Skateboarding in Dundee Article from November 1989We clearly couldn’t make up our minds what to call this report on the 1989 skateboard competition at the Factory in Dundee. There’s a reference to jam in there (Dundee is famous for “jute, jam and journalism”) as well as yet another line from the film Performance (“time for a change”) and in fact the typesetting file contains several other variations.
Dundee has played an important part in the history of Scottish skateboarding and has a long tradition of BMX and skater-built facilities. The full history of The Factory Skatepark is a long and interesting one. This article is about a competition at the park when it was based on Perth Road in what has now become the DCA (Dundee Contemporary Arts) centre. [No it wasn’t! See Rick Curran’s update below. I’m confusing this with a later competition — the one Simon Evans wrote about as “Dundee Cake” perhaps. This incarnation of the Factory was the one in Arthurstone Terrace.]
As well as the purpose-built indoor skatepark, Dundee also boasts a great outdoor skatepark these days. I was there at Easter this year and gazed on it in wonder and quiet delight. Back in the days of R.a.D we would never have dreampt there would be facilities like that popping up all over the place: Livingston was still very much a one-off. Enough of that. On with the story:

Skate and Meditate

Some people had the best time. Some people felt they’d been robbed. The outcome of the dundee mini-ramp and street contest was exactly the same as any other competition. But the event itself wasn’t. After this summer’s barrage of big time pro-shows something had to change and at dundee it did. Jay podesta was there.

Just outside the centre of Dundee a dusty old council owned factory sits. This conveniently large building supports one of the biggest mini ramps in Britain — 28 feet wide, with a spine, roll-through and a 10 feet wide high sections. The ramp sits in an area which could hold another two to three ramps of the same size, combined with a street area just as big — there’s thousands of square feet of floor space. Skaters have squatted the building for some time, building up the amount of obstacles inside, so locals Barclay and Craig decided that a fun competition would be best way to draw attention to the expanding facilities.
They had no big money sponsorship to attract a lot of different skaters, so the idea of team competition, with a slant toward local rivalries, seemed the best substitute. Each team consisted of five skaters, with the four highest scoring skaters counting toward the final team score. Street and ramp were the two events and Saturday was the day it all began.

Chimp emerged the winner from all the mayhem. But the mayhem, not the winning was the point.
Lines counted for more than ‘tricks’ here, but Lonnergan’s frontside air from high to low would have rated anywhere.