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From Surf To Skate, Mount Maunganui: NZ’s Newest Skate Destination

Let the good times roll: testing out some of the new 3D printed skateable features at Destination Skatepark, opening later this week. Photo/Supplied

Mount Maunganui is already world-famous for its sun, sand and surf culture. Now we’re putting it on the map as a skateboard destination with international acclaim of its own right.

Achieving a world-first, even before it's officially opened this week, the new Destination Skatepark has embraced innovative and sustainable technology, featuring the largest known 3D printed skate sculpture across the globe.

‘The Wave’ is one of five 3D printed skateable features and is almost 12 metres long and 3 metres high. Other 3D print features include a quarterpipe and skateable ledges. 

Tauranga City Council, in conjunction with specialist skatepark designer RICH Landscapes, were keen to explore some new and sustainable technologies when developing the Bay of Plenty’s newest and largest skate facility. 

“There are only a small handful of skateparks we know of internationally (in France and England) using this technology, but on a much smaller scale,” says Peter Fraser, Tauranga City Council’s design lead for Destination Skatepark. “It’s a new and innovative way to make unique features. We’ve created new forms and textures that would have been too expensive to make by traditional production methods.”

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The community-influenced co-design process involved a 24-member group representing multiple roller codes and modes (including skateboarding, BMX, scootering, inline and roller skating) working alongside RICH Landscapes and Council.

“Destination Skatepark has been designed with the community in mind. We’ve included 
a number of skate zones which cater for all ages and abilities. Zones one and two focus on facilities for more experienced skaters, while zones three and four were specifically designed for developing basic and intermediate roller skills,” says Peter.  

To build the 3D printed skateable sculptures, the Destination Skatepark project team teamed up with Hamilton-based QOROX, New Zealand’s only 3D print construction company and an early adopter of the technology.

The 3D printed skateable features are made up of ‘Q-Ink’ (QOROX 3D printing ink), which is locally mixed and made of a special low-carbon material which produces 30% less emissions than normal concrete, says director of QOROX, Wafaey Swelim. 

“Q-Ink is 20% lighter than normal concrete. It’s a rapid set, high strength material and a more environmentally friendly option, with the same robustness of traditional concrete. The process of 3D printing inherently leans itself to creative and organic designs without the need for expensive moulds that would make building these designs very complicated and cost-prohibitive. 

The skatepark’s new 3D printed features include the 12-metre-long Wave, 3D printed skateable walls/quarterpipe, skateable art ledges and some standard skinny ledges. The largest feature, the Wave, is comprised of seven segments and took around five hours to print.  


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