Looking to embrace the rich culture of surf and skate in Doheny Village, the city is preparing to launch its inaugural Ramps & Reels event on Aug. 11 and 12 to feature all things skating and BMX.
During the two-day event, the Domingo Avenue cul-de-sac will be closed to motorists, allowing the city to erect a vertical ramp for professional demonstrations, a street skate course open to the public, food and beverage vendors, movie screenings and more.
“The idea really came from Randy Hild,” Deputy Director of Community Services Jeff Rosaler said. “He had this great idea to highlight Doheny Village in its current form and embrace and celebrate the history of what’s gone on from surfboard manufacturing, skateboard manufacturing, cars, auto, motocross, all the cool things that are going down there.”
The City of Dana Point has partnered with Marbo Productions, REDO Market LLC and Dana Point Chamber of Commerce to organize the event.
“This will be the first event that the city’s produced in Doheny Village, and it’s the first of hopefully more to come,” Rosaler said. “We are supporting the local businesses down there, working closely with a lot of them, and we’re appreciative of the support that they’ve given us to do the event down there.”
Rosaler added that Hild, the founder of the REDO Market, proposed the idea of bringing skateboard ramps and movies down to Doheny Village to activate the area.
“From there, it’s just grown,” Rosaler said. “We went from having a street course … and the skateboard part has just grown and got bigger.”
At 8 p.m. both nights, Ramps & Reels will screen 1980s movies at the end of the cul-de-sac, toward Fly Way. Back to the Future will be screened the first night, and skateboarding film We Are Blood will be screened the second. Attendees are encouraged to bring low-back chairs and blankets to set up in the street.
Rosaler added that We Are Blood is a “really great story; really great cinematography. It is a family-friendly movie but with a really good message on why skateboarding is important and how skateboarding can be important in the community and across the world.”
The family-friendly event will also feature professional skateboard and BMX demonstrations on a 13-foot tall, 30-foot wide vertical, or vert ramp, Marbo Productions Founder Mario Bonaventura explained.
“With street skating, it’s a lot harder if you don’t know what you’re watching, to watch and know what’s going on,” Bonaventura said. “With vert skating, the size of the ramp and how high they are in the air, the noise of it, it’s just captivating.”
“There’s no other way to look at it,” Bonaventura continued. “You can’t walk by it and not look at it and just be amazed by what these people can do.”
Bonaventura added that watching BMXers on the vertical ramp, attendees will be “amazed at what people can do on a bicycle and how scary-looking it is.”
X Games athlete Mykel Larrin and professional BMXer Manuel Gatica Leiva will demonstrate their skills along with vert skaters Josh Borden, Brian Upapong (also known as Yoda) and Ruby Lilley.
“We have some pros that we’re bringing in that will be there for demos all the days,” Bonaventura said. “There’s so many people in Doheny Village and Dana Point, that area that are so into the Vert scene, that we’re hoping that friends of the pros we have will be coming in as well and skate.”
Each day, Ramps & Reels will feature two skateboard and bicycle motocross (MBX) demonstrations.
Professional skateboarder Christian Hosoi will emcee the event and also take some skate runs, Bonaventura explained.
“We’re bringing in Christian Hosoi—I mean next to Tony Hawk—one of the most famous all time vert skaters,” Bonaventura said. “I’m bringing him in as a personality … he’s a man of the people, and so we’re going to have a great time with him.”
Bonaventura added that the event will feature a DJ on the street course who will emcee the street course area and play games with attendees.
Only professionals will be allowed to skate on the vertical ramp; however, families can enjoy a street skate course built for all skill levels.
“I’m having them build it from anything that a beginner kid can skate to a full pro, and everyone can have a good time,” Bonaventura said. “It’s definitely not slotted directly towards the pros.”
Those looking to participate in the street skate course must sign a waiver to obtain a wristband, and must bring their own board, helmet and pads.
Ramps & Reels will also feature activities for children, including T-shirt making and live music, Rosaler said.
Attendees can also purchase food and drinks from the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, Pepi’s Sports Bar and Grill, Rasta Rita, and food trucks including Kabobaholic, Salt N’ Pepper and Family Pizza. Clean Juice will offer juice samples during the event.
“It’s fun, skateboarding, food and drink, bands, movies . . . what more can you ask for?” Bonaventura said. “Just the family-friendliness, the vibe of the community.”
Bonaventura added that after visiting Dana Point for REDO Market and seeing the community support for Ramps & Reels, he was inspired to bring the skate event into town.
“It just inspired me to really want to do this, and Jeff and Kelly (Reenders) and the whole team and Randy from REDO, it’s been awesome,” Bonaventura said. “It’s been an awesome experience to work with the people and everybody on the team.”
Hild’s experience with bringing crowds to Dana Point to enjoy vintage and retro goods has helped him to cultivate an ’80s retro vibe, Bonaventura said.
Rosaler added that he wanted those who grew up during that period to “bring their kids down and see not only some old-school, but new-school skate and some old-school movies and new-school movies, some old-school bands and new-school bands.”
“Just kind of recreating the ’80s and then where we’ve progressed from that,” Rosaler continued.
Attendees are encouraged to park on Las Vegas Avenue, the Capistrano Beach Church parking lot or take the Dana Point trolley to the event.
The event will run from 4-10 p.m. on Aug 11 and from 2 p.m. until the end of We Are Blood on Aug. 12.
“If there is a skater in the household … dad, mom, sister, brother … this is a must-stop for a visit,” Hild said in an email. “Not only will spectators be able to rub elbows with pro skaters, there is a public street course that is open to the public to skate … a first for Dana Point.”
More information about the event can be found at rampsandreels.com.