Norm Edwards - Layback Air

Youth Club

In Victoria, the failure of a large number of oversized council – built “kink pit” skateparks served to dim any enthusiam for throwing good money after bad. The few commercial skate ventures had also closed their doors.

Skating inevitably entered another series of “dark years” between ’81 and ’85. 

Although few people actually gave up skating, there seemed to be the general feeling that skating had already seen it’s heyday, and that work, women and surfing might be more “adult” pursuits. As crowds diminished at local skate spots, so too did the fun sessioning and any “vibe” along with them. 

There were, off course, some pockets of activity keeping the faithful skating, such as the Springvale’s Youth Club ramp, and sporadic sessioning at Ringwood or Corio. To my knowledge, the Youth Club ramp had virtually the only active, consistent skate scene throughout ’82 and ’83. The hot locals were Terry Probin, Dave McDowell, Paddy McAllister, Arnie Paras and of course John McGrath. The Youth Club ramp had a 45 degree roll in section on one side, was about 9 feet deep, wide and smooth with plenty of flat and definitely more advanced than the more makeshift local ramps at the time. 

Russell Morrisson - Youth Club

photo: Gustke

For some reason, about the only other place that was being sessioned regularly was Bulleen’s shallow downhill channel run. Bulleen was ridiculously easy to ride and certainly no substitute for vert, but it fitted well with the underground/ street punk phase that skating was going through. Bullen sessions tended to be rowdy and fun, with fast carving , aerial exits and long slides being the order of the day. Safety gear was swapped for studs and stove piped jeans, and goofing around seemed to be more fun than learning tricks anyway. 

Russell Morrisson - Youthclub

photo: Gustke

Local Melbourne skating really had slowed to a trickle by late 1982. 

I think we kept looking to the Sydney guys for some inspiration, as they always seemed to have more in the way of quality terrain. North Ryde in Sydney was challenging if a bit weird, Peppermint Park in Port Macquarie was the road trip destination for the hardcore Sydney skaters, and a new capsule bowl at Skateworld on the Gold Coast also warranted some looking into, but of course these locations should be covered on some local guy’s website.  

Aside from these occasional trips, skating pretty much seemed to be stuck in the doldrums through to 1984.

Terry - Rock n Roll




Back To Top




MOSS Foundation