The skater was credited as Patrick Hughes [actually Pat Phillips, see correction below], shown here at the private mini-bowl on the St George’s (?) estate in Weybridge. This was (and still is) a posh private estate with its own security force and home to sundry celebrities, including some of the Beatles at one point. This bowl had been built for a skater who had since grown up and left home. His family were happy for other people to carry on using it.
And perhaps they’re right. The freestyling and racing heroes of the sixties and mid seventies were supplanted by the vertical stars of the late seventies and eighties. Now we have pros who have established their name on the streets. That would have seemed ridiculous at the beginning of eighties, but as skating grows, new areas, new aspects of skating, are opening up all the time.
The mini-ramp has brought a whole new style of skating to a new generation. New, different: not better, not worse. The lines of the mini- ramp wizard are not the direction based lines of the park skaters, they have more in common with the trick based lines of the freestyler. But nobody feels a need to slag off freestylers because all they do are ‘tricks’ or a slalomer because all they do is wiggle through cones.
If you can only see lines in terms of travelling over concrete, or flowing patterns the width of a big vert ramp, then you’re the one with the blinkers, you’re the one trapped in the mental tramlines. And if you’re spending time worrying about it, that’s your problem, not the bloke who is actually skating on the mini.