Words and photos by Dunk
Unit3sixty has been creating a bit of a stir since opening its doors back in November, basically because behind those doors is one of the best new bowls to be created for quite some time. With sheer scale on its side, you as a rider are treated to solid predictable transitions with plenty of thinking time in between, and with more lines than a Guns ‘N’ Roses after party. Anyone can ride this bowl and get something out of it, because even if you’re simply pumping around and not even airing anything you’ll still be able to hit mach ten. The most unique things are the box and volcano – not often you’ll find both in one bowl – and then the huge cradle, which is an engineering masterpiece. Aside from the main bowl (Goliath) you’ll also find a smaller bowl (David) and a street course with various rails, quarters and grind boxes to add variety. Unit3sixty is in Stourbridge just outside Birmingham, so transport links to the area are pretty good, especially if you’re driving.
The pictures speak for themselves as far as layout is concerned, you’re better off studying those and planning your lines rather than have me tell you all about what’s there, but what I found most interesting about the place is how it developed and what it’s become. Unit3sixty is the brainchild of Gav and Serena Pardoe, who despite having limited experience in BMX and skating and no experience at all in the running of a skatepark, have jumped headfirst into a minefield of overheads, contractors, maintenance, staff and insurance. Despite all this, they are doing an amazing job and learning as they go, in the full knowledge that the park will only support itself and by no means make them a million pounds. Gav has many professional achievements under his belt, so hard work is no stranger.
The couple’s enthusiasm and drive has created a social hub. But despite having a day job, Gav, the Unit3sixty staff and the parks benefactors are all doing amazing things for the community.