11 July 2008

SK8ING SUMMER 87-90ish

THE RCWG TEAM (Don't ask):
Back in 87ish bunch of friends and I clubbed together for the mission of building our very own and very massive vert Skateboarding ramp in the back paddock at my parents house. There were seven of us in total:

Steve Payne
his brother Andy Payne
Me, Neil Stevens
Richy Sidle
Jason ?
and Big John

Steve's 99p, all you can eat, 70s decorated, fry up cafe was a very big hit.

Weekend 1. and the dance floor for the new rave only night club was really coming together.

We all invested £250 to buy wood, nails, screws, paint and so on, we ordered some ramp plans from Thrasher magazine and off we went. Some of us just put in money and helped with the build as and when passable. Some of us were there from start to finish. It was hard work with lots of blisters and splinter, I even stood on a nail but after about six weeks of solid building and lot of trips to the demolition yard for reclaimed timber there it stood our ramp, ready to skate.

The concept for grass boarding was strong but there were problems with the plywood sail.

Giving the project some scale, Steve gave homage to the holy vert ramp.

We told Richy that the ramp was finished. He was not happy.

Sunday morning, about 930 after a full English breaky and a late night, early morning of clubbing. Not a good start but oh well "Dropping in"!

This was a big ramp by most standers. It had 8ft transitions with 1ft of vert. The ramp was 20ft wide and the whole thing was 40ft from transition to transition. The neighbors wondered what we were building, we told them it was a church and they believed us, That's how big it was.

Steve front side air. This is early days. Steven used to grab after clinking off the coping. Very cool.

Neil hand planting off the coping for the first time. this was a great feeling.

Now all we had to do was learn how to ride a ramp that big.
We had all ridden ramps before and some bigger but we were all real beginners but after a couple of excellent Sunday afternoon sessions, things started to fall into place. Friends from all over the country used to come down at weekends to ride it. We had BBQ parties magazines used to come down to do photo shoots. We even rode BMX on it. All very, very good fun.

Gary and one of his patent pending front side grind.
That's a barbed wire fence in the background. Health and safety was not what it could have been.

Steve was only to pleased to show the French that he still had his bow fingers after the battle of Agincourt.

We all remember the big storm in September 1987. The one that the weather guy said wasn't coming and then blew all the trees down and caused all that damage, yea our ramp survived that only to be fully blown over in another big storm the year later. Our beloved ramp lay there with a broken back for a year I think, until one Saturday morning Gary's day arrived with a JCB to push it back on its feet again. It took us most of the summer to repair the old boy but now he was back and ready for more.

After his beef burger, Neil found that most of the tomato sauce had dripped down his arm. "Nice'

Front side air in the bowl at Slades Farm skate park.

Back side air and funky 70s disco fashion sense at Weymouth mini ramp.
The locals looked on, unimpressed.

The Weymouth ramp was obviously the place for front side airs and sweaty pits then.

Neil considered the pool and saw that it was dry. Romford skatepark.

A friend, Adam, asked me "What ever happened to that ramp you had in your back garden"?
In the end the ramp started to get a bit tatty, wholes started to appear and with every winter it would look a little more worse for wear.
The were-for-all to fix it was all but gone now. Some of us had girl friends now and were doing other things so in the end, the old boy just rotted back into the ground. There is a compost heap and stinging nettles there now, an unfitting monument to some very cool skate sessions.

RELATED LINKS:http://www.thrashermagazine.com


  1. Your story of building the 'big' ramp is identical to ours, learning big ramp tricks and losing it to the second storm!! Wierd! Ours was called Billy's Ramp, check it on FB.

    Thanks for the Blog.


  2. Thanks for the comments but I've tried to find Billy's Ramp on Facebook with no luck, I'm afraid.