Having said last week that I didn’t really like the sequences, I have to eat my words. I like the style of this a lot. Jason Maldini was another South Bank stalwart who probably should have got more coverage than he did. Vernon took the pictures.
History of Skateboarding (UK): Vintage R.a.D Magazine Official Archive
Archive for the 'Issue 96 May 1991' CategoryYou are here: Home » Issue 96 May 1991
Simon Evans and Tony Luckhurst at Watlington and South Bank.
At this point we’re still burning real film for sequences. The video fuzziness was yet to come. The challenge of showing the trick was always hard enough — it looks like at this point we’d given up trying to describe them in words!
I think Vernon took the Luckhurst sequence, although he isn’t credited on this page.
Sequences were always a visual compromise. Give me video any day for this kind of thing. But we knew that people were really keen to try to work out how to do new tricks, even if a magazine page would never really help. So we did our best to oblige.
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.
Good solid skating. 1991 was a wonderful time, when street skating really was starting to come together. Although my vision of skateboarding was formed on ramps and skateparks in the dark ages, the street explosion of the early nineties was a wonderful time for me.
Years skating: 2 years Where from: Hackney Skate with: Curtis McCann, Tony Luckhurst, Si, and my little brother, Isaac Where: South Bank mostly and around my area — there are a few good spots here, but sometimes you get a bit of trouble from people Current set-up: At the moment I’m riding a Powell Franky Hill, Independent trucks and Real wheels. It’s fully rad: the Real Wheels are small and light and the Powell board’s really sturdy with a good pop on them, and it feels really comfortable beneath my feet Favourite board in the past: A New Deal Andrew Morrison with Indys and Spitfires Working on: Front foot Ollie impossibles, backside lipslides on benches and stuff — I can do them on curbs, but I’m trying to progress onto higher things — and a lot of push-it, fiddly tricks on flatland Rate: Tony Luckhurst, Curtis, Rudy Johnson Music: Fully — Jungle Brothers, Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul Food: Yeah! Taco Bell! Rad! Favourite skate video: At the moment the H Street bootleg Plans: If a sponsor comes, it comes, but I’m not really bothered about that at the moment. Just skate as much as possible, finish school and then hopefully skating will play an even bigger part in my life. Travel: The first comp I went to in Scotland, I came fourth and that was OK. Hopefully I’m going to the Eindhoven contest and I do want to travel so much. It’s fun, meeting all the new people. It’s one of the bits about skating that I enjoy the most. Why’s skating important to you: The satisfaction of learning a new trick and making it, and when I’ve done a trick, hearing somebody go “Rad” — that makes me feel good. What could improve skating most for you: A lot of people say there are too many little grommets around, but we were all grommets at one stage… What frustrates me most in skating is not making simple tricks — little tricks that I would be able to do if I was by myself every single go. Last words: If I didn’t mention somebody who I’m really good friends with, I’d just like to say ‘Hello’ and ‘keep on skating’ and also “Hi, Mum and Dad”
Winstan Whitter went on to make the best film on British skateboarding I have ever seen. Here he is in an Intro from 1991. The year highlights one of the most impressive aspects of his work: Rollin Through the Decades gets the spirit of the earlier decades exactly right even though they are before Winstan’s time. It’s a remarkably professional bit of research and film making. There were relatively few people involved in skating in the dark ages and it was a different world from the one in which skateboarding has gone mainstream. Winstan tracked those people down and let them talk. He gave the subject space and he didn’t reinterpret what was said. Very rare.
Anyway, this is what Winstan had to say in 1991:
Years skating: 3 years Where do you live: Hackney Where do you normally skate: South Bank Rate: Hensley, Jason Lee, Curtis and Sam Who do you normally skate with: Sam, and everyone at the South Bank Is it true that there’s an attitude problem at the South Bank: A bit — sometimes people talk about you behind your back. All these rumours get spread around Favourite video: Not the New H Street Video Music: Anything really — the music from skate videos Food: Anything Sponsors: Life Current set-up: Life Ron Allen, Indys and H Street Revolution wheels Tricks you’re working on: 540° tail-grabs, frontside 360° tail-grabs… Favourite trick that you do: 360° Ollie tail grabs Newest trick: 360° One-foots to fakie — I learnt those at Uxbridge Do you skate ramp a lot: I haven’t skated ramp for months, but I just got back into them. I’m going to get into vert this summer as well Raddest thing seen (live): Gonz doing a 180° 50/50 down Shell Centre Travel: I want to go to Münster this summer, quite a lot of us are going Have you ever invented a trick in your head: I made up frontside Ollie shove-its before I’d seen other people doing them If you had to shoot someone, who would it be: I’ll have to pass on that one Favourite sweet: Maltesers If you had your own board, what would it be shaped like: It would have a big nose, a roundish tail, a bit of a pointed nose and pretty straight rails Do you think they’ll ever get rid of the skaters at the South Bank: I don’t think they will. I heard they were going to put the slabs back where they’ve dug them up, because of people walking through with stiletto heels. They’ll leave the bars there though. Worst slam: I’ve never broken anything and I’m quite stoked with that. My worst slam was on a lipslide on a grind bar and I landed on my back with my fingers underneath and bent them right back and sprained them. I tweak my ankles a lot, like on nose-bumps when you go to do it and your foot slips off Are there any places which have gone that you really miss: South Bank! The banks: how good was the hip? And the atmosphere. That’s what I’d like to get back again.
If you haven’t seen the film, please go over to the Rollin Through the Decades official site and take a look. Buy a DVD while you’re there.
Why do I feel odd writing about this page in the knowledge that Jagger reads (and contributes to) this blog? It wouldn’t have seemed odd publishing the page itself in the first place and of course we assumed that he would read it. I think this is another example of the way the nature of on-line publishing is fundamentally different. The link between writer and reader is two-way and I start to feel self-conscious.
So here’s what we said then:
Years skating: 5 years Home: Codsall, near Wolverhampton Where: Aston Banks, and any nice wide mini ramp like Bury Who with: Benny, Zippy, Tom and all my friends from round the country when I see them Current set-up: Real Blank-blank, Indys and Street Razors Working on: Backside Ollie nose-blunts, doing things longer and faster Is going fast important to you: Yeah… Favourite tricks: Backside Smith flappies (number one street trick) and nose-bump grinds as well. If you had to shoot someone, who would it be: Cliff Richard Favourite sweet: I can’t think, I like loads, put everything Does skateboarding help you pull: No Video: Don’t ask me that What would you like to be asked: I don’t know…. Music? Alright: A lot of music, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Junior, some Hip-hop, funk stuff — Funkadelic and Parliament Funniest thing that’s happened recently: Me and Benny were going up the escalators at the station and this bloke standing in front of us kept farting Travel: I go all round the country and this year I’m going to Europe for a month Favourite skaters: Mark Gonzales, number one, Steve Claar, Davy Philip and Tom (the Curb King of Birmingham) Do you look up to people: I look up to anyone who stands over six feet tall One thing which would make skating better for you: A nice indoor wide mini ramp in Birmingham Dislikes: I hate it when you go somewhere and you’re trying to be nice to people and they treat you like you’re being freaky. Or you go somewhere and you’re not talking so they think you’ve got an attitude, so they don’t talk and you think they’ve got an attitude Anything to say to the nation: No, not really: leave me alone.
I met loads of great people through skateboarding. Jagger is one of them.
From an age before e-Bay, Myspace and Facebook… Here we have social networking and user-created content, 1991 style.
The Wall was a far from perfect market-place, notorious for inflated ideas of what a worn-out deck might be worth. It was also one part of the magazine where the voice of the readers could be heard. It was far easier to send in an entry for the Wall than to write a letter and risk having some silly editorial comment tacked on to the end of it. A fair bit of slagging off went on in here, and the readers could use far stronger language than we allowed within the editorial content, but we had relatively few problems. Numbers and addresses have been blanked now.
OLD WORD MONKEY are looking for more team members. Stickers, Ts and loads more stuff. Write to O.W.M, ***, Portsmouth, Widley, Hants, PO7 5BY
MY NAME IS EVA MARSDEN I’m a girl skater. Everyone I skate with is a boy, for instance I skate with Andre, Theo, Lewis, Bobby Andrew and Vini. So come on, girls, get skating. And could Sarah Edwards get in touch with me. She skates but I don’t know where she lives any more because I lost her address when she moved from the Herne Hill Posse. And can I say hello to Rhyme, Rhythm, Rasta and Trusty.
HOWYA GALWAY English skater on holls in July would like 2 hear from skaters in Galway City to hook up with and blast the streets. RSVP: Ade, *** Road, Bath, Avon, BA1 3HG, England. Thanks.
HI TO THE HERNE BAY SKATE POSSE and Hi to Jon, Bake, Wes, T Den C who can’t Ollie.
HI TO ALL TEAM CRIME Bayley, Hazy, Matt, Ross, Willy, Paul and me!
HI TO HALLY, BURGER, Graham and the rest of the Far Grange Posse…..? PS: Yo to Brooky, Jamie, Greg and all the Brighouse Posse.
GIZZA COUPLE OF DIAGRAMS on street tricks including melanchollie and Ollie kick-flips because I’m crap and want to know new stuff. Neil Thompson, 0525 **** (Beds)
HI TO KEVIN P Keep skating and pull off a frontside handrail or I’ll break down. From P Collins
YO TO THE CLACTON SKATERS especially Paul, James, Mark, Bod and keep skating Marshall from Russell C. PS: Neil, please give up
HI TO ALL THE SEDGEFIELD AND STOCKTON SKATERS, Stod, Hully, Ruly, Tim and Andy from Tim E. And Hi to Anth B. Well rad.
YO TO ALL ARBROATH SK8ERS also say Yo to Paul, James, Kevin and Stuart from FLYMO.
ELLO TO THE BRIGHOUSE POSSE, to Jamie, Greg, Roger, Me, Smith, Sinead O’Connor and to Todd the Grommet. Bye, Brook.
HELLO MILES, LIND Jules and Butty. Rage every day. From Wing.
AY UP CHRIS COOPER! The handrails at U.E.A are in need of grinding. Yo to John, Andy and Dave. Say Hi to Hull for me. Love, Lizzy XX.
SKATE RAD TO ALL MY SKATE CONTACTS OUT THERE Yo! to Ian, Nish and McLean out there who form the I.N.M from Dave.
THIS IS ZED SAYING HELLO to Mike, Bugs (get off your fat arse and skate!), Gory (giz’ your Hensley!), Tom (keep on noodling), Gibby, Craig, Beechy (New Deal suck! H Street rule!) PS Boxy and Tom, stop taking the piss, you clueless bastards! PPS Hey, Macc Council, please: we need a mini!
SK8 BOY NICK S: HOW’S ABOUT POPPING ONE FOR THE CAMERA!?! Maybe one day you’ll pop that 180° kickflip & not bust your butt! Norwich ain’t kicking, but we are!
I’M A SKATE MAD, BRIGHTON BASED LASS, wanting male skater pen-pal. Any part of the country + over 20s please. Write to Ginge, ****, Brighton, BN2 4JE
HI TO ALL HARTLEPOOL SKATERS, especially Skelly, Squid, Wonka, Pete, Squeek. See you when you’ve read this.
YO TO ALL DEGBOROUGH SKATERS INCLUDING Rob, Chris, Chapman, Wolfie and all the Team Piglet supporters. Hi to Lesley my girl, and it’s about time you had your wicked way with someone, Jenner!
STEVE M: ONE DAY I WILL SHOW YOU how to Ollie road cones etc. From Craig B
YO! TO SKATERS IN BUCKFASTLEIGH and Buckfast. Paul, keep up those Airwalks and Simon stop grometting and get a decent deck. Toby Hopper
COULD YOU PLEASE SEND ME SOME DIAGRAMS as I can’t do many tricks yet. Write to Shaun Parr, *****, Threlkeld, Keswick, Cumbria.
TO NOJ THE GUY WHO CAN’T OLLIE PS What’s happened to the scene in Coatbridge? Ricie Man.
SKATE LONG SO YOUR WILLIE GROWS LONG Come to Pete’s skate park! Tubz, lose some weight; Tex, get a haircut; Barney, have a shave. Hello Tony Hawk from Tubz and the Dunbar skate crew. Love, Egor. XXX
TO DEAN, THE KING OF THE FRENCH OLLIE: keep trying. From the Minge SK8 Posse, Buckingham. Good luck.
YO TO ALL THE SKATERS IN THE BUXTON AREA especially James King and John Taylor from John Turton.
BIKE AND SKATE — TEAM GEGS MERSEYSIDE + NORTHERN ENGLAND For once you can believe the hype. (Feedback was interesting; stickers were appreciated… but no name or address? Give us a call, or write in with more information, please. Tim)
HELP A BORED SKATER! Send any decent diagrams of street tricks — one-footed Ollies, kick-flips, all types of Ollies or anything like that. Send to Ian Martin, *****, Kettering, NORTHANTS, NN14 1JZ.
PEN-PAL WANTED Boy or sexy girl into skateboarding, snowboarding and 808 state. Guaranteed reply, photo if poss. Aged 11-16. *****, London SW15 2UL. PS Saddam is a bum!!!
HI HELSTON SKATERS Sean, Kirien, Leon, Peter!, Patrick, keep skating down there. Stay cool, Mark Bish, Shrewsbury.
HI TO RODDEY MAIRS! Please stop messing and get skating. I would love to see you back on your wheels in Portrush, so get back on your board, Roddy — love your hair!!!
YO TO BREND, Gareth and Ed Morely + all the 1st year crew and you lot in Stamford. Good-day to Edward Jones. ‘Adios Amigos’ Wilbur. PS I lurve Karen Ticehurst
HI TO ALL MY PALS, Francy Wee, Ste the dwarf and fat Guy Glinny (lurgy). You all smell like Nerk’s sweaty knee gasket, love Grant XXX! PS: Does anyone want to buy a Yamaha Portasound Keyboard for £40 ono? *****
GARETH MARKS you fat sprog, your deck is for skating, not carrying, so try standing on it… you round pie.
YO! I’VE JUST STARTED SKATING and would hyper appreciate any diagrams on tricks, preferably street. Cheers! S.P.T. *****, Shrewsbury, SY2 5QJ
COULD SOME OF YOU OUT THERE Please send me some diagrams and explain how to do some street tricks. I’m bored doing the same things all the time. Thanks. Please write to: Maureen Oliver, *****, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
I THINK THERE SHOULD BE MORE decks for sale in the Wall. Chris Stott *****
DO YOU WANT A GOOD DEAL? I’m the guy for you. I have a BBC Monty Nolder — good nick and no delams. Will swap for ‘Real’ Tommy Guerrero. I will also pay. Daf Eds: **** (North Wales)
ANY DOUBLE KICKTAIL DECK Don’t mind about graphics or condition. Must be cheap. Contact Matt on *****. Must be West Midlands
HAS ANYONE GOT AN OLD-STYLE SCHMITT STIX Steve Douglas for sale? The bottle graphic one. In good nick. For about £25. Scotty: ***** (Narberth)
I WISH TO BUY A GOOD DEATH BOX DECK with a big tail and quite a big nose. I wish to pay 30-40 quid. Mark Peck*****, Upper Stoke Holy Cross, Norwich, Norfolk, NR14 8RQ.
ANY RAMP, not too thrashed, not too big in the Bath area. Contact Duncan Pearson *****
REAL OR DEATH BOX ROCKER WANTED must be in good condition with no delams and full tail. Will pay up to £30. Nik Oxley ***** (Nottingham)
I WOULD LIKE STICKERS AND POSTERS or addresses where I can send off for them. Graham Wooton, *****, Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland, TO15 2NT
WANTED: DEATH BOX ‘WARPED KETTLE’ OR TEAPOT (!?!) sweatshirt, also knackered Happy Mondays T Shirt pleeease + Charterhouse EPs. Good cash paid Whoaaa! Paul Ward ***** (Romford)
SWAP ALVA MURF Brand new, used once, for Death Box Rocker Hydrant or Natas. Must have grip in pretty good condition. Phone Barry Forbes****** (Aberdeen)
SKATE FOR SALE
FAB CONDITION FULL SET-UP CIRCLE F with Indy trucks, Powell Street wheels = Fab, brill condition. £70. PoorHouse R Windsor, good condition = £30 and Guerrero, also good condition = £50. Everything brilliant condition. Also good Sega with over ten brilliant games = £100 or separate. Kit McKay ***** (E Molesey)
BLOCKHEAD MARK PARTAIN, Tracker trucks, Big Thing wheels, SW bearings. Not bad nick. Phone Ben, after 4pm. **** (Chingford)
COULD YOU PLEASE BUY MY plain board because I need some dosh. It has no delams, no picture, it will do for a beginner, so buy it please. **** and ask for Gray. (Taunton). Thanks.
WANT A FREE HOLIDAY? So do I. Why not buy my Sims Staab, slightly thrashed. Good tail. £15. Phone Paul on **** (Cheshire)
RAD SET-UP — BUY MY POWELL RAY BARBIE with Raider trucks, NSKs and Toxic Waste. All in vgc. Just £45 ono. Parts also sold separately. Ian Soo: ***** (Cheltenham)
POWELL PERALTA STEVE SAIZ 2 months old but a bit thrashed. Tail is a bit delammed. £8. Jamie Kirk ***** (St Monans)
H STREET MATT HENSLEY Ventures, Cell Block rails, risers and Santa Cruz factory seconds. £55 ono. Phone 041 885 ***** and ask for John (Renfrew).
VANS RED FLY SIZE 12 (As new?) Really good 4 sk8ing, but I suppose U know that. £20. Also please send me info on how to pull off any street tricks. Any info ‘ul’ du. Ta!. Mog: 0332 *** (6pm-8pm) (Derby)
H STREET MATT HENSLEY for sale. Very good condition. Or swap for Real deck eg Henry Sanchez, Tommy Guerrero. Daniel Bently: 0604 7**** (Duston)
PLEASE BUY MY H-STREET RON ALLEN 89 Model. 2 small delams in tail, but pretty good condition. Cell Block rails. £33. 081 ****, ask for Tony (Woodford Green).
FOR SALE, ALVA STREET SKINS a bit worn, good for street and just for you: a set of NMB rubber sealed. £20. I also need some Gullwing Shadows: will pay £10. Toby Jones: 0372 **** (Frome).
COMPLETE SET-UP VALLELY MINI-BOARD Thunder trucks, Santa Cruz wheels and NSK bearings, hardly used and all for £70 — you pay postage. Phone 041 956 ***** and ask for Martin.
POWELL T BONES FOR SALE £15 or swap for SMA Vallely decks, no delams. Phone Ben on (0376) **** in Braintree area.
LSD FOR SALE! ALLEN MIDGETT LSD, black Hard Times, NMB bearings and shitty trucks. No graphics on deck, nose slightly cut, board a bit frashed. Pacer rails 35 quid. Fone Dan after 5 on 0480 ***** (Huntingdon). Also an old thrashed Chris Miller and very, very frashed old Santa Cruz Eric Dren with Cell Block riser! Independant base plate and one Venture. Each deck a tenner.
BUY MY WORLD INDUSTRIES RON CHATMAN fully griptaped and hardly thrashed. Black G&S trucks, blue Nude Eeel wheels with NMB bearings. Everything you need for £60. Also 1 pair of silver Street Shadows only used twice. £10. Phone Tony on 061 ***** (Worsley)
DEATH BOX PETE DOSSETT (1st Model) not thrashed (except graphics). Tracker 6 track ground. Powell wheels new. NMB bearings new. £40-50. Phone James on 0722 **** 4.00-5.00 school days.
BRAND NEW STEVE SAIZ + hardly used Indy 159s + Rat Bones + new NSKs + Schmitt rails + Bridgebolts. Fully gripped only £60! Phone Martyn (0302) ***** after 4pm
POWELL CABALLERO (OLD STYLE, WITH BATS) brand new Ventures, unslid Hosoi rails, Teamriders, Shut grip (fully taped), some scratches, but no delams. Fantastic nick (no bearings) hence £65 (half cost price). Tel Halifax (0422) **** and ask for Matthew.
JESSIE MARTINEZ LIMITED EDITION grey Gullwing trucks and H Street rails, griptape and wheels. Very good condition. £40, Daniel Coburn 0992 **** (Waltham Cross).
RAD DEAL: DEATH BOX WURZEL BOARD £15 ono, good nick. T Bone wheels £8 ono. Indy trucks, separate £4 each, together £6.50. Bearings: NMB £2.50 a set. Santa Cruz Cell Block rails £2.50. Elbow and knee pads £8 or whole set for £40. If interested phone (0425) ***** and ask for John.
OK SO IT’S A BIT OUT OF DATE… But it’s never, repeat, never, been used, never touched the concrete: Sims Full Buzz deck, Venture trucks (blue) and Vision 92a shredder wheels. Yours for 70 squid. Phone Paul on 081 *****
RAD DEAL: SANTA CRUZ JASON JESSEE deck, good nick £15.50 ono. Wheels: Santa Cruz Speedwheels £8.00; bearings £2.00 ono; Santa Cruz Cell Block rails £2.50. Hardly used 1 time. Variflex truck £2.50. 1 Indy truck £5.50, again: hardly used. Or whole lot for £35.50 Phone John 0425 *****
KRYPTONIC 70mm DOWNHILL WHEELS for sale £45 ono. Anyone interested, phone (0347) 82426 after 6pm and ask for Donald.
HALF-PIPE FOR SALE Ring Tor on 0453 *****. (Amberley, Stroud)
SKATE VIDEOS Useless Wooden Toys £10, Death Box £10, Attack £5, Street Skating with Rob and Natas (ideal for learners) £6. All originals in perfect condition. Phone Mark 0834 811290 after 6pm (Wales)
POWELL PERALTA TONY HAWK FOR SALE Good condition, white tracker trucks, white Schmitt Stix rails and black G Bones all for £70. Quick sale needed. Phone 075 2 ***** (Cawsand, near Plymouth). All in good condition.
BOOGIE BOARD FOR SALE worth £50, sell for £30. The colour is a yellow top with coloured shapes on and a blue hard bottom. It also has a leash. Tel (0823) 279365 and ask for Kev! (Taunton).
TAMIYA SUPER SABRE RADIO CONTROLLED CAR good condition. Quick and slow chargers included. One 7.2V battery etc. Cost £160, sell for £85. Adrian S 0253 720335 (St Annes on Sea).
BAUER ROLLER BOOTS SIZE 8 Excellent condition. Laser Pro wheels, Variflex plates. £55 ono. Tel: 0492 530953 Ask for Jonny.
ATARI LYNX GAME: Someone buy my Blue Lightning game for Atari Lynx. Good graphs. £20. Ring 044 282 6574, ask for Nick. (Tring)
BOOGIE BOARD FOR SALE made out of compressed foam. Also has a safety strap attached and has two fins. It is pink and 3.5 feet by 1.5 feet and about two inches thick. Cost £40, sell for £25 or nearest offer. 0823 and ask for Adrian.
SCALEXTRICS FOR SALE over £550 worth for only £350. Will sell separately. Also: Wanted — Vision Double Kick, will pay good price. Call Keith on 0243 *****
NINTENDO GAME BOY UP FOR GRABS at a very measly 100 quid. 3 games included and four rechargeable batteries and charger only one month old!! What a dope offer! Fone Beni on 0742 ***** after 6pm
YO! PLEASE BUY MY AMSTRAD CPC 464 with joystick, monitor and about 40 games, good condition. Tel: 0827 *****, ask for Lee (Tamworth)
ZINES, MUSIC, VIDEO
‘MY INDIES WEIGH A TON’ MAGAZINE” Issue 4 out now. 25p cash + sae to M.I.W.A.T., *****, Chadwick End, Solihull, West Midlands, B93 0DB.
RALEIGH BMX v good condition, bought for £120, sell for £65. Contact Adrian (0253) *****
MONGOOSE STYLIST + 2 SKYWAYS needs hubs. Bargain at £90 ono. Roy: 0787 *****
HARO SPORT 1988/9 Excellent condition as it has hardly any use due to loss of interest. 48 spoke wheels, Bulldog brakes, Giro. £300. Jamie Repath 0621 ***** (Heybridge, Essex)
The picture at the bottom right has a poignant grimness to it. That really does sum up the idea of skaters making use of the spaces that everyone else would shun. It may look oppressive but we really had a great day there. So much stuff. I have a great fondness for that picture.
I wish we had done more in Birmingham.
I’ve also just discovered that the file still contains the notes which had been made to help us identify the skaters for captions. They were inadequate — it’s taken 16 years to put names to some of these faces.
We circled on, back up towards the Central Library for a final step session, and then everyone split up into smaller groups and headed back to different parts of the city. We’d only scratched the surface of Birmingham. We’d only been to a few of the spots in the central area and there are plenty of other little spots dotted around the middle of town. It’s an ideal skate city — good spots in a compact area, with a good sprinkling of banks, handrails and the like in the surrounding suburbs.
Like most large cities, Birmingham has so much skate stuff that it can support a whole crowd of rad street skaters who you never really get to see outside of their own area. There were so many there on that day that we could never remember who they all are, but here are some names. Our thanks to Benny, Wickhamb, Christian, Stephen Powers, Rich, Philip Hanks, Michael Fallon, Simon Carter, Sprog, Tim Jones and everyone else for showing us a rad insight into a rad city.
Benny: Grey New Deal top, grey shorts, UCLA hat
Wickhamb: Poor House long sleeve, grey trousers, Converse boots black Stussy hat
Wizzer: Yellow top, grey trousers
Christian: Black Vision top grey thtrash hat beige trousers, green board
Black New Deal hat blu blind top, Vison shoes, Stephen Powers
Richard: Brown Vision street wear top, grey trousers, green hat
Brown top grey trousers, Rich
Visin boots, hooded top, green new deal hat, Philip Hanks
Grey//wht G&S top, grey hat, black trous, Convers: Michael Fallon
Tim Jones: purpl stsu hat, black thunder ls t, glasses.
Strtw cap, deathbo hooded sweat red; Sprog
It’s not like these were all people who normally skated together: different groups from different parts of Birmingham were all sessioning the same place on this rare day. The energy level was boosted to astonishing levels. The only draw-back was the trouble deciding where to go next.
The result was a sweeping arc through the underside of the Birmingham’s notorious inner-ring road. In case you’ve never been there (or heard about it: this place is famous in its awfulness), you should know that the middle of Birmingham is dominated by the motor car. Fly-overs and elevated dual carriageways rule. Pedestrians are supposed to scurry around in underpasses — do they, heck. Yep: there’s a whole underworld there for skaters. It looks grim: the concrete’s well past its sell-by date and everywhere is covered in a layer of dirt, but you can cruise from spot to spot with absolutely zero trouble.
What do you want? Steps? Freestanding curbs? Down-hill car park curbs? Tons of them, all over the place. The curb in the car park in Moor Street was the best. What went on there is the kind of stuff you’ll only see in videos. Still pictures don’t do it justice. That rad, that fast, and that stylish — the use of curbs is an art in which Birmingham’s skaters are particularly well versed.