropriate. A skating course, in contradistinction to an outdoor skiing slope, could be used the whole year round. Also, building a skating course would be a smart move considering the growing popularity of the sport. After Ton Kurvers convinced the Recreatieschap Twente of his plans, he started collecting information on skateboarding courses in the US of A. He got his inspiration for the design, amongst other sources, out of pictures in skateboarding magazines which he bought at one of the first skateboarding shops of the country in Amsterdam.
The results of his quest for input is a skatepark which today is still unique in the world. Especially the ‘Snakerun’ is very special. This winded course runs downhill and during the descent the skaters can accelerate by ‘pushing’ over the humps (bending their knees). The course opened in 1979 and from that moment on a large skateboarding scene formed in Twente. The course was visited by the most important local pioneers in skateboarding, amongst whom Maarten Relinck and Bram Waterman. When going downhill in the Snakerun, they discovered there was a ‘straight line’ which was not initially intended by Ton Kurvers. Especially this line makes ‘Het Hulsbeek’ so unique. Ton Kurvers therefore accidently designed one of the best skating courses in the world. Adjacent to the Snakerun there is a ‘downhill’ with ‘banks’. This is a straight descending course with sloped walls on the sides. Beneath this downhill is another bank, which forms a ‘jump’ option. This bank forms separates the Snakerun and the downhill of the two lower situated squares with sloped walls. These squares where originally intended for beginners. One of these squares have a bank with an ideal ‘transition’ (curve), which makes it excellent for doing tricks.
The skatepark under construction, 1979.
Maintenance and improvements The skating course consists of an asphalt under layer and a double component top layer. Due to temperature changes, this top layer often detaches on several spots. Therefore every year the bad spots are being repaired. Usually this happens a few weeks before ‘Oerend Hard’. At the moment a plan is being developed to improve the course and to make it safer. The users are deeply involved in this process. Importance of the course The skating course at Het Hulsbeek is one of the few preserved outdoor skateparks from the 70’s worldwide. It is the oldest course in the Netherlands and also the best from the 70’s in Europe. The course is still often used by beginners and experienced skateboarders, who often travel from far to test their talents on this unique course. The location of the course in the recreational park with the swimming lake, the trees and the lawns right next to it, make this place a ‘’Mekka’’ for each skateboarder. By giving the course the status of a monument, it can be preserved as an international symbol for the sport of skateboarding. The course has been exposed in countless national and international magazines, videos and dvds. TV-Oost (local television) made an extensive report of the yearly event ‘’Oerend Hard’’ in 2008. This year is its 30 year anniversary and this will be celebrated extensively.
Designer of the park: Ton Kurvers.
The skatepark anno 2008
Oerend Hard festival In the summer of 2007 Bram Waterman tracked down the designer of the skating course through the original drawing which had been preserved. Ton Kurvers himself had never been back to the skatepark and was pleasantly surprised that his design is still appreciated by the young and the elder. Ton Kurvers is now a professional balloonist and was present with his hot air balloon during Oerend Hard 2007 and 2008. Oerend Hard has been an annual international skateboarding festival in Recreation park Het Hulsbeek since 2003. During this event the ‘’old school’’ and ‘’new school’’ skateboarding styles melt together. There are 6 different contest disciplines: The Snakerun Speed, Snakerun Boardercross, Catamaran Speed, Jump Ramp, Best Trick and Best Line. Three of these disciplines are unique in the world, since they are only organized in Het Hulsbeek. Snakerun Speed During this discipline the skateboarders start on a quarter ramp (3 meters), which was especially designed for Oerend Hard. From this fast start, the goal is to skateboard as fast as possible to the finish, which is at the end of the Snakerun. Dennis Hemmekam from Hengelo has been the undefeated champion for 5 years in this master discipline. One of the prizes he received was an air balloon trip over Twente with Ton Kurvers. The infamous Catamaran Speed contest.
Axel Oude Munnik, fastest resident of Oldenzaal on the snakerun.
Snakerun Boardercross This contest is also downhill on the Snakerun. In this case 3 skateboarders start at the same time. The goal is to be the first to reach the finish, in order to go through to the next round. It can be rough riding up to the finish line for there are no rules for this discipline. Which, incidentally, is why the Boardercross is the most spectacular discipline of Oerend Hard. Catamaran Speed This time the start is on top of the downhill. Two skateboarders sit on their boards facing each other with their feet on their partnerâ€™s board. Again itâ€™s all about time: The couple that reaches the finish at the bottom of the downhill first wins. The festival is presented by a professional host and by specialized skateboarding DJs. Next to the course a camp site is created where the competitors and their fans can stay the night. This is another feature that makes Oerend Hard an unique event. This is complemented by its spectacular downhill and tricks that are appealing to all ages. The 7th edition of Oerend Hard will be on 31 July until 2 August 2009.
6 & 7 AUGUSTUS 2005
above: 5 times snakerun champion Dennis Hemmekam. left: The festival posters from 2005 to 2008.
IN OLDENZAAL SKATEBOARD CONTEST
Oerend Hard exhibition Due to the great success of Oerend Hard, an exhibition has been made on the previous editions. This exhibition contains an impressive number of photos, amongst which spectacular action photos and atmosphere impressions. The photos were shot by Tjeerd Derkink. Also a DVD was made by Erik Journee and TV-Oost. The Oerend Hard exhibition was exposed at the Dutch Championships Skateboarding 2008 in Eindhoven and in Shifty Skateshop in Enschede. On April 24, the Oerend Hard Exhibition will be held in the Carhartt Store in Amsterdam and after this it will also be held at 4 Vans Shops in the Netherlands.
Oerend Hard exhibition in skateboard shop Shifty Sk8shop in Enschede, The Netherlands.
Text: Bram Waterman and Saskia Boom Photography: Tjeerd Derkink | www.royale-t.nl Historic photos: Ton Kurvers
Skateboard Federatie Nederland Sint Willibrordusstraat 61 - 2hoog 1074 XK Amsterdam The Netherlands
www.skateboardfederatie.nl www.oerendhard.net Amsterdam, 3 march 2009 ÂŠ2009 Skateboard Federatie Nederland
Bram Waterman President and evenement manager gsm +31 (0)6 46 71 40 40 email@example.com
Impressions through the years.