When We Was Rad:
Skateboard History from UK Vintage Magazine

How to be the World’s Greatest Street Skater — In 30 Days!

How to be the world's greatest street skater.

This was one of my favourite Gavin Hills articles in R.a.D. In fact it remains one of my favourite pieces in the whole history of the magazine. Pure self-indulgence on my part…

Gavin based this on Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty’s brilliant book, The Manual: How to Have a Number One Hit the Easy Way, step by step instructions for creating a hit record. Use the link to read the reviews on Amazon if you want to find out more about it.

As with the original, the instructions are completely believable. The only difference being that the KLF did make hit records, but Gavin never actually won the street comp in Munster — though he did many other surprising things in that town.

In the summer of 91 just about the coolest thing to be would be the world’s greatest street skater. Imagine your delight if you got first place at the Münster World Cup. If you obey the following instructions it will be you coming first — and all in 30 days. This is not a con: it’s a process of self discovery. You can do it. You can be that skater. Read on…
This year the Münster World Cup takes place between the 18th and the 21st of July, so this plan should be put into effect on June 22nd and must be followed in every detail.
Day 1: Saturday, 22nd June. Go to your nearest skate shop and purchase the following: Useless Wooden Toys, Not the New H Street Video (although if there are any newer videos with lots of street, buy them instead), the latest Transworld and the latest R.a.D.
Do not worry about any cost incurred: your 1st prize cheque will cover these expenses and more in 30 days time. Tell everyone in the shop that you’re going to be the world’s best street skater next month. They will laugh, and so will you: at this stage you’ll think you’re playing a game in a magazine. You are, but this is a game with a winner — you.
Go home; spend Saturday night however you wish.
Day 2: Sunday, 23rd June. Go skating with your usual skate friends, session your local spots, relax. As the day draws to an end tell everyone that they won’t be seeing you for a while — you’re going to win Münster. Ride off meaningfully into the distance.
Set your alarm for 7.00 am.
Day 3: Monday, 24th June. Get up, open the window, breath the air in through your mouth and out through your nose. Marvel at the sun and the morning sky. You can do it. (I’m afraid however that you will need a certain level of physical fitness. But the standard is low: ten press-ups followed by ten sit-ups should do it. These you must do every morning from now on.)
Place a video recorder and tv in your room. Put a chair four feet in front of it. Sit on the chair with your feet placed on your deck. Watch the videos you purchased. Watch them again and again. While you watch, your feet will be dying to play with your deck. You must resist. This will be a torture but must be endured. Your mind will be in agony: you’re watching some of the raddest skating ever seen and your brain will be automatically sending signals to your feet and hands — Grab! Pop! No! You must resist: you must watch the tapes again and again.
Learn. Your chair is a cage, your room a prison, the television a torturer, the deck your ball and chain. When you’ve gone beyond exhaustion, turn the telly off, lay your deck in your bed, lay down. Lights out.
Day 4: Tuesday, 25th June. Today it’s back to skating. Today you try everything. Today you get up and skate everything and everywhere to the point of exhaustion. Today you relieve yesterday’s tensions.
Try everything you can remember three times or more. Kickflip handrails, Ollies to nose wheelies over picnic tables — that sort of thing. Today you get demoralised, dishevelled and degraded. You see your current limitations. You realise you are not as they are on the videos — yet.
Go home, have a bath, go to bed. You will not be skating again for three days. (This will come to seem a blessing.)
Days 5-7: Wednesday 26th – Friday 28th June Now the regime really starts. for the next three days you’re going to be watching your videos and reading your magazines. You’re going to train your mind. You’re going to analyse each frame. You’re going to write down every

Next Page: How to be the Worlds Greatest Street Skater – Get up and Skate Everywhere to the Point of Exhaustion

6 responses to “How to be the World’s Greatest Street Skater — In 30 Days!”

  1. I remember reading this article… Great stuff and totally different from what a lot of other skate magazines were doing at the time as well.
    Great shot of Tony at South Bank too.

    R.I.P. Gavin.

  2. Probably different from what most skate magazines ever do. Perhaps we weren’t a “real skateboard magazine” after all? (Gavin was accused of not being a “real” skateboarder.)

  3. Hi Will!

    Yes, I’m fine, thank you. How about you?

    Your comment about the picture of Tony makes me think how doing this project, with only one page appearing per week (or not, as the case may be) makes me notice things that I might not have done originally. Pictures like that one get a chance to be appreciated again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *