Bridge launch ramp and/or bank in Chicago. Watch out for those bolts. Someone point me to a skate photo of a spot like this.
I stumbled upon this skatepark while visiting Chicago recently. These things (new skateparks) happen when you move away from a city for 15 years or so. This street plaza-style park is much more interesting than this panorama photo may lead you to believe. I’m standing on top of a wall that is maybe 10 feet tall. Under my feet and out of view for the most part, are the assorted transitions and banks that butt up against the wall. The panorama makes everything seem more spread out than the reality, but it is a pretty expansive park. There was not much going on there during my accidental visit, but it looks fun.
Here’s an excellent time capsule of skateboard harassment from a local Springfield Illinois news channel concerning a proposed ban on skateboarding downtown. Local business and civic leaders speak out against “skateboard terrorists” in advance of the ban, which ultimately passed. The video was digitized from a decrepit old VHS tape, so there are tracking issues and the sound doesn’t always sync right, but it’s still a good watch. One of the skateboarders makes a reasonable request for a public skatepark to serve the needs of the population, and they did get one after only 25 years.
– Thanks to Nick Rudd for the tip.
House of Neil spotted this not-made-for-skate terrain outside Macy’s in Schaumburg. Looks… like so much fun, and not even marked yet. Let the countdown to skatestoppers begin.
In the second half of the 80’s I bought a barely used set of Pro Designed knee pads from local Champaign-Urbana skater Martin Pelequin. “The Mertster” as he liked to call himself, was a colorful character to say the least, almost a miniature version of Steven Tyler in appearance and behavior. Skinny, and around five foot tall and some change, he definitely overbought these double capped kneepads that he had custom made with blue denim and leopard skin lycra. They looked and felt like hockey goalie kneepads on him, so he sold them to me at a substantial discount. I rode these kneepads until the early 90’s when I loaned them to a friend in Chicago, ironically to play outdoor hockey. He accidentally left one behind and so I never had a full set again. I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the remaining one. One of my cats peed on it at some point this millennia, and I’m still having a hard time sending it to a landfill. The cat has long since run away. I’ve got a couple pics of the Mertster after the jump.
I just reached the big 4-0 so I figured I would see what 40 tricks I could pull off on our mini-ramp last night. Warning: there are no McTwists or flip tricks in this video. I am really not much of a Birthday person but if you want to give me a gift come by and buy yourself something nice from the shop.
– Thanks to Tim Jamison for the tip.
So far my alma mater is famous for two things, the birthplace of the fictional self-aware computer Hal 9000, and the place where internet browsers were invented. And now the University of Illinois is pushing the Corn board, a composite material made from the husks and stalks of corn plants. Think of it as a replacement for particle board. Something you could build houses and miniramps out of, and well, skateboards. Technically, longboards, and just the core. It seems like you could stuff just about anything in the core of longboards, even Bonite! I’ll be impressed when they can make a shortboard out of that stands up to Canadian Maple. Actually, I’m impressed by the recycling bit. It would be great to cut down on wood consumption, although I thought particle board was already made from discarded bits of wood used to make other things. Unless anyone is specifically cutting down trees to make particle board, it’s not really going to save anything. Is it really “green” to take something that would otherwise decompose and turn it into something that won’t? The Daily Illini (The “student” newspaper run by a privately owned media company) has an article with some of the development story and an excellent misrepresentation of Christian Hosoi as a “professional longboarder.” Hosoi has signed on to the company for a forthcoming signature model. I think I would have pooped in my Life’s a Beach Elroy Jetson shorts had Christian Hosoi signed to a skateboard company from the same town as the school I was failing because I was skateboarding too much.
– Thanks to OCD Kyle for the tip.
So this isn’t the first time the Stepe brothers have appeared in a Shot of the Week. This shot was circa 1985 at the Stepe brothers ramp in East Peoria, Il. It was used in an article titled “The Skateboarding Stepe Brothers.” That’s Chopper holding the skateboard as extension and Barry on the backside. Who are the Stepe Brothers? Founding members of the hardcore scene in Illinois. Said Barry:
The ramp was the old Stepe Brother Ramp in East Peoria, actually. Brad (AKA Dr Brad here on S&A) used to rip it up all the time. We even had a punk concert on the flatbed once with the Not (From Boston) and the cops showed up about three times. We were slam dancing around the ramp. Then the PA started smoking and caught fire – that was it for punk rock on our Ramp. Our dog, Spanky, used to Fakie along with us on the ramp all the time. He had no problem making it up to the platform either.
Check out the Shot of The Week and a cool bonus shot from the cover of the Illinois State University newspaper, circa 86.
This little piece of perfection can be yours. All you need is $1500, and maybe 4-8 more of these because it’s only four feet wide. The best part is, it was built for BMX. Holy cow. It’s in Mokena, IL. I think that other horribly crappy ramp for sale that we featured was in Illinois too. Remember that one? I can’t find it. At least this one looks really, really well built. It has a the smell of something built by a well meaning but clueless parent. I can imagine the surprise on the kid’s face. “Gee, uh, thanks Dad.” Where else but eBay? Craig’s list, maybe.