Elephant Screw meets Andreas Schützenberger @ Munich Mash

Andreas "Schützi" Schützenberger is regarded as one of Europe's best skate park constructors. This native of Lower Bavaria has combined skating with carpentry, and over the past 22 years has constructed over 7,500 ramps in more than 30 countries with his company IOU Ramps. As a self-proclaimed one-man show, he has already implemented numerous major projects. These also include the Red Bull Roller Coaster, the world's first skateboard roller coaster, for the Munich Mash. For this year's event, the ramp constructor used 70,000 REISSER-Schraubentechnik Elephant Screws.

From June 28th to 30th, the Olympic Park hosted the international action sports event for the sixth time. There, the world's best skateboarders, BMXers and wakeboarders put their skills to the test and thrilled 80,000 spectators.

Elephant Screw and Red Bull Roller Coaster – a connection made to last

Following a spectacular première at MASH 2018, the Red Bull Roller Coaster was back at the Olympic Park in 2019, and Andreas Schützenberger was there with it. For the second time, he designed and built the 350 metre-long skate park for sponsor Red Bull in collaboration with Oli Bürgin, the three-time European Champion in bowl skating and the 7-person crew. He deliberately followed the pattern from the previous year, optimising and expanding it. New for example is a loop at the end of the track. In parallel to optimising the track, Schützenberger also worked with REISSER-Schraubentechnik to adapt the fastening technology to the technical requirements. The result: The Elephant Screw. This is a screw that is sophisticated enough to meet the requirements of a skate ramp and which shares the name of the IOU Ramps trademark, the Elephant. After all, the screws are small companions that have a great impact, having to hold together several kilometres of boards and beams. For example, the ramp's cover plates must be screwed together with almost no gaps to ensure the safety of the skaters.

1,260 working hours in the blazing sun

Most of the material for the substructure and the top covering was reused from the previous year. The supports for the substructure had to be individually cut because of the hilly terrain. Birch plywood panels were used for the top covering. For the straight sections, 1 layer with a thickness of 18 mm and for the curves 2 layers with a thickness of 9 mm each. Schützenberger had to transport 5 truckloads from Passau to Munich. That comprises 2.8 km of beams for the substructure, 2 km of shuttering boards, 1,100 m² of covering and 70,000 screws. The 9-person team took three weeks to set it all up.

Elephant Screw

The Elephant Screw passed its baptism of fire at the Munich Mash with flying colours. "A great product that exceeded my expectations. I'm already looking forward to the next project", says Andreas Schützenberger. The REISSER team worked with Schützenberger to optimise the screw. The REISSER Dribo was specially adapted for the skate ramp application. The drive has been enlarged and the thread length has been adapted to the top covering. The screw has aggressive milling ribs, which means that the head can easily cut into the wood. The milled ribs also allow flush countersinking. A unthreaded part behind the head ensures that the screw pulls the driving surface completely onto the substructure. The asymmetrical thread of the Dribo achieves extremely high extraction forces with a low screw-in torque. The Dribo drill element also minimises the splitting effect in the wood. As a result, small edge distances are possible and screwing work can be started immediately. Schützenberger uses the screw in hardened steel for indoor ramps and in high-quality A2 stainless steel for outdoor ramps.