Peter Wilson, builder of one of the biggest skateboard ramps in the world located on his property in Nyora. Photo: Joe Armao Keefer Wilson, Chloe Wilson, and Aaliyah Wilson skate down the ramp. Photo: Joe Armao
Peter Wilson has built a teenager’s dream in his own backyard – one of the biggest skateboard ramps in the world.
But a neighbourhood stoush has threatened the future of the “megaramp” on his country property in Nyora, South Gippsland. Within months he will go to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to face off against neighbours opposed to the huge structure.
At its highest point the ramp is a stomach-dropping 7.6 metres high, running into a massive sloping section that would easily overshadow a small office building.
When Mr Wilson completed the structure it was more than 100 metres long, divided into two parts separated by a gap for aerial tricks. He has pulled down half of the ramp until the matter is resolved, but the remaining section with its quarter pipe remains, and remains enormous.
Mr Wilson, who earns a living as a pro golfer, said his was one of the few “megaramps” worldwide, and the only one in Australia.
“To roll down the landing and into the quarter pipe feels amazing. It’s like surfing,” he said.
The ramp runs down a bank on Mr Wilson’s hilly property, with kookaburras providing a soundtrack and galahs flying above in pairs.
Mr Wilson said he combined his love of skateboarding and building about five years ago to construct the ramp for his three young children and aspiring professional skaters.
The South Gippsland Shire Council has approved the ramp. But in September the matter will go to the VCAT.
Nyora resident Julie Clarke said she was one of about 20 signatories to the VCAT action. She said ramp was ugly and noisy, and the council should not have allowed the ramp on the Mr Wilson’s property.
“Over the years it just got bigger and bigger,” she said.
Ms Clarke said she believed the ramp would be used for large events. “If the council are so for it why not give him Crown land and do it where it won’t upset anybody,” she said.
But Mr Wilson said using the ramp was quieter than the tractors, mowers and chainsaws that often roar nearby. Suggestions he was installing an amusement park to attract large crowds on his property were completely wrong, he said.
Mr Wilson said he had not hosted more than 30 people at his property, but hoped to help local sporting clubs raise money through skateboarding demonstrations.
He said the ramp brought great joy to his children, aged eight to 11. They roll confidently down the ramp – standing, sitting or lying flat – wheels purring as momentum builds into the vertical section.
The ramp has already earned a place in local skateboarding history, with former world champion skater Tas Pappas landing a 900-degree aerial rotation on it.
It was reportedly the first 900 completed by an Australian skateboarder in Australia.
But mostly Mr Wilson loves the expression on visitors’ faces when they first see the ramp.
Mr Wilson said talented skateboarders deserved the same opportunities to excel in their sport that he had as a professional golfer. Other elite Australian and international skateboarders have also trained on the ramp.
But he said he felt the ramp could be positive for the community, and he was happy to negotiate with neighbours.
“I think it could have been resolved without going to VCAT.”
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