When We Was Rad:
Skateboard History from UK Vintage Magazine

When Freestyle BMX started to get real: Greg Guillotte and Tim Ruck’s Invert Series

Greg Guillotte, Jason Ellis, Tim Ruck - Chingford 1988Everything here looks the same as before when you study the details in that overview picture. But I have a feeling things were beginning to change. Skateboarding was taking off again and BMX was about to undergo another transformation. This was the start of something different. In retrospect, I wish we had found more space for this over the years.

Nick Philip provided the words.

What do you want to know about the Chingford bike jam? Think: think of a question, and, using my inter-rider-related powers of ESP, I’ll answer it before your very eyes…

The answer to your question is… Yes, yes he did.

Amazing, hey! — You don’t seem too impressed. Well, let me expand. Bikes are many things to many people. I sometimes think that riding is one of the best things in the world because, like art, it is an expression not just defined by what you do but just as much by what you don’t do. The method, the means and the medium. You create an action and by doing this, by making it yours, you state that at this precise second in your life this is what you want to do. SO DO IT.

The riders at the Chingford Jam wanted to ride, so they rode. The jam was the second rider organised half-pipe jam in the UK and the first in the ‘INVERT’ series organised by Tim Ruck and Greg Guillotte. Sponsorship came from M-Zone, Swatch, Stussy, and Gordon & Smith: these guys put money into it so that’s cool. Paul Wright had resurfaced the whole ramp and added a low section with the same transition as the rest of the ramp, but with about a foot and a half cut off. Faze 7 funded that, which is cool too.

The low section was killer for lip tricks of course and surprisingly good for airs. The locals were jamming 5 – 6 feet airs with rad variations from transitions which were way under-vert. Some even making 540s.

The turnout was good: about 300 people, most with their bikes. When that kind of quantity are gathered together by one ramp it’s a LOT of bikes. The platforms had to be cleared as lip tricks were to be expected. Talking of lips, the stickers were out in force. There are some happening zine stickers these days. So much so that five minutes after the jam the lip was completely stripped of all but one type of sticker.

2 responses to “When Freestyle BMX started to get real: Greg Guillotte and Tim Ruck’s Invert Series”

Leave a Reply

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