Friday Interview: Full Factory Ramp First Look

It’s been a long time coming for some proper ramps at the Full Factory (AKA Odyssey/Sunday/Gsport/Fairdale) warehouse in Southern California, so we met up with Jim Bauer while he was getting wild with the paint scheme, shot some photos, and asked him a few questions about the place. Look for a proper edit from the Full Factory ramps here on Ride in a couple weeks, too.

Night and day.

Over the years, Odyssey/Sunday/Full Factory has had several plans to get some ramps. At one point, you even had a massive amount of disassembled ramps tucked in the back of your old warehouse. What’s been the holdup for all this time?
Space. Every time we had space, we found a way to fill it. First it was Sunday completes, then we expanded, then Fairdale completes, man those bikes are big. The last time we had space I started hoarding ramps, and then rumors of moving were floating around. When those came true, it was still months and months away, but a bad idea to build when we had to it tear down. Then when we moved, that was the priority to get the new building up and running. We did get the ramps up in less than a year since we moved in, so that’s a good timeline.

Speaking of the old warehouse, why’d you guys make the switch? Ownership! With the obvious benefit of no landlord, we finally bought our own building. We have been renting forever, and the end of the lease never jived with a good time to buy. Finally, the stars aligned and we bought. Best thing to happen—ramp wise for sure.

Such an obvious question, but why is it important, or worth it, to have ramps behind Full Factory?
Good question. While you say obvious, it’s not, I guess. We have pros in and out all the time, so if we are already a destination spot, how much of a better destination is that for our riders if we have a great ramp setup? SoCal is a Mecca for BMX, but in reality, legal BMX spots are actually rare. Not much wood, tons of concrete that is either off limits totally, or a risk. That and the obvious selfish benefits of having our own ramps whenever we need or want. Why not?

Pro rider perk #1917: you get to help paint your sponsor’s ramps. Broc Raiford is good people.

Did you have any talks with the neighbors before the ramps got built? Think you’ll have any issues?
I hope not. We did not have talks, but we are in a very industrial area. Both side neighbors are manufacturers and make their own noise, and backyard neighbors grind tires up all day, so a few bikes on ramps shouldn’t be an issue. So far with the few mild sessions we have had the neighbors have come out to watch. That might be the only downfall, is the neighbors productivity going down from time to time.

The area the ramps are in is pretty small, how difficult was it to come up with something that flowed proper? Who designed the layout?
Funny, because before the ramps were there it looked HUGE! You never really think the ramps take up as much space as they do until they start building, they get big fast. With the size, drainage, and pitch we had a bunch of obstacles. Throw in the fact that a fire engine has to be able to drive straight down the middle and you have a puzzle to figure out. Ryan Corrigan was the master designer. My only requirement was a mini. Had to have a mini, I have had a hole in my soul since the Venice Mini was torn down, and this fills it. Anything beyond that was Ryan and John Povah. They took into consideration the people we have on the team and tried to build something that flowed, that you couldn’t just find anywhere and that all the team riders would have fun. With as many riders as Odyssey, Sunday and GSport have, that is no small task. We even have a special flat spot [flat bottom of the mini] for Flatware guys. The Fairdale crew is crazy enough to ride anything, so that’s not a big deal.

Jim Bauer at work, high and low.

A lot of private setups these days are pretty low and slow…your guys’ setup is quite the opposite. Hell, even the flat ledges are massive by most standards, haha. Any reason behind the all the transition? And, believe me, I’m not complaining…
You can find slow and low anywhere, that is not hard. Most street spots are just that. Finding good tranny is hard, so that is what we built. You want to see Chase and Dugan ride something slow and low? And for the massive grind boxes, as Povah puts it, “If you complain, you should ask yourself if you are a professional bike rider.”

Are some of these ramps from old X Games? How’d you come up on those? X Games, Vaultpark, and the infamous Alvin’s ramp all contributed to the park. I know some people at X Games, and when they were clearing out the warehouse, I jumped at the chance. I got the hard to build pieces thinking it would make it easier on the rebuild. Vaultpark was pretty fresh material, always living indoors, so that was a no brainer. Alvin’s ramp was epic, so when it came down I thought it would be my mini replacement. In reality, it was really hard to make the ramps work as they were originally designed, so they were mostly used as raw materials, but that was a huge help, and very green. Funny enough is many of the ramps were originally built by Povah and Corrigan anyway.

Who came in and actually got it built? How long did it take?
Ryan Corrigan and John Povah did it all in eight days, which included travel days for Ryan. They are true professionals. Kaboe, Chris, and myself from the office tried to help and follow directions. Dave from Bicycle Source even came to lend a hand. I’m sure more people swung a hammer, you know who you are.

99.9% finished. Unmistakeable party camo.

The paint-scheme on the ramps is super unique and turned out amazing. What was the concept and how did it turn out versus what you envisioned? While it looks like a crazy person went to town, there was a method to my madness. I wanted a paint scheme that would not need mega branding and logos for you to know where you are. When you see any photo or video you will be able to identify it as the Full Factory ramps. I also wanted to be able to change, repair, improve the place over time and not have to be tied into one color, or pattern, or new vs. old. The chaos will hide anything we do in the future, and not need special paint. I also wanted to keep the budget tight and paint can get expensive fast. Home improvement stores usually have some “Oops paint” which is paint that is mixed wrong, and is discounted since usually no one wants it. I scoured the oops racks at the few local places and got it all, whatever it was, I bought it. I assumed the paint scheme would be subtle, but apparently wild colors are usually what get scrapped, so we have what you see here. I couldn’t be happier actually, but for the haters, the sun will fade it quick. And it cost $40 compared to $400.

Broc Raiford came and helped out with the paint; is there a manual labor clause in his contract?
He is the new guy, so he had to help, or else. No, he offered and I jumped at the chance. I tend to be a little controlling when it comes to the art stuff, but knowing Broc has a deep art background I was happy to have the help. He was a lifesaver. I threatened a certain media person to help too, hence the special mixed color “Purple Fudge.”

I already know the answer, but I’m sure every person reading this wants to know if it’ll be open to the public…
Not on a regular basis, but in the future we do plan to open up special days/jams where you don’t have to be a Pro to ride there. We will surely let everyone know when that will be.

I know they’re brand new, but are there any plans for an event or jam?
We have a small “Grand Opening” planned very soon, but after that it will be based on who is in town and wants to ride. That’s what they are for, to have fun on, as often as possible.