Rising from the side of a lake in West Lafayette, Indiana like an optical illusion or maybe a mirage, Tim Schmidt’s ramp setup is best seen to be believed. Now on its seventh year, Schmidty’s Ramp & Camp has grown into a 120+ skater event that brings folks from all over the country, and as far away as Mexico, to skate this private ramp paradise. This year was the biggest yet, and Tim’s crew was eager to host their blade peers for another awesome weekend of rolling and friendship. We put together a few photos to accompany our highlight edit that showcase some of the weekend’s most exciting action. Take a look and keep an eye out for info on the next event! You don’t want to miss it.
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Bladers that miss the camping aspect and camaraderie of the Panhandle events at Kona Skatepark would do well to pack their gear and head to West Lafayette, IN to catch the next iteration of Ramp & Camp. With easy access from wide-open highways, just a well-timed turn leads from a surprisingly robust retail area (thanks to Purdue University) to the lakeside confines of Schmidty’s Ramp & Camp, where ample space for pitching tents, or hanging hammocks, awaits committed bladers eager to get a taste of this massive ramp.
Built over the past seven or so years, Tim’s ramp has undergone numerous stages of growth that can be tracked a bit through this post. Check the dates — that’s 2016. Now outfitted in a way that allows ample lines and gorgeous, unobstructed views of the lake, Tim is contemplating what project to take on next. But this weekend it’s “all systems go” on the biggest turnout yet, complete with a full-size commercial concession and food tent, full-service grills with food for sale, and campers scattered every which way, including skaters like Jesus Rivera, fresh off his strong showing at Blading Cup; Eric Hallimen from Texas; Kelley Lennon from L.A.; Egon Naab from Chicago; and Michael Froemling from Wisconsin.
The vibes at Ramp & Camp were welcoming and friendly, with a mix of quad skaters sprinkled in with the majority blade crowd, with a mostly family-friendly atmosphere that provided a great festival-like atmosphere centered on and around the large decks atop the ramp. A DJ kept tunes running while Brad Anthony did a good job on the mic, keeping the judges informed with detailed trick call outs. The ramps are so big that there’s enough seating for a ton of people up top, making Ramp & Camp one of the most spectator-friendly events I’ve attended in a long time. What a cool change, right?! Getting to easily see the skating? 😉
Quick snap of Clark Kirkman and another judge comparing notes between runs. Never envy the judges! They have a hard job and get all the complaints and very little thanks.
Eric Hallimen is a really solid skater that would probably be a lot better known if the U.S. had a big park-based contest or series. He stood out years ago at the Panhandle event when he misty flipped some kind of wild transfer. At Ramp & Camp I watched him flow around and though “He should skate at FISE.”
If you’ve ever listened to Matt Mickey call an event on the mic, you’ve heard him say “Keeping it Stockwell” when someone held their fake while crusing around the course. He’s relentless about it! He wants it to stick! And in the case of Michael Froemling, it does. Michael “kept it Stockwell” around the bowls line after line, making it look so easy as he’d pump up and over the spine to fakie while setting up his trick. So there you go, Matt. It worked!
Overall Ramp & Camp champ was Eric Michael, who carves the walls and flips the transfers and displays an alarming amount of control on his blades. Though usually airborne or locked on coping, here he pumped across the launch box and did this toe roll that we managed to capture.
Jesus Rivera skates like a wrecking ball, all speed and commitment as he throws his body through the transitions and onto the coping. He was a surprise talent to watch at Ramp & Camp, where he had a lot more room to play than when he skated in Santa Ana at Blading Cup. His skating was perfectly suited to the set up, and he displayed his knack for solid footwork and acrobatics wall after wall. A dynamic skater that is sure to impress at future events. Keep an eye on him.
Though these are the only photos I captured, they don’t do justice to the full range of skating that took place, so you have to watch our edit or others to really see how the talents skaters of the midwest made use of the insane opportunity that Tim’s ramp provides. Thanks to his hard work and dedication his dream lives on, and with your support and continued cooperation it can grow and offer even more unique times to share.