Going back in time,………

It all began with a group of ‘crazies’, a collection of diverse oddities with a single but potent connection: a passion for skateboarding (or just ‘skate’ as it is fondly referred to in Belgium)! Age, background, social standing, qualifications, profession were all irrelevant details for a bunch of riders whose only preoccupation in life was to ‘skate’.

This community of skaters grew to encompass all levels of skaters.

Linkages between Belgian skaters from different corners of Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels were forged through collaborative projects such as skate-fests, concerts, demos, initiations, workshops and the construction of skateparks.

Concrete skateparks gained in popularity, especially off the back of public funding. This created itinerant teams with skater/builders moving not only between Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands but also between the Europe and the US.

What had once started as a quasi-voluntary activity started showing signs of maturing. There was a need for a more structured approach. Public finance continued to be made available. However, to ensure that such funding was deployed correctly, public authorities started using formal procurement procedures. This was a critical development. Precious public funds would be allocated to address the needs of the skating youth but from now on only to teams who could conceive, construct and finish a skatepark along the lines of any other formal project.

A few enterprising skaters rose to the challenge and set up businesses, teams and collaborations that would respond to the needs of both skaters as well as public authorities. One such enterprising skater / skatepark builder was Michel Van Der Ouderaa (MIKE), who under the guidance of well wishers and with the support of financial and business experts, launched Concrete Flow Sklateparks (Concrete Flow). Before this launch in 2011, Mike worked on various ‘Brusk’ (a Brussels based association of skateboarders) collaborations in Belgium, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

The transition from a ‘labourer’ to an ‘entrepreneur’ was not an easy one for Mike but hard work, commitment, the right partners and a shared belief in the ability to build a viable enterprise eventually bore fruit. As things stand, 2011 and 2012 provided a solid platform of credentials to allow us to approach the future with confidence. We look forward to working on projects in France, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. Subsequently, we aim to extend our footprint (perhaps we should call it ‘skate- print’) wider afield.

We will continue to work on large and small projects with large multinational companies as well as smaller local enterprises as partners.

Our aim will always be to provide the best skatepark for the local skate community, a skatepark that respects not only the budgetary constraints of the public authorities but also the environmental demands of a deeper public conscience.

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