Tracey Cardillo logo, with pink and blue cirular emblem followed by name in futuristic font

Half-Pipe Personal Project


It was Summer 2018, just prior my starting at California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo in the coming Fall, and a very strange time in my life. I already call San Luis Obispo county my home, meaning there was no need to stress about moving, but there were many other imminent stressors I was not prepared to face. Someone very close to me was diagnosed with cancer just a week or two after my decision to stay home for school, and this changed the way I think about the world as a whole — this came to be a year-long period of my life that I can quite easily say was one of the most emotional I have met so far, and an ordeal I cannot wish upon anyone.

The Beginning

In the face of adversity, I took to dealing with emotions by doing something I loved — creating. With skateboarding and BMX biking being something I have been invested in for the majority of my life, and having no fear of getting my hands dirty, I took on a project to build a half-pipe in the backyard of my home. Starting with stepping out the overall size of the build, I was able to get a general idea and I went on to create technical drafts of the ramp, keeping in mind the typical sizes of plywood and other materials in an attempt to maximize efficiency.

Outer Frame Technical Draft with Measurements
Inner Frame Design
Frame Layout Concept
Frame Side View
Wire Frame Render of Full-Sized Ramp

Breaking Ground

After creating the drafts and acquiring materials, I began breaking ground, first by levelling the ground and adding paving stones for a foundation. After the foundational pave stones were added, I began laying out the framework for the flat space between the two quarter pipes.

Laying Pave Stones and Levelling
Pave Stone Foundation
Pave Stones with Framework

Creating the Ramps

Upon completing the foundation of the ramp, I began creating the ramp frames. Following along with the designs, I cut the transition/outer frame and inner frame pieces, then got them put together.

Ramp Framework
Ramp Framework with Deck
Ramp Framework with Deck Completed
Julep helping with ramp framework


After much work, the ramp was ultimately completed after laying two layers of plywood down and installing other components. So, not only was there satisfaction upon completing such a large project all on my own (aside from some assistance from Julep), but it acted as a healthy distraction from other things in my life — when I create, the project is something that remains on my mind until it is planned entirely or on its way toward completion, so this project being as large and time-consuming as it got me in a great creative headspace, and it was ultimately a project that I appreciated especially at this time in my life.

Completed Ramp Angle 1
Completed Ramp Angle 2