When We Was Rad:
Skateboard History from UK Vintage Magazine

More Vintage BMX, Nick Philip, Zak Shaw

Zak Shaw, Nick Philip, Chingford BMX Ramp 1988Nick Philip at work stickering the ramp with Anarchic Adjustment stickers back in 1988, before taking it to America. Zak Shaw looks on as local offers up a loco Twist from low to high…

slithering back in whenever and wherever he wished. He used the whole of the ramp with no holds barred: carving Bone-air, jamming Saran type things, snapping aggro Inverts on the other side then back for a tech¬nical lip manoeuvre on the other wall. Even if he hadn’t thrown in all the variations, watching him butcher the ramp with his carves would have been enough for me. Mental! Ever since his days of channel jumping at Meanwhile Greg Guillotte has been a gnarly risk-taker, and his performance at Chingford was no exception. Pure energy.

The A group was decidedly under-staffed. It consisted of Graham Marfleet, Greg Guillotte and Jason Ellis. Mike Canning, Scot Carol, Lee Reynolds and company were all absent. This didn’t affect the intensity of the action but only the length of time it lasted. Graham Marfleet is really pushing the limits these days and making some waves: he’s been around for ever but now people are starting to take notice. Lips, air contortion and street are where he is strong. Graham’s runs centred around airs from the high section to the low section — gnarly variations like X-down One Footer, Double Can-cans, One-hand One-footers and tweako Look-backs. The Lip was in there also: he did one Front-wheel Hop-drop where his foot flailed but he regained control and made it. Crowd elated, rider stoked: Marfleet tore — he stays on.

Greg Guillotte had the over-vert section wired: airs 8 feet out, swinging double variations like No-footers to Turn-downs, BIG Inverts, One-handed Turn-downs — and he was SMOOTH. He has the best compressing and carving lines and he gave the lip mammoth amounts of abuse with stuff like low to high Chain-ring Rock’n’Rolls to Air in, low to high No-foot Jumps on to the platform and Disasters two feet out. Greg’s completely at home on the lip, jumping out C Group riders with a lot of bail-age going on. But there were also killer variations like double Can-can to Rocket in there around and above the lip. Zak was attempting twists out of the low section which was a real stoke.

The atmosphere was laid back, as it always is at that ramp. Everything was very mellow: the sun was saying hello and a knowledgeable, sizeable crowd was kicking back. There was a good healthy attitude on the platforms too. Everyone was en¬couraged to enter by Tim Ruck, event organiser and rider: his painless organisation and ex-ecution of the event made the whole thing come together.

Jason Ellis had been doing some dorkey stuff early in the day, but during his run dorking was the last thing he was doing. He was serious! Ellis has just got the raddest style. Everything works for him: he’s smooth, fast, aggressive, fluid, tweaked and high. He’s a pleasure to watch. He throws his GT all over the place, landing everything smoothly just below the coping ready for his pump and his next air. Jason’s variations included Back-cans, No-foot X-ups, Hand-can Can-cans, blistering Griz Airs, unholy Inverts, Clicked Turn-downs, Double Can-cans, Candy-bars, and Invert One-footers. He was shredding. He also did his patented front peg Drop-ins but his airs were his strength. With his uniform on Jason Ellis looks tike an over aggressive Josh White; he’s definitely one of the best vert riders we have.

As the jam drew to a close I was pleased to note that there were few major slams. Greg had a harsh 540° but got up unhurt. He won, maybe because Ellis was very tired on his tast run. The fatigue factor was impor¬tant on this occasion: with so few A Group riders the gap between runs was very short.

T Shirts and cheques were handed out as prizes and the crowd drifted over to the pad-dling pool for the customary jam circle. Phil Dolan per-formed. The talk was of the jam and of plans for the next day — riding plans that is.

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