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konkrete kids

May 1, 2011

After talking about using tarps at trails I might as well add some debate to using concrete at trails. For the past year or two we have been experimenting with concrete use at trails. I for one don’t think its wise to concrete a landing because casing something that hard would not be good. Its also taking away from what trails are; basically turning dirt jumps into a concrete park. I do think its a good idea to concrete a berm thou. Its benefits are endless if its done right. Berms usually don’t need to be modified once they work right so why not have them super smooth maintenance free for years to come. About 3 years ago Ted invited us down to his house for a jam to benefit the woods and he had a cement berm and I was hooked ever since. Since then the berm is still perfect and has a small crack here and there. If you want a berm at your trails to stay good for years to come use some kind of metal wire, rebar, etc to keep the cement bonded and from cracking and falling apart from winter and tons of rain. We learned the lesson the hard way last year and did a whole cement berm without any metal, over the winter it crumbled to pieces in sections. We helped Derek Adam’s cement the trails at his house last summer, he wanted lips landings basically everything cement. Without using metal reinforcements the jumps started to fall apart after a heavy session, the dirt also seemed to not work well with the cement which could also be the case. We have been using Portland 96 pound bags of concrete and a mix of limestone, silt from pits and clay to replace the sand and rock. If your lucky and have access to a rototiller use that for mixing the cement otherwise doing it by hand sucks and takes lots of energy and manpower. All in all it costs money to cement stuff at the woods and is hard work but in the end its worth it for years of maintenance free smoothness. Here are a few pics of cement stuff, and a big thanks to Ted for making it all possible with this weekend cement projects.

Berm at Ted's House

Cement berm without metal reinforcement = fail

Metal mesh wire, cheap and good for cement berm reinforcement

Rototiller makes mixing easy

Cement berm finished

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  1. kieran liddicoat permalink

    Ive done some experimenting with concrete and the right dirt to concrete ratio is key, too much and you’re fucked if you want to change it.
    Going to dirt/concrete the back half of and upramp thats been troublesome, this will also have rebar to form a connection between the dirt and dirt/concrete mix. I’ll leave the front/face portion to be built with the usual dirt and clay so it can be shaped and changed easily.

  2. Peter permalink

    Any word on how the berm is holding up?

    Was the metal wire enough reinforcement, or would thicker ‘weldmesh/rebar’ type stuff work better? (but more expensive)

    Im quite keen to cement a similar berm at my trails in the UK, and would appreciate any advice.

  3. yeah the berm is holding up good, any type of wire mesh will hold together fine. like i said ted did a berm at his house with cement and its still good after 3 years.

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