Photo: Paul Gonella
A few weeks ago our very own Southsea Skatepark saw it’s 40th anniversary, with celebrations taking place throughout the weekend of the 16th and 17th of June. There was a series of comps running over the two day event, with the Shut Up and Skate vert contest, Snake Run slalom sessions, a Bored of Southsea game of S.K.A.T.E, Strong Island miniramp contest and best trick jams. John Nicholas and Dread City Skates set up an old school memorabilia display that featured loads of incredible shots from the skateparks golden era, with local legends like Mark Abrook, Barry Abrook, Gary Lee and Sue Hazel as well as a whole host of visiting US pros, vintage boards, magazines and equipment.
Alex Griffiths – lofty lien air. Photo: Paul Scott
For those who don’t know Southsea Skatepark is one of the oldest surviving skateparks in the country, starting as a rollerskating rink under the bandstand in the 1930’s. Then as a result of the skateboarding craze hitting the UK in the seventies the local authorities added a series of bowls, moguls and a snake run and officially opened its doors in June 1978.
Photo: Paul Gonella
Over Southsea’s four decades in existence the park has hosted some of the worlds most iconic and best skaters, as well as legendary tours and competitions like the epic Bones Brigade tours and Shut Up and Skate competitions of the late eighties and early nineties. Names such as Tony Hawk, Steve Cabellero, Lance Mountain, Mark Gonzales, John Cardiel, Tommy Guerrero, Jeff Grosso, Ed Templeton, Tom Penny and many more have visited the park over the years.
Phil Russell – feeble grind. Photo: Paul Scott
Also adding to the festivities was the re-opening of the Spoon Bowl which was one of the skateparks original features, but had additions made to it back in 1990 that have since fallen in to disrepair and deemed it unuseable. That was until locals Sam Tuffnell and Dan Dyer took on the incredible task of returning the bowl to its original form, with only a handful of old photos to work from and all done in their spare time. Good work lads.
Matthew Grey sampling the fruits of The Duffnell Project’s regeneration graft. Frontside grind on new/old concrete. Photo: Paul Scott