By Matt Lindner @MattLindner
12:19 PM CST, December 17, 2013
Many a cubicle-dweller has dreamed of turning their office into their own personal theme park, stripping away the soul-crushing beige-and-gray cubicles and replacing them with something different.
Like, say, an indoor skate park.
It’s a dream lived by Wicker Park resident Uriah Ruta and a handful of other skaters.
“You could go all the way through the hallways and zig zag and weave through the entire floor of the entire building,” the 37-year-old owner of Uprise Skateboards in Chicago said. “It wasn’t a confined space to one room. Some people could go off on the other side of the building.”
Ruta took part in a video shoot for Red Bull recently as part of the Daily Grind video series. Red Bull converted the 23rd floor of a Wacker Drive office building into something resembling some cubicle-dwelling skateboarder’s wildest fantasy, turning an office into a skate park complete with ramps, rails and half-pipes.
Ruta and others from Uprise were chosen to participate in the shoot based on a pre-existing relationship they had with Red Bull.
Red Bull refused to give out the exact location of the space, with a spokesman only saying the company set up shop in a vacant office space.
“It wasn’t as confined as you would think,” Ruta said.
To preserve an air of authenticity, office furniture was left in place. The three-and-a-half-minute video shows actors pretending to do actual work as skateboarders did jumps off fax machines and rode their boards down conference tables.
It was … well, we’ll let Ruta describe what it was like.
“Basically it’s a feeling that you’ll never feel again,” he said. “It was the most insane thing being in there. I knew that I would never see this happen again. To be able to have access to it, we had to take full advantage of it.”
But for Ruta, the most surreal part of participating in the video wasn’t the fact that he was skating in an office.
For him, it was all about taking a second to enjoy the view.
“It’s the type of thing that as a skateboarder, to be up that high, looking out onto the city, we’ll never be able to do that again,” he said.
It also provided the skaters with a rare chance to practice their craft in the winter time.
With temperatures dropping and several inches of snow on the ground, finding a place to skate is no easy feat until around March.
“You dream of drier days,” he said. “We are completely deprived here. There’s nothing.”
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