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DIY Directory : Railyard-Akron-DIY

Will Angiulo
May 9, 2022

The DIY Directory is a database of DIY skate spots around the United States. You can click here to see the full directory :

For the third entry of our DIY Directory interview series we got in touch with the homie who runs the Railyard Akron DIY in the woods of Akron, Ohio. The DIY gets it name from the rail yard its located in. Per his request, we have kept his identity anonymous but we caught up with him to chat about what it's like to build a DIY, how it got started and how people can donate to help keep it going!

Donate to the Railyard through venmo @railyarddiyakron or buy this shirt : All Proceeds go to evolving and keeping the Railyard alive!

So, what made you decide to build a DIY in Akron?

The lack of places to skate in Akron is what made us start building the Railyard. My friends and I have known of the spot since our childhood but 4 yrs ago somebody built the cinderblock ledge , and when Covid hit we had a lot of time on our hands so we started building

I assume there’s no skatepark in Akron?

There is one skate park in Akron on the east side outskirts of Akron which was built in 2002 and it’s pretty much seen better days plus it being far away from where I and my friends grew up we never go

When did you start the DIY?

We started building March 2020 when Covid started. 

What was the initial cost to get the project started?

Where we are located there are lots of building material as far as backfill dirt railroad ties cinderblocks so a lot of the cost only came in bags of cement, set of the first quarter pipe we built probably cost about 60 bucks.

So people can get an idea of the cost, Around How much has it cost to build everything at the DIY that’s there right now? 

So far about $2000 in two yrs, using a lot of the material we’re finding around our spot and has cut down on cost.

How has it affected the skate community in Akron since the DIY was built? Would you say it’s been responsible for bringing some homies together over the years? 

Since we started this place my Homies and me Who are all in our 40s or late 30s reliving old glory days have brought together hundreds of local skaters that have come to at least check the place out once, Akron always had a lot of random good spots but not one place where we could all meet and hang out together. And I like to think that there’s a lot of new skaters that have started here since we’ve built

What was the first thing you built for the spot?

The first thing we did was brought a few wooden ramps we had then our first cement build was stacking a bunch of railroad ties against the tree and slapping a bunch of concrete on it.

What’s the hardest part about building a DIY?

The hardest part about building the DIY is organizing enough people at the same time and also carrying the cement bags to the spot

How many hours of blood, sweat & scars would you calculate have went into the DIY?

 I don’t think we can calculate hours of blood sweat and scars I think it’s been two straight years.

Did you make everything through trial & error or was there websites/videos/books you referenced to build it all? 

I pretty much have been the guy getting this thing going because I knew if I didn’t it ain’t gonna happen so we started our little skate club and we got a Lotta cool dudes that know little bit about a lot of things and we all put our ideas together and came up with what we got.

What’s your Favorite section of the DIY?

 Favorite part is probably our finished bowled out corner, it’s not much but it’s definitely fun for some thing back in the woods

How do you go about adding something new to the spot? 

Usually one of the OG dudes gets the itch to build some thing but we are open to other people coming in and doing some work

Do you have an ultimate goal for the final design of the spot?

Ultimate goal is to have a nice flow in our spot, don’t really have a lot of room but we could definitely do some more.

Where can people donate to help you guys continue building?

I’ll send a picture of where people could donate.

Sadly a lot of DIYs have been torn down over the years. Do you ever worry that you’re going to pull up to the spot one day and it’s all going to be gone?

Last fall we thought it was shut down but we let the winner go bye and we kept going and no one‘s ever been back to say anything so we’re just living day by day

What’s the heaviest trick that you’ve witnessed go down there?

As far as the heaviest trick I really couldn’t say there’s been a lot of rad stuff happening. 

Is the spot kept on the low or is it free for everyone to pull up?

The spot is semi-on the low but enough people know about it now where people just pull up which is cool with us as long as they park on the street.

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

 My advice if you want to start a DIY find the prime spot first make sure you’re not gonna get shut down by picking a wrong spot and then get all your friends involved get them hyped up and get to building.

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