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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

Parkland Walk Skateboard Competition (Part 3)

Report on Parkland Walk Skateboard Competition

This report even ended with the details of how to add your voice to the campaign to save the Walk. I wonder whether anyone did. The good news is that it’s still there. There’s a good section on the Parkland Walkway on the Derelict London website.

Straight after this came the A group with the same number of runs and rebates. Pete Dossett and Jason Lunn had turned up, but decided to sit this one out. They judged, along with new London resident, Lija, and Neasden local, Neil. The two runs passed without much fuss and it was soon over. The results were a fair indicator of how everyone skated, and even if they weren’t nobody really cared because they’d all had a good time. Seventh place was occupied by Eddie. He could not get it together on this day, bailing the high madonnas and liens which he can usually pull without problem. Joint sixth place went to Matt Sanchez and Bugs. Matt turned up rather late in the day and had very little practice but did himself credit with rather nice disasters. Bugs showed what he can do with stylish layback rollouts and frontside 50/50’s. Leggy ground his way into fifth with alley ooped back side Smiths, stand-up grinds and feebles.

The top four was quite a close thing. Continue Reading »

Issue 81 November 1989 &Skateboard Competitions timlb 09 May 2006 7 Comments

Crouch End Skateboard Competition

Story about skateboard competition in Crouch End

This is an example of skateboarders getting involved with the local community to try to prevent the destruction of a public space. The competition was staged as one of many events to draw attention to the threat the build a road along the line of the green walkway:

The ramp’s in a disused railway cutting which has found new life as the Parkland Walk. It stretches for over three miles between Alexandra Palace and Finsbury Park in North London, providing a precious piece of greenland, recycled once already from another age of transport — that of the railway branch line.

In December 1986 the Department of Transport produced a report stating that London traffic was too great and claiming that public transport was inadequate to cope. Instead of addressing the problem directly by investing in a better public transport system and converting people to use it, they commissioned a report to look at the general state of London traffic, to come up with new options and specific proposals. Once these proposals were made public this year, it came to light that the Parkland Walk was definitely a target. Continue Reading »

Issue 81 November 1989 &Skateboard Competitions timlb 08 May 2006 3 Comments

Crouch End Skateboard Ramp – A Green Issue in 1989

Article about Crouch End Ramp 1989This article about the ramp in Crouch End speaks of it being under threat of demolition back in 1989. I walked past it a few months ago at the end of 2005 and it was still there and as damp as ever in the winter. “Jay Podesta” is credited as the writer as well as photographer. This was a bumper issue for him.


by Jay Podesta

There hasn’t been a competition at Crouch End since the ramp was built. But the competition at the end of September wasn’t a late celebration of its opening _ it was prompted by fear for its future. The ground the ramp sits on is threatened land. Threatened by the Department of Transport who would see fit to put a six lane elevated motorway through the railway cutting the ramp sits in.

Bleasdale adopts the green stance with a nose-pick

Ray Kurtis made a competetive debut with styley eco-Smiths

Issue 81 November 1989 timlb 07 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

Where to skateboard in Britain, 1989 style

Where to skateboard in Britain 1989 styleThe Where? guide is an example of something which seemed emphemeral at the time (a list of skateboard street spots, for Heaven’s sake) and likely to fade away forever apart from a lingering life in a few fading copies of an old magazine. The content had been built up over many years of involvement in skateboarding, starting in 1978, and had moved from system to system. It began on paper, but soon moved to a succession of computer formats. This post was on 5.25″ DOS floppies. Later it would move to Mac format for a while. And there it might have ended.
In fact this information moved online in 1994, turned into Knowhere and took on a new and much bigger life. It burst into a new, unexpected, form and has carried on growing ever since. Far from decaying when I had no time to maintain it and migrate it from format to format, the Knowhere guide moved into an era where the maintenance could become communal and (not forgetting the loving state51 labour) automated.

For me there are parallels between this and what’s happening now with pictures grabbed on telephones and uploaded onto systems like Flickr and what happened (getting back to skateboarding) with the launch of cheap camcorders (think H Street) after the initial ‘traditional media’ steps in the birth of skateboard videos.

Enough of that! Back to the guide… This edition included a letter on the subject of Canvey Island (included to encourage more updates as well as for the information) as well as the more normal listings:


Canvey Island mini-ramp is total crap!! The one you mention in ‘Where?’ leaves out some important facts that I think you may be interested in including. The first is that the metal surface has no ply underneath. This means big noise! The second is that the ramp is around 5 1/2 feet high but has trannies that nearly go to vert! Thirdly, the coping sticks out a mile. Finally it’s a great hang-out for casuals and big headed tossers who think they are pros because they can drop in. It also takes ages to dry.

Even though that ramp is a pile of shit, there is the Gunney which is rad if there’s no rubbish, so still include it in ‘Where?’. There are also banks here and there, so keep an eye out. There’s also a secret mini in Southend and maybe another soon. I think there’s a half-pipe as well, but I’m not sure.



? [P] MINI Near Quantock Gateway Inn off Quantock Road 5′ transitions, 1′ vert, 12′ flat. Width uncertain, and vert statistic a matter for speculation in the office. Go to the orchard at the back of the pub and seek out Jamie Mason or Butch (Adrian). Stu
Continue Reading »

Issue 81 November 1989 timlb 05 May 2006 No Comments

Where? (to skateboard in the UK)

Where to Skateboard in the UK November 1989This excerpt from the guide to skate spots in Britain makes a feature of the Pioneer Club in St Albans, which was to become one of our favourite haunts for a while. The issue of whether or not to name certain street spots comes uo, with Neasden Pool outed (now that it had been filled in). That’s a problem which still exists today and has probably got worse. There’s a fine balance between spreading the word and wrecking a place by telling too many people about it.


More minis, more minis, and a few updates — nothing too dramatic this month. A couple of people have written in asking why we don’t list certain notorious street spots. Answer? They’re also notorious busts, so we think it’s better to leave them to the locals who know what the score is and what times to avoid, rather than encourage hundreds of sans clues to flock to the spot screw it up.

One of those was the empty open air swimming pool in Neasden, north London. That’s now filled with earth, not because of the skating, but Continue Reading »

Issue 81 November 1989 timlb 04 May 2006 No Comments

Dundee Factory Skatepark Competition 1989 (Part 5)

Last page of report on 1989 Dundee skateboard competition

Reporting on skateboard competitions is never easy. There’s a feeling that you ought to be writing about the skating, because it’s a competition, when so often the stuff going on around the event seems more interesting. I suspect we were always happier about trying to share the experience, rather than list the tricks and dish out name-checks.

More refugees from the team event were Team Team members Fred, Nassa, and Chris Lonnergan. They knew what was going on and were aiming for the final. Fred proceeded with speed as did Nassa: he was racing around the ramp throwing in the fast 50/50s. Chris Lonnergan’s rides had many difficult tricks as well as some speed, but somehow he ended up a bit lost in the expanse of the ramp.
Steve McAuslan was skating well all weekend, skating with aggression as well as a good grasp of the difficult mini-ramp tricks. Mad Snoz turned up from Leeds and entered into the weekend’s spirit with fervour, doing some difficult stuff in all the events although a final place would not be for him. Rocker turned up on the Saturday and a lot of people reckoned the result was cut and dried — he’s got such a large trick repertoire. But his skating didn’t contain the elements the judges were looking for, and he didn’t make the final.


The judges for this event had changed slightly. The format was a preliminary round followed quickly by the final. A lot of different areas were represented. There was more of that localised rivalry and therefore the results could have had a bit more relevance to the actual skating, tricks and so forth. That’s how it seems with hindsight based on the difficulties the competitors had in grasping the final positions.
There were a lot of entrants, many skating in their first competition. Snod made his mark even though he didn’t make the top three. He was noticed because he had what Deeter would say was a good (sic) gimmick: although Sunday he abandoned the sleeping bag he’d skated in on the day before. Other members of the Boils’n’Warts Team made strong attacks on the ramp, along with younger members of Team Omelette. Individuals from the Factory Sensibles team also made their a mark. Not to be out done, Continue Reading »

Issue 81 November 1989 &Skateboard Competitions timlb 03 May 2006 4 Comments

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