During ’82/‘83 Thrasher mag had taken over as the skater’s bible, but the newsprint format and dull black and white photos weren’t exactly inspiring, even if the new generation skating itself by Cab, Lance, etc was rad. Another new mag, Transworld Skateboarding, got back some of the earlier pizzazz of Skateboarder mag and the arty layouts and photography were good enough to win several awards. 

Transworld gave up a bit of the punker/underground attitude, but seemed to herald a new legitimacy for modern skating heading into the mid 80’s. 

I’m not sure at what point skating began to get it’s spark back, but for me, it was at one of the rare Melton comp days. Borgy’s atrocious punk band was bashing out a tuneless din out the front of the pro shop, and Johnny and Russell were handing around the latest copy of Transworld (“The Trick”) which featured Mike McGill’s first McTwist. 

Along with the invention of the ollie air in ‘79, here was another example of something that you had probably day dreamed about for years and written off as absolutely impossible, and it had just become fact. 



Ben - BS Kickturn

Middle Park Ramp

Sometime in ‘83/84, two brothers from Glen Waverley, “Joe 90” and Ben, constructed what was probably the best back yard half pipe up to that time. It had largish trannies, perfect hardwood coping and something quite new - a spacious platform on one side, the other just having some extra vert. 

The platform was big enough to accommodate a large  comfy couch so your mates could kick back and watch the action at eye level.  

Joe 90 was a vert roller skater, his mentor being Harold Ludorf who lived just down the road. “Ludy” was a bit of a local legend – a bulky, gentle giant who could throw full on backflips out of, and back into Ringwood’s enormous bowl. Joe’s elder brother, Ben, came into skating quite late, but quickly mastered extended handplants and lofty airs on his own ramp. 

I first met John at one of the few ramps going at the time, on top of the Middle Park yacht club. An excellent perch for babe watching, this smallish quarter pipe was built by Obie, BJ and some other locals with connections to Surf Dive Melbourne. It had a vert extension on one side and a 6 or 7 foot high section on the other which just came to vert. 

These guys were part of new guard in local skating. Sort of surf punks with slashy, new school moves. 

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