Excuse me while I blow the dust and cobwebs off the file.
History of Skateboarding (UK): Vintage R.a.D Magazine Official Archive
Archive for the 'Adverts' CategoryYou are here: Home » Adverts
There’s so much in here, even if you don’t get half the in-jokes (and I certainly don’t). I wish they had done more of these, but in pure commercial terms I suspect the big question would have been “what was this actually trying to sell”? I can spot mentions of Pacer Hogs, Hardcore wheels, the Festering Pharoah board plus Gary Lee and Neil Danns signature models.
Who cares? Phony Tony is still alive and well today, I suspect.
Other than contemplating what things cost back then, there is little to get excited about here. But a lot of people DID get excited about such things.
Some shops and mail order companies built up cult followings. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who used to buy their gear from Everything at Your Leisure…
At first I wondered if there was anything particular to say about this Slam City Skates advert, other than that it features Ken Park at the wonderful Latimer Road ramp, and that the un-credited photograph would almost certainly have been taken by Paul Sunman. Then I noticed that it listed the famous shop in Covent Garden as “opens September”. So this issue dates back to the days when that London skateboard institution was just a gleam in Sunman’s eye.
I can remember being astonished at the time by the thought of a skateboard shop in such an expensive location. It’s true that my own career had begun behind the counter of a skateboard shop opposite Harrods. In fact those premises must have been even more outrageously expensive: we had 4, or was it 5, floors complete with an indoors quarter pipe in the back, but only one floor was open to the public. But in 1988 that was 10 years ago. 10 years in which skateboarding had been so far underground that less than a handful of shops had been able to pay rent of any kind — all of them in much, much, much cheaper locations. And all of them keeping going only by selling things like BMX bikes, or rollerskates. Those were very different times. So a skateboard shop in the heart of one of London’s prime shopping areas seemed an outrageous thing to try.
History proved Slam City very right indeed. That shop defined skateboarding in London for decades to come. Its influence on the course of skateboarding in the UK outweighed any of its predecessors and certainly shaped the skateboard culture of the R.a.D Magazine generation. But at the time that this magazine was published, all that was yet to come. It still seemed an outrageous gamble, just like the survival of skateboarding itself.
The issue closes with an advert which seems like an enigma now. Why Powell on the back page, not Santa Cruz? The back page was almost always a Shiner advert, but they normally used it for Santa Cruz, so I wonder what was going on here. And what really was the message Powell were trying to get across with this shot of McGill slaloming on a normal pool board? It seems right in parts and wrong in parts. I have a feeling I ought to know what they were saying, but then I realise I have no idea.
For me this issue fizzles out.
Where to next?
Merry Christmas, for now…
So much from this era has survived. Death Box evolved into Flip and soared to success. Their original wunderkid, Alex, is also still very much around as well. Their determination paid off while others eventually fell by the wayside. But all of this did eventually involve both parties in trips to the States, after all.
Sketchy Skates and Yah-Dude were two of the hard core of skate shops at this time. You’ll find their adverts scattered throughout the issues on this site. I’m struggling to remember what happened with Hi Ramp. Like all the companies trying to make skateboard equipment outside of the USA (or California, really) they would have had a real problem even getting a toe-hold in the market.
This was still a long way before the era of skateboard shops in prime locations. At this point it was still a few dedicated pioneers who kept us all supplied. They supplied much more than just equipment: shops were the real focal point for many local scenes in a time when ramps and parks were still very hard to find.