Don’t do it yourself, do it together !

Nicolas rock n roll (picture by Jaagup)

words and photos, Nicolas Bouvy

A couple of years ago, we got the need with the family to leave our old soviet flat and seek for a house. For month, we struggle to find the One and at the end found a perfect little old house in the center of Tallinn. In the backyard, it has a garden with a little garage/barn in the backyard.
Then the covid just happened, few weeks after we got the keys.
First step was a massive renovation of the house. It took 6 month.
The first months in, the main mission was to empty the barn, with the help of Raakel. We took so many trips that I can’t even re-count, to recycling center and distributed the stach of firewood. That task took real long. Then I started to get a better idea of the space available. I decided with the help of Maik, first, to go for 70cm high micro (2,3m wide and almost 5m long) with the usual soft transition in one side and the second was one hard transition you could compare with a low jersey barrier. And the must was a big pool coping !

The ramp during forced hibernation

The ramp during forced hibernation
From then , my friend Jani “Maksy” Mäkelä from Finland, who’s pro builder in his land, help me a lot, since in our first conversation, he realized how lost I was in my thoughts.
During that time, I did the full isolation of the barn (yeah winters can be rough around here) and put all the forms in place.
One hell of a long winter passed with not much happening, and then time to fill up all those transition with all the gravels and crap I could find around.
So Maksy help me with the concrete estimation. Me, all confident and naïve I was, went for a 12 bags of crete rough estimation and him, on his side, told I was kind of wrong (was more of a 120 bags). We went, then for the concrete truck.
Hell easier ! And budget wise pretty much the same. So my wife organized that truck to come.

Jani “Maksy” Mäkelä
We did talk often with him of how-when-what to do, but my lack of knowledge, made Jani real anxious. Only had a couple of pour in the past with the friends in Kuopio, Finland, for their Savilahti DIY park. So, He did insist on coming to help supervising.
Not to let the massacre be. And as kind, like he is, wanted to help! Over the conversations, he always gave me so many tips to correct stuff I did wrong (yes YouTube ain’t always best example to follow). So, every time, I managed to correct before it went too late. (no chicken wire fo rebaring please! ) I might have give him few headache or nightmare, hope not too much tho ! So man ! if you don’t know, you don’t know, and I’m so gifted with friends like him who knows what they’re doing. From now on, here’s my new moto : Don’t do it yourself, do it together (remember that great “Betonin ehdoilla – Concrete Lifestyle” documentary ? that quote is from it !)

Jani “Maksy” Mäkelä
End of June, Maksy took a 2 day trip to Estonia and after one night of non sleeping because of the stress and also my non-stop screaming cats , 6.30 in the morning the crete-truck was in the back street and the pour ready to start. Took hell of a long hard day, with extra help from Jaagup, young local, super enthusiast friend, skills.
We manage to do both transitions and flatbottom. We learned so much in that day, thanks to Jani’s professionalism! He’s a concrete master and always love to share his tips etc.
So we did the two platforms with Jaagup some weeks later in two different pour. For those, we used bags and went all well.
Did almost as good as we did with Maksy supervision.
Our goal was to reach the same smooth finish like the one on the transitions.

Jani “Maksy” Mäkelä and Jaagup

So now we have great hard mini to ride during the long winter , and rainy days ! Not to depress you, it last usually 9 month…
Next year since it’s gonna be 30 years since , like Obelix, I fell over in the caldron of the wooden toy, it’s gonna big celebration session!

The pool coping just got glued
The funding of the project wasn’t too crazy, I sold some my old 80’s decks from my collection and I created a little local brand called Nightwood. With that I managed to sell some decks I designed and some shirts too. Another crazy project to go on, for sure.

Jaagup bs grind

Jaagup feeble
Thanks to all who helped and bought my shit ! SonicDan, James Lamb, And to the ones who gave the most sweat, Raakel, Maik, Jaagup and Maksy. Specially to my wife, yeah got bit pain in the ass during months with that project !
So go on and to all, support your local weirdo !

Nicolas lay-back grind (picture by Jaagup)

Jaagup bs grind



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