An essential part of extreme sports are ramps. We would all miss out on a tremendous amount of tricks and action, if we wouldn’t have ramps. But rarely do we talk about those guys who actually build the ramps. Let’s change that and put faces and names to the ramps!
Photo: Stuck In Ohio
Nate Wessel is a name you cannot miss when talking about ramp building. He created some of the biggest, most influential and well-known ramps on the planet. Being a former BMX rider himself, he definitely knows what he is doing, or better: building.
EXTREME recently partnered with Nate and got him something that we thought he was missing out on: a tool sponsor! Earlier this year Nate packed his bags with DEWALT® tools and headed to Mexico to build the new WOODWARD Riviera Maya camp. Scroll down to find out more about his recent adventure.
When did this project first come into your hands?
I work for Woodward camp full time as their head designer and lead foreman on the builds. About 3 years ago the project was being talked about heavily. Two iconic brands came together and formed a partnership: Woodward camp and the Hard Rock Hotel. After the deal was signed, I went to work on the design.
What is the most exciting thing about this project?
There are too many things to list that are exciting to me such as riding each bit and piece as we build or fabrication of art and I could go on and on. But what I really think does it for me is the end result and when everyone is in the building using every square inch of it. All the smiles laughter, learning, progression, friendships and fun. It makes all the hard work worth it and fuels me for the next project.
Photo: Nate Wessel
How long did it take to build the entire construction?
The entire construction of the interior build took about 4 months. We could have done it a bit faster but the exterior building was only about half complete when we got there so I only started with 1/2 of my crew until the building got further along.
How many people were involved?
We had anywhere from 8 to 15 people.
Was it helpful to have the support from DEWALT®?
It was a huge asset having the support from DEWALT®. You don't realize how much smoother a job goes when you actually have the right tools or an extra of this or that.
For example, having 3 grinders, one with a hard disc, one with a cut off wheel and one with a flap disc is faster than changing wheels every time. So having two of us welding onsite and being able to have 6 grinders on the job was a huge time saver. Especially when there is a few thousand feet of handrail to weld.
The guys I work with are the best in the game, they have used every tool on the market. All of them were thoroughly impressed with the new FLEXVOLT 60V MAX* products – that is definitely a game changer.
Photo: Nate Wessel
What is your favorite tool?
That one is a tough one. I like all of them. What I use the most probably is the 7-1/4" Worm drive circular saw. This one is amazing and gets me really excited for the release of the new FLEXVOLT 60V MAX* 7-1/4 worm drive style saw.
Another game changer was the 20V max brushless planer. It's not often we need them but I can't tell you how much easier it is just to grab it and not have to unwind a cord and plug and another extension cord when there is only a quick ten second plan to be done.
The 60V MAX* grinders are aces! I used them every single day. Well balanced, powerful, durable, all the things that you could ask for in a battery powered tool.
You've been out there for quite a while - tell us a funny story that happened while you were out there.
One of the guys on our crew looks like Ali G but he has never shaved his beard like him. So my last night in town he decided to shave and act like him. He is French Canadian so his accent is almost exact to Ali G. Everywhere we went, restaurants, bars and just walking down the street we got stopped for people to get a photo with Ali G.
This kind of stuff happens constantly throughout the job. I love my friends; it makes a stressful job ten times better.
Photo: Nate Wessel
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