80’s Zine Archive: Death Zone #1

Death Zone zine from Germany

Again, from the collection of John Drummond. This time it’s the premier issue of Germany’s Death Zone, dating back to June of 1985. It cost 1,50 dm, however much that was. Interesting to note the address inside the cover, it said Gütersloh West Germany. I never really thought about about skateboarding in a divided Germany. Sure, we all knew about Claus Grabke (…and speaking of) but seeing the word “West” made me sit back and take notice.

Death Zone Magazine

Death Zone #1 sprang pretty much fully conceptualized from the heads of it’s creators. They aren’t listed in a masthead, but from the names at the end of individual articles, it appears to be the work of Magnus Nanneson, Uli Niewoehner, Markus Rieger and Claus Grabke, with additional photos from Markus Rieger, Ralf Middendorf and Morten Frodin. Death Zone is nicely printed in black and white with a two color cover. Issue one already has a masthead logo and unified title graphics. Almost all the text is typewritten and there is very little hand drawing in there.

The content is pretty much exclusively vert ramp action, with the exception of a selection of almost street spots deemed “disappointments” because they have things like banks that don’t drop all the way to the flat, leaving a gap. Ironically, they actually build spots like that on purpose in some skateparks these days. There is also a short section of ditch skating.

One thing very much on the minds of the creators, the U.S. skateboarding industry’s involvement in promoting and sponsoring skaters in Europe, and it’s not all positive. Also very interesting, an editorial Death Zone Says:

…fake skaters are:

People who once skated back in ’78 and now want to buy one of your used decks becasue “It’s happenin’ again Dude!”

People who tell you not to touch their brand new day-glow fish-tail becasue “it might look ugly when it’s scratched!”

People who have never skated alone.

Then it goes on to say:

Due to some strange reasons some guys keep thinking that more and more humans should start to skate, so that one day there will be a big skate-population on Earth… “Death Zone” asks: What for? we skate for ourselves. We don’t want to share our spots with persons in Adidas-tracksuits and a soccer attitude…

Ha! Sounds like it was written in 2004!

Death Zone #1 Read it!

Date: June 1985
From: Gütersloh, West Germany
Pages: 28

Featuring: Andreas “Frosch” Gartner, Soren Aby, Martin Van Doren, Bruno Peeters, Markus Meyer. Massimo Van der Plas, Mathias Bauer, Robby Butner, Uli Niewoehner, Pom Fritz, Elger Butner, Ralf Middendorf, Stefan Grohe, Martin Wagner, Florian Boehm, Nicky Guerrero, Magnus Nanneson, B. Dittmann, Lance Mountain, Claus Grabke, John Codrington

Spots: Tropica, Swedish Skateboard Camp, Helsinge ramp, Gütersloh ditch.

Check out Death Zone #1

UPDATE: Comments moved to the gallery.


  1. PRBL on May 28, 2008 -

    Eurodorks, all of them, especially Martin Van Doren, Uli Niewoehner and Bruno Peters…hahahahaha

  2. Steve on May 29, 2008 -

    1.50DM is about 45cents. Never was a big Gerry fan, but Bruno Peters was a skatebuddy of mine, which makes me a Eurodork too I guess? Ah well….so be it

  3. t-roy on May 29, 2008 -

    Livmo Doh?

  4. Livmo on May 29, 2008 -

    Dohn Drummond is a Eurodork

  5. Oops. Fixed it. Sorry “Dhon”

    I am a Neuroyerd.

  6. Martin Wagner on July 15, 2011 -

    Ohne das wäre ich nicht wer ich jetzt bin.
    (Foundation of my presents)

    • talentlessquitter on July 16, 2011 -

      Ich höre dich!

      …@Steve: Must have been more than 45 cents (which cents anyway?). I think it was a few dollars.

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