GOING UNDERGROUND (AGAIN)
DOWNHILL ALL THE WAY
Huey - Ollie Layback
In the years 1976 to 1980, skating in Australia slowly evolved from it’s post craze, die-hards only period, to reach relatively wide mainstream recognition. Skating’s growth was influenced by the numerous local skate teams, a ton of new commercial and council skateparks and the prominent U.S. based skate magazines. As well as the skater’s bible –“Skateboarder” mag, there were other later titles such as “Skateboard World ” and “Wild World of Skateboarding” (the last title being complete crap, by the way).
It was almost getting to the point where being a skateboarder was cool again, mainly because early vert riding had a lot of the wow factor that would later be associated with action sports like freestyle motorcross.
The mainstream media had picked up on the new vert moves such as airs, ollies and hand plants -
- tricks which were taking the sport to previously unimagined levels. Just as the major U.S. pros of the early 80’s looked set for full rock star status.....
....a combination of factors contributed to skating’s rapid demise and fade into obscurity.
Whether it just happened to coincide with the downfall of skating in the U.S. or not, local skateboarding also died for the third time around in 1981.
In the U.S., virtually all the commercial skateparks went belly up in 1981-82, following a string of very expensive insurance claims by “babies” whose parents refused to accept any responsibility for their kid’s broken limbs. All three U.S. skate mags also closed up shop, with Skateboarder mutating briefly into “Action Now”. This was a pretty piss weak attempt to broaden the mag’s appeal by covering a range of “action sports” like downhill BMX, early snowboarding and even vert rollerskating. Needless to say, skaters shunned it and soon it too folded, after getting skimpier and progressively less focused or relevant.