I’m not really sure when the first Shadow Conspiracy coffin happened. I remember about a year or two ago they started popping up at a bunch of different events that Shadow was sponsoring. In that time, this unique ledge has popped up in countries all over the world and I think it has crossed everyones mind that they would have a good time riding it in some way.
Then a month or so ago, I was talking to Ronnie Bonner about the annual BV Jam that I’ve been throwing the past few years. Shadow was sponsoring it, and if you have ever met Ronnie, he’s always got some good ideas to step things up a notch or two to really make something that much better.
We started talking about the coffins and how Shadow has been getting a bunch of requests from people for the instructions and dimensions of how to build one. I tossed out that I wanted to get one made for the jam. When I said that, Ronnie said they were working on putting together some sort of instructions for it, but only had some rough plans to work with at the time.
Over the years, I’ve become pretty good at figuring out how to make things work with minimal resources. It’s kind of something I think you develop over time as a BMX rider. I usually get pretty overwhelmed when everything is already figured out and everything is supplied. It kind of takes the fun out of it and makes it easier to screw up.
I had Ronnie send through these rough plans and got to work with Adam and Blake Waters from Bluff Valley to take this idea from rough plans and wood to a good time. I documented the creation from start to finish with some photos from Instagram (@KurtHohberger), emails and what not. I figured I’d give you guys a look at the process to make this happen from start to finish. Let’s take a peek.
So we had the idea, we had the wood… We just needed the plans. When Ronnie said he had “rough plans” I was expecting napkins with some freely drawn lines, ideas for materials and some approximate measurements. Luckily, they were a little better than that. This is just 3 of 6 pages that came through in an email. The other 3 pages were mostly just examples of angles and what not. As you can see, we had a good idea of measurements and materials.
I forget which ones were a little off, but I know Adam and Blake had a few issues with some of the angles in the other pages, so that’s partially why I didn’t include those. I believe the measurement on the height of the low side was off as well. So, if you’re planning on making one off these plans, I’d suggest waiting until Shadow drops the instructions. I’d hope in the next few weeks that’ll come out in some sort of Issuu flipbook or something cool.
Believe it or not, I work a real job… So by the time I actually was able to make it down to the park, Adam and Blake had pretty much everything cut out and ready for assembly. Those guys are a little better with math and measurements than me, so I’m glad this happened since I’d probably go and fuck that up some how. Either way, as you can see, once you have everything cut out, it’s a pretty easy puzzle to piece together with 2×4’s.
Everything is pretty much identical on the ledge except for the angle of the top and bottom. I’d make a note to not flip the boards around and get 10 2×4’s screwed down and realize the bottom is at the top…. It doesn’t match up. I’m not sure whose bad that was, but I’ll take the blame since I’m no Bob the Builder.
After the flipped board fiasco, we got it all framed up. Slowly coming to life.
All sheeted up. We decided to leave the end open to make it a little easier to drag this beast around the park for different setups. We considered cutting out hand holes in the sides to help carry it, but this just worked out a little easier. I made sure it passed the flex test with flying colors… I know, I’m kind of a beast.
I got to the park about 6:30 and we had things wrapped up by about 10. I think in total, the build took 5 hours since those guys got a start before me. If you’re good with power tools, math, measurements and wood working, this probably would take you about 4 hours… If you aren’t good with those things… Find somebody that is because I could see this taking quite a bit more time than that. I had Blake give it a test run to see how she slid. The Bluff Valley park is rider owned and operated.
All right, here’s something I can actually say I was actually beneficial for. I had Chip at Shadow send me through an illustrator file with the Shadow logo so I could get a stencil put together. I set it up to be about 2′ across so that it would fit nicely and be easy to see from a distance. After I had the file sized, I saved it as a .jpeg and uploaded it to this site, BlockPosters.com to let me print the logo on 6 sheets of paper to fit that oversized logo.
After I printed all the pages, I pieced everything together and taped it to big piece of cardboard. I noticed it printed a little off, but that’s okay since you’re just using it as a rough guide to cut it out on the cardboard. This is where you have to decide if you want to cut out the black or white. We decided it would be easier to just cut out the white and leave the black. That way we weren’t screwing up the wings or the eye. Plus, by the time we got around to spraying it, a few beers were had so limiting the time with a knife was a good idea…
Here’s two pieces of valuable advice when it comes to painting the logo on. The first is to find somebody else to do it for you. This eliminates getting the paint on yourself and you get to laugh when they get the paint on themselves… Sorry, Conrad.
The second is make sure you have a full can of spray paint. The first can we had lasted for about half of the first of 3 logos we sprayed on the coffin. Luckily, they had a random can hiding in the storage room, haha. Be prepared.
Oh, and 3rd… make sure the stencil stays in place! It’s easy to move the stencil and fuck it all up. That empty can came in hand to hold the stencil in place and not hands.
And boom, the final product. That’s how you take a rough idea to a fully functioning Coffin ledge. Since we didn’t have time to cut angle iron or the budget to buy some, we decided to hold off on that. I’d suggest you get angle iron though because it’ll slide a whole hell of a lot better than just wood, haha. Either way, it’ll still be rideable.
We had the coffin done the night before the BV Jam and it was pretty hard not to try and ride it right when we finished, but we decided to wait. Here’s a photo of all the riders that lined up as soon as we pulled out the coffin to ride it.
You can launch off this thing pretty big if you’re Finger. He can superman anything…
Dan Kruk killed this thing. I think he did a feeble up to barspin the time before he launched this whip off it.
I believe this was bar catch opposite bar that Dan Nielsen threw off this… Either way, he tossed those bars.
Check out some footage from what went down in this video starting at 1:17.
So that wraps up this Insight on the Shadow Conspiracy coffin ledge. As I said above, if you’re looking to build one of these, keep your eye out for a flipbook or some sort of instructions on how to build this in the near future from Shadow. I know they’re working on getting exact specs and dimensions and then it should drop. Shout out to Ronnie Bonner and Chip at The Shadow Conspiracy, Blake and Adam Waters at Bluff Valley, Conrad Heppner for the beer and getting covered in paint and everyone that showed up for the BV Jam! It was a hell of a good time. If you’re looking to ride this thing, make your way out to the park because we’ve got it there for you to ride!