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DIY Directory Honeoye Falls

Will Angiulo
April 29, 2022

I caught up with Simon and Aaron from the Honeoye Falls DIY to talk about how their crew got the spot started, what went into it, as well as some insight on what it's like working with the town of Rochester to keep the place going.

Why Did you decide to build a DIY in Honeoye Falls?

There was no skatepark in Rochester.

Was there a lot support around the community when you guys started to build?

There was a little. There was a small support group of skater who wanted an outdoor park with bowl corners so that’s where we started. We actually started to build where there was an old dilapidated skatepark that the city had put there for some middle-schoolers project. And yeah once we started building, skaters were supportive and then the town eventually became supportive as well.

When did you guys start building?

Well, the first quarter was in July 2019.

What was the initial cost to get it started?

We got a mixer for free which was nice. Like 400 bucks or so.

All we had to was buy some bags of concrete because we already knew we could get water from the local creek behind the baseball fields. We had a lot of recycled material at first, a lot of gifted tools.

How’d you guys get the free mixer?

Our buddy, who is also a skater, had a company that he worked for and does a lot of site work with so he had a spare mixer that he gave to our buddy a few years ago and we just eventually took it to the skatepark. And that was a huge help but its very old. We no longer use it because it’s just rusty and falling apart.

So you guys got a new one that you use now?

Yeah, we got a new one but that’s a whole other story. We got donated a brand new one from a local concrete company because they were where we could concrete locally. So we started using them and they were looking at our pictures on instagram and they wanted to connect with. We did a whole thing from there.

That’s dope. Shoutout to local businesses! How many of you initially started the DIY?

The first go-around was just myself and my friend Cam. Once we eventually came closer to pouring the first quarter, it was probably ten or so that showed up. And now its grown to at least 20, almost 30, volunteers as we’ve grown.

Have you seen a bunch of groups of homies form over the years because of the spot?

Yes, definitely. A lot of people are people who are in town and have seen the instagram. They come through and check it out and make it a destination to go to. We have seen a lot of local kids who live in this small town just get better at skating because they go there all the time. Now that’s their local park. Skatepark construction companies come through and check it out. Some of them have helped. So yeah, we’ve got a lot of people that are coming through now that they know it’s there.

You mentioned the first thing you guys discussed was building a corner section. Did that end up being the first thing that was built

So the first thing we made was like two quarter peeps that were very, very small. Like two and half feet tall. They were kinda next to each other but in like a 90 degree angle. Then eventually we met with four corners, but we started small because we didn’t know if we were going to get thrown out or not.

That’s the hardest part of building a DIY, you always have to think about the risk these days unfortunately. Has anyone given you shit lately?

Well, no. The exact opposite. Once we started building a few, the town, like reached out to us. They put up a post on my Facebook or something and said to the group responsible, “please contact us” or we’d have to shut the spot down because we were just doing it on a whim at that point. 

We met up with them and they were fully supportive and were like, you guys can build whatever you want. They got us, you know, a thing for water. They’ve given us travel and they’ve given us money for concrete once. They also eventually bought us the shed and had it delivered so we could store out towels because we stored stuff underneath ramps. 

Did you guys build everything through trial & error or did you have things you referenced?

Once we started with the small corner flights we just started growing off that. We did two little bowl corners to connect them and then another quarter pipe similar size. And then once we knew we could kind of get away with whatever, we started going bigger. We have friends that have build, you know, good ramps and messed around with other spots and kind of gotten busted. We had some experience. A lot of us learned a whole lot. We have buddy who works for Grindline skateparks, actually now all three of us do. I work for Grindline but my one buddy’s worked there the longest and he was kinda like our foreman and knew exactly what to do when we didn’t. So yeah trial and error at first because we were just starting to see what we could get away with and now we’re running with like no problems like okay, where is it flowing? What should we build? How could we build it? How is this going to make the initial flow of the park better because it was an already existing park which a bunch of temporary ramps.

Do you guys have an end goal for the park or new stuff that you’re trying to add anytime soon?

Yeah, we have a piece that we have been slowly hacking away at and there’s been a lot of different designs, We’re trying to come up with one that is easy to do because we’ve already had this whole piece and we’ve already broken it down into sections. Now the middle section is coming up but we have to figure how we can achieve it and how it will be beneficial to the rest of the park. Then once we get that done we want to more like a layer of decks and a little more room to stand. Another goal is to do some like public grill/public fire area. Wee also want to do a little loop, possibly some more artsy stuff too. The goal is just to keep going. We’re not going to finish it this year or new year, but hopefully is a few we will.

Have you guys hosted any contests there yet?

Yeah we had a jam there. We’ve had two fundraising events. One was at the indoor warehouse during the winter that we no longer have. It was cool because it was pretty much like a private key. Holders would flock and then we had some bands play and we raised some money. 

That summer we had some bands and little contests and raised money there again. In the future we’d love to hold more events and more crown funding type stuff because were putting a bunch of money into it too. You know, the more support we get, the faster we can achieve our and pay for the concrete to get it done.

Where can people donate?

We have a venmo. It’s @hfldiy : Honeoye Falls DIY

What advice do you guys have for anybody trying to start their own DIY?

Build it, just do it. The people will come, they’ll come help you. Just get out there and start. Build something cool. Don’t be afraid to fail. Get a group of guys, people who are down to do some work. The first thing you do is not going to be the best but keep going at it!

What’s the gnarliest thing you guys have witnessed go down at the DIY?

If i had to say, it was probably during our fundraiser. Our buddy was taking down an outdoor skatepark out in Buffalo so we had a bunch of scraps. So he built like a launch ramp and eventually there was a fire and people were airing over the fire. That was pretty crazy. 

Oh, once we got the shed people dropped off it to flat. Anything on the spine it gnarly. We did our best trick internet thing and some cool things got thrown down on the spine.

Please help us support the Honeoye Falls DIY! Anything you can spare to help is much appreciated! Again their venmo is @hfldiy : Honeoye Falls DIY

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