There’s a hefty chunk on international skateboard competition politics, from the time when such issues were being thrashed out again for the first time in ten years (I’m thinking of the Euroskate ’82 contest at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre and shuddering even now).
Powell will have a new video out any day now, called, simply ‘8’ • G & S are also releasing a short video, a 15-20 minute taste for the full length video which will appear later in the year. • Good news for Danny Webster: he’s out following a successful appeal • Davie Philip is back on Zorlac (but keep the skulls to a minimum, please). Millie’s also on Zorlac now (though Shine are also claiming him?) • Winston Whitter’s moved from Toxic to Life • Matt Dawson’s on BBC • Shane Rouse, Neil Danns, Davie Philip and Pete Dossett are probably off for another set of demos in Turkey at the beginning of June • Congratulations Grant and Laura Brittain on the birth of Zo Elyse • Last minute news, timed to a ‘T’ — watch out for a mini New Deal tour-ette at the beginning of May • Huntington Beach considering a ban on skateboarding? No skating in one of the original birthplaces of the art??? Sacrilege! John Lucero, Marty Jimenez, Ed Templeton and Jim Gray turned up for a public meeting with the Mayor to speak out against it. No decision has yet been reached • Presteigne correction Bad Company Boards sponsored the street comp, as well as Wear and Tear and Sean Beddowes won it — sorry
The mini-ramp at Bromley, Kent, has suffered a visit from the vandals and now consists of a quarter pipe and a pile of ash. Nick the builder and the Bromley locals are gutted but swear that the ramp will rise again for the summer. Bigger and better too: bowled out ends might be on the cards. Maybe even two ramps, one slightly bigger (say seven feet high) and one smaller than the original one (four feet).
The skate club will also be taking this enforced opportunity to move the ramp to a new site nearby. But to do all this they need money. The regular locals paid their membership contributions in the past but many semi-regulars didn’t — leaving Nick himself and Skate City to subsidise the cost of the ramp. The future replacement ramp (or ramps) depend on skaters being prepared to give just a little cash for somewhere to skate in their area. Call Skate City for more information on 081 460 4456.
Aggro looms as contest organisers across Europe attempt to introduce skaters to the notion of registering in advance for competitions. As we go to press, several groups of British skaters are planning trips to the Lageja’s contest in Eindhoven, not really aware that the organisers are adamant that only people who have pre-registered will be allowed to enter. Big events attract competitors from all over the world (one Canadian rang yesterday for more information about the Dutch comp), but to date skaters have always expected to be able to scam in on the day. Not this time it would seem.
Let’s hope that some compromise can be made without a repeat of last year’s French fiasco when relationships between the skaters and the organisers reached such a low that the competitors boycotted the final.
One other spanner in the works which may cause bad feeling in Eindhoven is the issue of visiting American pros. At the end of last year the European Association announced that their competitions would only be open to European residents. This move was designed to prevent American competitors dominating contests to the exclusion of local skaters. The “residence” rather than “nationality” definition was intended to allow Americans who are now part of the European skate scene, like Jason Fine, Ryan Monihan & Stephanie Person to enter — but left the status of people like Bod Boyle, Nick Guerrero and Steve Douglas uncertain. Protectionist moves can get very messy.
The ruling was bound to cause friction and it already has: at first it seemed likely that the Eindhoven event would be an AES-type “Europeans only” affair, but now it turns out that some American skaters will be entering. Under normal circumstances that probably wouldn’t be a problem — most competitors just want to skate, and the radder the skating the better — but in a situation where people are being told that they can’t skate (because they didn’t pre-register) it could be the spark that sets off another major row.
Meanwhile, if you plan to go to the huge international in Dublin, sponsored by Squeez Drinks (and you should) please do register in advance. Entry forms are available from Rachel McGrath, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 — or phone 0001 nnnnn. It’s one thing to turn up to a low-key skate event and expect to talk your way in on the morning, but the big competitions with the big prizes and big names don’t work like that.