In an era when big stadium skateboard competitions were confined to Munster (as far as Europe was concerned) and skating on TV was non-existent, this Dundee event was a typical event. The non-competition skating and the social side of things were more important than the organisational details:
More people joined the session, having grasped what was going on. Some like Wingey, Barney and Russ were converted, others, like Rocker, didn’t get it and got theirs later. This was the highlight of the weekend, epitomising the structure of the event. For the structure of this weekend inspired the change. Just as at Woodstock the format of a series bands playing over a few days provided a magnet which focussed the energy of everyone there, so in Dundee the notion of a ‘competition’ brought together a group of people and concentrated their energy.
Here the forces of the magnet began to warp the senses of the participants to the point of insanity — like Chimp with his continually hurtling Frontside 50/50s on the spine in the main ramp side, or Davie trying to Ollie the channel, landing four to five feet away and bailing/slamming (delete as appropriate). Lee Ralph and Chimp became engrossed in continual Carve sessions, slashing Grinds, contorting, Rail- grabs, Snap-backs, One-footed frontside Carves, Laybacks — totally surfing the ramp with vast speed.
Lee Ralph’s skating had already blown minds when he finally finished everyone off with a ‘Bottom Turn’: he dropped in, carved on the flat bottom and went back up the same wall he dropped into, without touching the opposite wall, almost pulling off a frontside Grind. Totally hot, fully surfing. Anyone there will tell you it was one of the raddest things. Some people like Jamie and Davie claimed it was one of the best sessions they’ve ever skated in. This was definitely the best thing that happened all weekend. It changed a lot of people’s perceptions on how the ramp could be used and set the standard all others were judged by, severely influencing the following day’s events.
The day of rest arrived without much sleep for most. Skating on the ramp had started at 7 that morning: those sleeping on the ramp had developed a dislike for being human slalom cones, as well as a hatred of human alarm clocks. People were still festering in their sleeping bags atop strange metal platforms towards 11, but by that time the activity around them was so intense few could shut off from it. The place was teaming with skaters. The day before had been busy enough, but almost double the amount were there for Sunday’s under and over 16 ramp and street individual events.
With such a large venue and so many people to address, the largest sound system yet would have been needed, but as this was a fun competition the pa system was fun, and quiet. It was up on one of the extensions, and did its job with the MC shouting loudly, accompanied by paper waving individuals telling people to stop skating and such like. Once everyone was there the comp got under way. Gooey was on the mike for the proceedings.
The over 16s kicked off on the mini ramp. After the previous evenings events there was an air of expectancy as great as on any finals day. The judges were basing their scores on content, attitude and style with a maximum of fifty points for each. This was designed to ensure the weak would not succeed so that the ten man final would be as exciting as possible. Team Manic refugees were looking to that event but unfortunately they wouldn’t all make it. Wingey was one who didn’t qualify, along with sidekick and team pilot, Gooey, who skated with his own verbal accompaniment and sketchy flailing.