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Death Box Skateboards advert from December 1989

Death Box Skateboard Advert December 1989Runnning a double-page spread advert must have been a huge investment for Jeremy Fox at this point. Ultimately it all came good for him with Flip, but that was a long time in the future. The skaters featured are Pete Dossett on the left and Wurzel on the right. The Wurzel picture was taken at Bloblands in Norwood Park.
This advert marked the introduction of DoDo wheels. Up to this point I think Death Box had just done decks and accessories.

Adverts &Issue 82 December 1989 timlb 22 May 2006 6 Comments

Santa Cruz Decks Advert from 1989 Featuring Mike Prosenko

Santa Cruz Skateboard Ad featuring Mike ProssenkoLook at all these classic board shapes (and weep, or smile, depending on your skate generation). This is an excellent set of graphics as well, providing yet another wonderful insight into another era.
At the time I paid far less attention to the adverts than most readers. Looking back, they seem to distil the essence of the era in a way which is very different from the editorial content. The further I go with this project, the more interesting I find the advertising.
That brings me to the end of this issue. I now have to work out which one to do next. At the moment I really like being able to include the full text of most of the articles, which limits my choice to the issues where I have a working backup disk. I suspect that’s what I’ll do this time round…

Adverts &Issue 81 November 1989 timlb 20 May 2006 1 Comment

Slam City Skates Advert featuring Rob Dukes

Slam City Skates Advert, November 1989 featuring Rob DukesRob Dukes is the skater featured in this Slam City Skates advert. I’m not quite sure where it was taken, but I would guess at Stockwell or maybe Kennington.

Adverts &Issue 81 November 1989 timlb 19 May 2006 4 Comments

Pacer Raider Skateboard Trucks Advert

Pacer Trucks advert from 1989Pacer have an interesting place in the history of skateboarding in the UK. Steve Constable was one of the first people to import skateboards into Britain in time for the boom of the nineteen seventies. I think the “Shark” boards were his. The company was called “Gecko” and distributed G & S, ACS and Powell at various points. During the BMX years they followed the same strategy of concentrating on big names (Redline, Kuwahara, ACS again) only to see the big sales going elsewhere once again.
During the eighties and nineties Steve and his business parter Adrian Parsons took a different approach and aimed to create their own brand, Pacer, concentrating on the middle part of the market. I don’t think it really worked. I suspect that most people would only think of Death Box if asked to name a British skateboard brand from this period.

Adverts &Issue 81 November 1989 timlb 15 May 2006 2 Comments

Skate shop adverts from international shop, hard-core shop and roller skate…

Rodolfos, Custom Riders and Mayfair Skates AdvertsHistorians of skateboard advertising may find this an interesting page. This is how things were before so much moved on line.
Rodolfo’s in Amsterdam advertised in a UK Skateboard magazine partly to reach an international market, but also (I think) to reach their domestic market at a time when there was no local magazine available on the newsstands in the Netherlands.
Mayfair Skates were primarily a roller-skate shop (although they did do skateboards as well). In the absence of a roller-skate magazine generally available in British newsagents, R.a.D made sense as one way of reaching a wider audience — even if it was not very closely targeted. (This is a bit like showing adverts for things like supplements to help your liver on this site: only a tiny number of people will be interested, but it all adds up.)
The Custom Riders advert is the one which makes the most sense and would still be there today, I hope: a skateboard (and BMX!) shop selling to skaters in Hertfordshire and the rest of Britain. The other two forms of advertising would no longer make much sense. It’s now much easier and better to do that stuff on line.

Adverts &Issue 81 November 1989 timlb 12 May 2006 No Comments

Two classic UK skateboard shops: Billys and Off Beat

Billys and Off Beat Skateboard Shop Adverts 1989This Billy’s Boards advert announces the move of their shop to Chesterton Road in Cambridge. Townsends still have that shop (in 2006) but seem to be only selling bikes there. The Billy’s skate shop is now elsewhere, but seems to be going strong.
Off Beat Sportz are another of those shops who have been going for ages, plugging away supplying generation after generation of skaters. I find that very reassuring at a time when so much of the skateboard world in the UK has changed beyond recognition. But I also miss some of those who have not survived, notably Alpine Action on a personal level.

Adverts &Issue 81 November 1989 timlb 11 May 2006 No Comments

Skate Attack and Middlemore’s BMX Adverts November 1989

Skateboard Adverts November 1989What a nightmare page: two not-really-core skateboard shops and a subscription advert. I wonder what Middlemore’s thought they were getting into with this BMX advert? Skate Attack in London’s Kentish Town were very serious about rollerskates but I don’t think skateboards were so much their thing.
As to the subscription advert — Like it says:

Clues? Get them here! Neatly packaged and slipped to you in an easily assimilated package of hard-edged action pictures and all-pervading enthusiasm. And the time? It’s getting late: sign up now before the next age is upon us.

We were right about the time. 1989 probably marked another of skateboarding’s peaks in Britain and things did slip a bit downhill after this.

Adverts &Issue 81 November 1989 timlb 10 May 2006 No Comments

Local Skateboard Shop Adverts November 1989

Small Skateboard Shop Adverts from 1989There’s bigger selection of small UK skateboard shops here than normal. November 1989 would have been a peak month for the skateboard business in Britain. Muddy Fox and Matchrite jokes are the odd ones out, sitting alongside Wheels Unlimited from Weymouth, Transition Skates from Grimsby, Dave Friar Surf Shop in Swansea, Freebird from Bideford, Round Ocean in Doncaster, Shore Break in Acton, Blah Blah in Stockton on Tees and the Angel Lights Skatepark (The Church) in Glasgow.
Some of those were solid shops supporting their local scene over many years, others seem less familiar and I suspect they didn’t last very long.

Adverts &Issue 81 November 1989 timlb 06 May 2006 1 Comment

Vision Streetwear Advert November 1989

Vision Streetwear Advert November 1989Vision Streetwear were the shoes which defined one brief era in British skate fashion. They never really crossed-over into the fashion mainstream here and so stayed an identifying brand for skaters and BMXers. In the USA things were different, I believe: they started selling in mainstream shops and provided an early prototype for the whole crossover into urban fashion which was to fuel (and fund) the skate market at the turn of the century.

Adverts &Issue 81 November 1989 timlb 30 Apr 2006 2 Comments

Skater Owned Shops Adverts November 1989

Skater Owned Shops Adverts November 1989This is an interesting example of the original Skater-Owned-Shops group getting together to buy a page of colour advertising, I think. Or maybe it was a Billy Brown idea to create a special page for them. SS20 and Clan were in for the long haul, representing Glasgow and Oxford. Stampys in Birmingham and Off the Wall from Liverpool fell by the wayside eventually. I like the Sean Goff clay model. Shades of “Skateboard Madness” stop-frame animation there. Was it a Jim Watmough creation, I wonder?

Adverts &Issue 81 November 1989 timlb 27 Apr 2006 No Comments

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