Hieberts’ Southwood Ramp

We spoke with local skate rock legend, John Hiebert, about the vert ramp he and his brother Barry built in the late 1970s. The ramp was featured in Thrasher Magazine in 1981.
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How big was it?
10 feet high, 9 foot transitions 16 feet wide. Somewhere around 14 layers of 1/4 inch ply after its 6 year history, which means it was 4 inches thick including the base.

Who was involved?
My brother Barry was the leader behind the design and build along with our friends Greg Olekson and Terry Orr.
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Where was it located?
10315 8ST SW. 1 block south east of Elbow Dr and Southland Dr.

When was it built?
Spring 1977.

How long did it last for?
1977-1983

Why did you take it down?
My bro and I moved out of our house after high school and my mom sold the house.
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Was it the first Vert ramp in Calgary?
Not sure, i know a local ski shop that started selling skateboards made one as well. Our ramp was made because *Skatetopia* indoor cement skate park in Marlborough shut down. Skatetopia was awesome!! Vert pools , 2 snake runs. Probably a dozen different bowls and runs. My mom would drop Barry and I off Saturday mornings at 10am and come pick us up at 6PM.

Did your ramp inspire others?
I think so. Woodbine ramp i believe

Do you hope to see ramps on private residential property in Calgary again?
Definitely.

What do you think of the new skateparks?
Southwood is good. Have not been to Huntington yet. Looks rad. The one by Wisewood is small but good for street riders. My mind has mostly been “any skate park is good to have” through my life. Do you have special pride for the Southwood park? I was so stoked to find out about the Southwood park. Spent grades 4 to 12 in Southwood, went to Southwood Elementary and Panabaker Jr high. Played hockey from 8-11 yrs old on the rink mere feet from the current park. Super stoked. I had my van stolen this January and my skateboard was in it. I had bought my first new skateboard (top to bottom) in almost 30 yrs. I showed up on the unofficial first day at Southwood with my new skate. Giddy as a kid. Rolled my ankle in the first 30 minutes. Was so stoked i skated on my ankle for another hour which I’m paying for now. I couldn’t stop; new skate and new park in my old hood!
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