Nostalgic 1970s skateboard stickers

Nostalgic 1970s skateboard stickers
Photo of Nostalgic 1970s skateboard stickers. Copyright 9292Steve

9292Steven has 1970s skateboard stickers for sale on eBay and a fantastic vintage skateboard collection. I first got in touch with him when I saw his ad for reproduction1970s skateboard stickers for sale on eBay. He sent me the photos and this message in response:

1970s skateboard stickers supremo 9292Steven
1970s skateboard stickers supremo 9292Steven in Santa Cruz, Tenerife.

“I’m still skating at the age of 54 with a new hip (getting old is pish!) and here’s me in Santa Cruz in Tenerife last Boxing Day. Oh and here’s some of my boards. Be good and take care Gareth Oh and remember “It’s about to get Awesome”! Steve”

I like the wording of his eBay ad. Makes me think Steve would be a great guy to go for a pint with once the coronavirus situation eases. Here’s how he describes what he’s selling:

Sorry but the company I use to print these is closed so I no longer have the Blue Dogtown Cross or the 4 inch Red Sims Wing if that’s what you are after. Sorry again, but my stock is going down rapidly.
Now we are all self isolating because of some shit that is floating about; it’s probably around now that you want to spend some quality time away from the wife and kids doing something you want to do. Cutting the grass is pish and you really can’t be arsed tidying out the loft or painting the kitchen so you are going to have to look busy otherwise she will give you a big feckin list of things to do…..!
I’ve got it! Why don’t you think about putting a board together to enjoy this summer (it’s going to be a scorcher) and you’ll need some of these just to finish it off!
Hey you……….Yes you……! Time to put that Awesome board together cause we ain’t gettin any younger…… If you don’t do it this year you never will so why wait! Oh and if you do; don’t hang it on the wall, ride the bloody thing first cause when your dead nobody in your family will know what a pristine Taperkick is and won’t care and it will probably end up in a skip. Enjoy it cause you’ve worked hard for it.
Yes, if you are looking at these you are probably over the age of 21 now and can go and have a vodka and coke or fourteen in a bar without having to show ID. Yes, you are like me, the wrong side of forty plus and then some and you want to remember the carefree days of your youth. The long hot summers we enjoyed in the 70’s playing with our friends; building wooden skateboard ramps in your garden that were truly lethal. Mind you, we did have a set of gardening gloves and a crap copy of a Cooper Helmet with white foam that made your head sweat. Remember now?
 Bet sometimes, your surprised you’ve made it into your 40’s. Am I right? Well a piece of news for you my friend, you are not alone.

Ladies and Gentlemen; I give you Skateboard Porn!…………..

These are Reproduction Vintage Skateboard Stickers from the time in your life when you had no worries and no bills to pay. Remember when you were 13 years old and you and your friends used to look at all the pictures in Skateboard! Magazine and dream about what your awesome board would be,if only you could afford it. Always a bit difficult to buy a set of 651’s from Alpine Sports for £4.95 each when your pocket money was 50 pence a week.
 You liked Dawn with the blonde hair at the end of your street cause she was fit as; but that picture of the Sims Taperkick with 651’s and Red Kryptonics did something to you in your y’s…….! See what I mean; it was just Skateboard Porn!
Anyway, I have to tell you the technical bit before we go any further. These Reproduction Skateboard Stickers have been redrawn from originals, size for size in Indesign and sheet fed litho printed onto gloss cast coated vinyl stock and gloss laminated to face only with split backing. These have been commercially printed by one of the countries foremost litho printing companies and these babies shine.
 These are plastic sub straight,  so you can stick em on your car bumper, truck, beer fridge, board, (obviously) garage door, tool box, man cave wall, helicopter or even your wife! Ok, maybe not your wife then…….! Don’t want to piss her off……………….Oh no! 
 Oh and please note that the dollar  and 50p piece are there for scale only and not included in the sale before some fanny asks! Most people outside the UK don’t know what a fanny is but I tell them it’s a good thing cause it is.
Now the good bit. This auction is for a set of Nine Reproduction Skateboard Stickers but you get to pick which ones you would like, if you win. That’s right, you get to chose which nine stickers you would like from the following list of 80 skateboard stickers. You can even request 2 of the same kind if you wish, but please, no more than that as I don’t have enough.
1. Skate Boarder Magazine(Skateboard porn!)2. Skateboard! Magazine white 3.Skateboard! Magazine red oblong 4. Skateboard! Magazine red  5. TO Wheels 6.Lightning Bolt Skateboards.7. Bahne 8. Alligator Wheels 9. Road Rider old style 10. Road Rider new style 11. Park Rider Wheels 12. Red Kryptonics 13. Green Kryptonics 14. Blue Kryptonics. 15.Benjyboard White Lightning. 16. Benjyboard Large 17. Benjyboard Small 18. California Slalom Trucks. 19. Tracker Trucks 20.Bennett Truks 21.Stroker Trucks. 22.Gullwing Trucks. 23.Powerflex 24. Alpine Sports 25. Hobie Skatepark Rider 26.Power Paw Wheels 27.OJ Wheels 28. Sims German Bearings 29. Cadillac Hot Lips Wheels 30.Z-Flex 31. Hobieflex. 32. Hobie Black logo 33. Bennett Truks yellow and black 34. Cadillac Wheels rainbow colour 35. Tunnel Wheels red outline 36. Tunnel Wheels orange 37. Rector Safetygear Blue logo. 38.Rector Safetygear Green logo 39. GT Wheels 40. Lazer trucks 41. ACS Trucks 42. Bones. 43.Power Pivot 44.Skuda 45.Belair Lip Bombs 46. Belair Bolts 47. Hobie Diamond Shape. 48. Logan Earth Ski 49. Belair Boards 50. Energy Trucks 51. ACS Address plus 2 mini’s 52.Kryptonics K cirlce 53. Road Rider Wheels purple 54. Sims Pure Juice 55. ISA International Skateboard Association (Wow!) 56. Yellow and Red Powerflex 57. Caster 58. Sims Lonnie Toft Triangle 59. Newporter 60. Pacer 61. Sims Snake red Large 62. Sims Oval Pure Juice 63. Sims Red logo and 2 strips of Sims Snake 64. 3 Skateboarder Blue Logo Strips.
65. Sims Pure Juice Blue Oval 66. Sims Pure Juice Green Oval 67. Phoenix Trucks (Gullwing) 68. Power Paw Hi- Performance Wheels 69. Town and Country Surf Designs green and yellow 70. Alva Lime Green 71. OJ 11’s 72. ACS 4 inch 73.Kryptonics Red first Generation 74. Hang Ten Skateboards 75. Dogtown Blue Cross 76.Kryptonics 3 colour 6 inch 77. Sims Red 4 inch wing 78. Sims Blue 4 inch wing 79. Town & Country black and yellow classic porn! 80. Town & Country blue
Yes; if you win, you just tell me which nine stickers from the above list you’d like. If you have a Logan with Acs and a set of Road Riders or a Sims with HPG 1V’s and Red Kryps well here’s your chance to decorate it so it’s your pride and joy.
Check out my feedback and see what other buyers think of these stickers. You won’t be disappointed with your purchase. 
Oh and remember just when you think life is going to deal you another bite of the Shit Sandwich…………well tomorrow……  “It’s about to get Awesome”
If there’s a sticker you need to finish off that board of yours, let me know and I just might be able to help you out.
Look out for vintage 70’s British and American Punk Rock Band stickers also. Devo, Dead Kennedys, Blondie, Sex Pistols, Clash……………….

..and he has some 1970s heavy metal stickers too.

Accessories like stickers can add a certain something to an old deck. Here are some photos of Steve’s collection of old skateboards sporting his 1970s skateboard stickers.

Vintage skateboard restoration

Denham Hill just got in touch with a question about vintage skateboard restoration: “I collect vintage boards and I’ve recently got into restoring a few. So far, most have been going fairly well but it’s trial and error for the most part! I was wondering if you were aware of anyone in the U.K. who restores boards to a really high standard? Looking to get some advice on a couple of boards I’m working on at the minute. Thanks in advance! All the best, Denham Hill”

It’s easy enough to buy one which is already restored, but what do you do if you find your treasured old 1977 G&S, Gullwing, Kryptonics seized up with ivy growing over it in the back of the garden shed?

If you need spare parts for your own restoration, the magic word to search for on sites like eBay is “NOS”. This stands for new old stock. You’d be surprised how many old 1970s spare parts turn up when you seach ebay for something like “NOS vintage skateboard”. It could just help find the part you’re hunting for.

As far as vintage skateboard restoration experts goes, Saul Daniel comes to mind, but there are sure to be others. On his website, Saul says: “Wanted: Vintage collectable skateboard decks in need of restoration from around 1978 – early 1980s. However damaged or fouled-up they look I may be interested in buying them from you.” He may be able to offer restoration as a service.

If you know of a restoration workshop for vintage skateboards in the UK, please feel free to add details to this page using the comments.

Vintage skateboard restoration
Photo by kvanhorn of a vintage skateboard restoration

P.S. I did the search for “NOS vintage skateboard” parts just now and it threw up:

Vintage NOS 70s ORBIT skateboard wheels 2 1/2″ x 1 7/8″ ORANGE old school
NOS 1980s Vintage Powell Peralta Street Bones Skate Wheels Blue 60mm 90A
Vintage 70’s Powerpaw orange skateboard wheels-NOS-OG-62mm-rare-fibreflex
Original vintage 70’s Lazer skateboard trucks – small baseplate-nos – Excellent
Powell Peralta Street Bones B-83 55mm Vintage Skateboard Wheels NOS
Vintage 70’s Powerpaw swampy Green skateboard wheels-NOS-OG-62mm-rare-fibreflex
NOS Vintage Tracker Trucks Bushings Skateboard Inner Grommets Purple

1977 skateboard pricelist from Bristol Skate Centre

Steve Boddy got in touch to say “Hi all , I am just about to list the Bristol Skateboard Centre Autumn Price List from 1977 on eBay . It features their entire stock and prices . Some interesting “ old school “ equipment. Good Luck . My username on eBay is quirkyvintageandbooks.”

Source: (accessed 16 April 2020)

I’ve used Google Drive>Documents to convert the first page into text, and here are those board packages and prices to take you right back to the roads, bowls and slalom cones of that summer of 1977.


PACER PACER SPECIAL: Pacer Fibreglass Kicktail Deck, ACS 430 Trucks, Speed King B Wheels £24.95
PACER TWO: Pacer Fibreglass Kicktail Deck, ACS 430 Trucks, G3 Wheels – Risers £29.50
PACER THREE: Pacer Fibreglass Kicktail Deck, ACS 500 Trucks, G3 Wheels – Risers £31.50
PACER FOUR: Pacer Fibreglass Kicktail Deck, ACS 500 Trucks, Speed King A Wheels,Risers £31.00
PACER FIVE: Pacer Fibreglass Kicktail Deck, ACS 500 Trucks, G5 Wheels – Risers £34.00
PACER SIX: Pacer Wood Kicktail Deck, ACS 430 Trucks, Speed King B Wheels £30.50
PACER SEVEN Pacer Wood Kicktail Deck, ACS 430 Trucks, G3 Wheels, Risers£32.50
PACER EIGHT: Pacer Wood Kicktail Deck, S 500 Trucks, G3 Wheels, Risers £37.50
PACER NINE Pager Wood Kiektail Deck, ACS 500 Trucks, G5 Wheels, Risers £39.00
PACER TEN: Pacer Wood Slalom Deck, ACS 651 Trucks, G3 Wheels, Risers£37.50

BENJY 27″ Striped Wood Deck, Californian Slalom Trucks, OJ Supajuice Wheels £55.00
BENJY 31″ Striped Wood Deck, Californian Slalom Trucks, OJ Supajuice Wheels £57.50
BENJY White Lightening K/Tail, Californian Slalom Trucks, OJ Supajuice Wheels £52.00

No. 1: G & S Bowlrider with 0J. Supa Juice & Riser pads and California Slalom trucks
No. 2 : G & S Bowrider with Kjell 182 trucks, Roadstar 4 wheels and riser pads
No. 3: The Hiway Rocker with California Pro. Kjell 140 (mids) trucks with Yandall Bowrider/60 mm. Kryptonics
No. 4: Emotion Buttlock deck, (new wide version), California Slalom trucks, O.J. Supa Juice wheels and riser pads
No. 5: Emotion Wood Kicktail with AC S 500 trucks, Roadstar 4 Wheels riser pads and grip tape
No. 6: Buttlock Special (new wide version), with ACS 500 trucks and Roadstar 4 wheels and riser pads
No. 7: Emotion Fibredeck Kicktail with ACS 430 trucks, BSC Stinger precision bearing 2″ x 2″ wheels and riser pads

Bilbo board with hobie wheels

Magic Jo got in touch to say: “Hey, was digging through my old skateboards and found a couple you guy might like – got a mint bilbo board which i think was the first ever skateboards made in europe with hobie wheels. And a slightly battered logan earth ski (think it was the first board with kryptonics) you want some pics etc let me know.”


Brighton South Coast Skateboard Association

Here’s a story for vintage skateboard lovers about the 1970s  Brighton South Coast Skateboard Association.

As skateboarding became increasingly recognised as a genuine sport in the UK in the mid 1970s, more and more clubs started springing up all over the country.

One of the first skateboarding clubs in the UK and probably the biggest and best organised club at the time in Britain was the South Coast Skateboard Association.

From small beginnings in 1976, when the skateboard craze first hit the Brighton area, the S.C.S.A. mushroomed and had more than 1,200 active members. They ranged from Nationwide Skateboard Champion, Jock Paterson, to mere beginners in the sport — like three year-old Nicky Taylor.

Here’s how BBC TV’s Nationwide Skateboarding Spring Special magazine of 1978 used the story of setting up the club to inspire other skateboarders in the late 1970s to do the same in their area:

Brighton South Coast Skateboard Association

“The way South Coast skaters got organised is a lesson to other prospective groups around the country — and, in fact, the S.C.S.A. is getting appeals for advice on how to set up a club all the time.

“STAGE ONE Local skaters appealed for help at first from councils and later made a more general plea to the local people. Leaflets were posted through doors — and a meeting organised.

“STAGE TWO The meeting attracted interested adults as well as skateboarders and skateboard traders. There was a general discussion about the new sport – its popularity and its problems.

“STAGE THREE The open meeting agreed to elect a steering committee of thirteen members — people who were nominated by others, agreed to accept and received the most votes.”

“STAGE FOUR The steering committee organised a full executive committee with representatives from each area to be covered by one association. Rules and regulations – a constitution – were hammered out and committed to paper.

“STAGE FIVE The S.C.S.A. decided to have its own newsletter, ‘Off the Wall’, which would keep all of its members informed about what was going on in the local skateboard world.

“STAGE SIX The S.C.S.A. began to consolidate what it had. Three sub-committees were formed –one for fund-raising, one for organising competitions and one for liaison with local councils.

“Members of the South Coast Association pay £1 a year subscription, on which the S.C.S.A. makes a loss. For their money the skaters get free copies of the newsletter posted to them and reduced entry into any Competitions or training sessions the club organises. Like all skateboard organisations, the S.C.S.A. is short of facilities. At first, its members skated on an existing ramp near Brighton’s famous West Pier. They subsequently moved indoors to a Y.M.C.A. Community Hall, where three homemade ramps were attracting three and four hundred riders every Sunday at 20p for a two-hour session.

“Things are looking up, though, with both commercial and council skating facilities opening up. In fact, Brighton Council involved the S.C.S.A. fully in consultations on plans for a new park.

Said John Scholefield, S.C.S.A. Chairman: I don’t think any of us realised how much work the Association would demand from us. It’salmost a full-time job sometimes. “But it’s all worth it and very refreshing for those of us involved. Kids who would normally be out on the street aren’t — they come skateboarding with us instead. We get some of the young hoods with us but they never cause trouble. All they want to do is skateboard — and that’s why it’s so rewarding. “Skateboarding is a great sport and since the Association was formed, vandalism has dropped.”

“It seemed that the members of the South Coast Skateboard Association get real value for money — both in terms of enjoyment and support. But John Scholefield and the others who run the S.C.S.A. have their eyes set on greater things still. “Eventually we want to get sponsorship or some other means of financial support.” said John. “So we can give the kids everything — and charge them nothing.”

Some of the 1,200 members of the South Coast Skateboard Association.

Steven Kellner, Nationwide junior champion and another Brighton star, taking part in one of the club’s indoor events.

John Scholefield, champion and one of the founder-members of the South Coast Skateboard Association.

Behind every successful club is a hard-working editor of the club newspaper. Keeping members up-to-date with news is Melanie Lyons.

Three-year-old Nicky Taylor, youngest member of the club and already a star turn.

Credits: a rewording of an article from BBC TV’s Nationwide Skateboarding Spring Special 1978. Thanks to for scanning, preserving and sharing their archive.

Guilford Skatestar, Gillingham, Skate City, South Bank, Southsea and other UK vintage skateboard locations

This video of UK Old School Skateboard, shared by r3d3

There’s some useful info in the comments…

Tojan Records: 03:18 Gillingham skate park riding “The Snake”. Half pipe in the background, spent many many days there skating then BMX’ing early 80’s.

23skullhead: These clips are from all sorts of sources, a cutdown of sections compiled in a film by Winstan Whitter called Rollin Through the Decades. Some of it is from other films and tv made back then, some if it is from super8 shot by various people which we transferred for Rollin’. There’s loads more brilliant and until then unseen footage in the film, shot by the likes of Dobie, Sean Goff and Sue Hazell. The dvd can still be picked up, so check it out.

orbeaaspin: Fantastic,nice to see Skatecity – just wish there was more

skullzero77: Wow what a blast from the past ,anyone remember the NationWide contest ? Still got all my stuff .Red 65 kryps and green 70s still smooth . Thanks for posting.

mollers92: My dad worked at Southsea skatepark in the 70s. I skated a modern deck when i was younger, but I was crap and never got on with it too well. Moved to uni this year and bought a cruiser just to get about on. This is what I was meant to do.

Seachicken: Nice memories. spent a lot of my time at a few of those parks. skate city/ westbourne park i think/ and the famous sth bank. 45 years old still with a board, still trying to find some white yoyo wheels to ride again

cyrus green: The longest halfpipe in europe at Guildford Skatestar is now a sad housing estate.

freddie j: dude thanks alot, you’ve shown to people that england skate just as good as americans!!

alfaromeoash: why did skateboard change to small hard wheels. My board was a fibreflex bowlrider, gullwing trucks and 70mm red kryps. It was a smooth board to ride around on and quick.

Skateboard Escape skatepark Weymouth – 1970s UK skateparks

Skateboard Escape spatepark Weymouth was built when Weymouth succumbed early on to the thrills of the 1970s UK skateboarding craze. It was built with the help and encouragement of a local co-ordinator at the Youth Activities Centre, who was a keen skater himself. In winter the kids practised on the promenade, but in summer, with thousands of holiday visitors, that was out. What was needed was a skate park.

Local businessman Lorne Edwards had seen skate parks in the US, and found a semi-derelict site on Portland Island where building soon started.

Skateboard Escape is partly completed now, with a banked and waved run about 150′ long, and a 10′ bowl designed for beginners, plus two larger bowls and a freestyle area, and it’s very popular, with skaters travelling from as far away as London.

And there are further plans: next will come a 500m downhill run and – how about this for the last thing in skating luxury? – a continuous cable-pull back to the top. The new run should open some time in 1978, and is sure to open up a whole new dimension in UK skateboarding.


Skateboard Escape Weymouth skatepark in 1977, from Successful Skateboarding Magazine 1977 with thanks to
Skateboard Escape Weymouth skatepark in 1977, from Successful Skateboarding Magazine 1977 with thanks to

As more and more kids were taking up skateboarding, and more and more people were becoming aware of its popularity and potential, so more and more skate parks appeared all over Britain. And, as many councils moved kids to suitable skating areas.

Disused Luton England swimming pool in this 1978 skateboard video

Here’s a YouTube video clip posted by SURFSTYLEY4. It’s a news clip about skateboarding in England UK in 1978.

i mac comments that he was there aged 11. He went to revisit the Luton outdoor pool in 2013 after watching this vid on YouTube 34 years later. He said: “It’s now totally derelict and overgrown and I was informed at the pool it’s due to close permanently on 20th May 2013 and bulldozed will be gone forever.”

Skate City London – 1970s UK skateparks

You’ll find the 3.5 acres of landscaped concrete that is Skate City London near Tower Bridge. Parts are open now, and there are ambitious plans for the site: it will be open from 10am to 9pm, with floodlighting for darker evenings; there will be a shop and cafe on site, plus seating and walkways for spectators. Plans are also afoot to cover the whole area with a huge clear plastic dome, so that skating can take place no matter what the weather is like. When you think of the disruption the rain caused at the Crystal Palace championships this year, you can see what a great advantage that would be!

Safety is at a premium, with expert help and supervision on hand at all times, and full safety gear must be worn by the 3,000 people who’ll be able to use the skatepark every day. What will they find? Three bowls of varying depths, a beginners’ area, a freestyle area, and a covered run (complete with disco music)!

London Skate City skatepark in 1977, from Successful Skateboarding Magazine 1977 with thanks to
London Skate City skatepark in 1977, from Successful Skateboarding Magazine 1977 with thanks to


Vintage skateboard star John Sablosky profiled in 1977

Vintage skateboard star John Sablosky
Vintage skateboard star John Sablosky

Vintage skateboard star John Sablosky was profiled in Issue 1 of Skateboard Scene, in the Winter 1977 edition.

Here’s a transcript:

John Sablosky is only 14, yet he’s one of the hottest skateboatders in Britain today. The funny thing about John is that two years ago he hadn’t even seen a skateboard.

“It was only last year that I discovered skateboarding.“ he explains. “l saw some kids doing it neat where I lived so l thought I’d join in. “My first board was very cheap. It cost about one pound and it wasn’t particularly good. It had a wooden deck, single axis trucks and clay composition wheels. Even so it gave me a useful start.”

A lesser person might have despaired of having to use such primitive equipment, but not John. He quickly taught himself the basic techniques of skating and within a very short mace of time had graduated to a better quality board.

In those early days John Sablosky was careful not to take too many risks

“I think a lot of beginners make the mistake of trying to do too much at once. As soon as they get on a skateboard they want to attempt impossible tricks, but that only leads to accidents.

“l never had any bad falls when l started because l never tried anything dangerous. As long as you keep within your limits in skating you’re quite safe. “Later on when you feel more at home on a skate- board you can try to be a bit more adventurous. But whatever tricks you try to do you should always make sure that you are in control of the board.”

And while still on the subject of safety vintage skateboard star John Sablosky has one other word of advice.

“No matter how good you are there’ll come a time when you have to bale out to avoid an accident. When you do this it’s very important to know exactly where your board is heading. I’ve seen a lot of people get hurt badly because they’ve baled out and then stepped right back on to the board. lf they’d only checked to see which way the board was going they could have avoided it.”

In spite of all the risks John doesn’t think that skate-boarding is a particularly dangerous sport. “As long as you’re careful and wear the right protective gear there’s no reason why you can‘t skate without getting hurt.

“I know there have been a lot of accidents, particularly in America, but most of these have been due to surface imperfections. What usually happens is you get kids riding on pavements that have cracks. A wheel gets caught in one of the cracks and the next thing you know the rider is flung off his board on to the ground. Accidents like that would never happen if there were more properly built skate parks available for the kids.”

Nowadays John does a lot of his riding at London’s Skate City. As one of the star riders of the British Hobie team he has a chance to use some of the best boards available in Britain today. The board he uses at present is a Gregg Weaver model.

“I prefer wooden boards because they’re nice and solid. They feel right under your feet. I know a lot of people go for aluminium boards, but personally l find they are too heavy for their size and too skinny for their weight. They also tend to make a loud noise when you turn sharply, which can be distracting. But the thing l like least about them is the way they handle when you’re doing airbornes. They tend to fly away from your arms, when you take off, so you really have to hold on tight. Also the edges can get sharp.

“Flexi-boards l find are too springy for my liking. l know some people select them because they think it helps them pump up speed, and it probably does, but l just feel happier with wood. l guess a lot depends on what you’re used to.”

Though most of John’s skating has been done in this country he is, in fact, an American. His father, who is the Cultural Attaché for the United States Information Service, is currently based in Britain. When his tour of service ends in three years time the Sablosky family will return to the States. But in the meantime John can enjoy his status as one of Britain’s leading skaters.

“l don‘t try to be better than anyone else.” says John modestly. “l just skate for the fun of it. l enjoy skating in England. but the only trouble is that it’s too dark, too rainy and there aren’t enough sunny days. English skaters are handicapped by the weather. In the States we have an advantage over you because we have more opportunities for outdoor skating.”

Which brings us to the all important question: how do British skaters compare with their American rivals? “At the moment there is a really big difference between American and British skaters. The Americans at present are far better because they have had so many more years of practice. But l think given time the British will catch up.

“I’ve seen a lot of good skaters in Britain with a lot of potential, but they need time to develop their skills. In a few years time l can see English skaters being just as good as American ones. If only England had better weather, you’d stand a much better chance against the Americans.”

Despite the shortcomings of the English climate John ha found enough outdoor skating time in this country to perfect a number of startling skateboard tricks. The latest in his repertoire is the “tail-tap.” a manoeuvre that tests board and rider to the full.

“A ‘tail-tap’ is really an extension of a ‘nose-grab’”, explains John. “In the ‘nose-grab, the rider pivots round on the back wheels. In the ‘tail-tap’ he actually pivots on the edge of the board itself. In other words for a split-second all four wheels are up in the air away from the ground.” “It’s my favourite trick at the moment because it’s so exciting to do. As you go into the turn it’s vitally important that you have the right momentum and balance. Because when you swing round you are literally pivoting on the tail of the board. If not enough pressure is applied you may end up only doing a straightforward ‘nose-grab.’ On the other hand if too much pressure is applied you can suddenly find yourself airborne. You can only know for certain that the trick is a success when you come out of the turn. l remember the first time l managed it l was really thrilled.”

John first discovered the ‘tailotap‘ through his friend and fellow-countryman Jeremy Ross-Dougan.

“Jeremy goes to the same school as I do in London. He’s taught me a lot of things in skating that I never knew before. We both competed in the Watergate International down in Cornwall last month and Jeremy came first in bowl- riding. He’s a very fast and stylish rider.”

For John the most enjoy- able part of skateboarding is bowl-riding. “I’m not really interested in speed.” he admits. “That’s something anybody can do. For me the real challenge is in bowl riding. It’s fun to do, but it’s also very demanding. You have to concentrate totally on what you’re doing Otherwise you can easily wipe out. “I suppose apart from ‘tail-taps’ the thing l enjoy most when I go bowl-riding is doing airbornes. An airborne is what happens when you fly off the lip of the bowl at full speed and then re-enter. At the moment I can get about a foot in the air without exerting any pressure on the wall with my hands or if I use my hands I can get up to about two feet. Of course the higher you get the harder it is for you to get a smooth re-entry.

“My advice to anyone trying this for the first time is to make sure you get a good grip of the board. Otherwise you might find it pitching and rolling a little as you approach touchdown. It sounds dangerous, but if you’re careful and you don’t try to go beyond your limits it’s really quite safe. I suppose the most dangerous place I ever rode was inside a pipe. It was really a totally new type of feeling for me, because before that I’d never been in anything where I could get completely inverted. It took a bit of getting used to, and it meant a lot of hard work for my feet to pump me up the sides of the wall, but in the end l got up to a good height – about one or two feet past the vertical.

“I would have liked to have had a second attempt at the pipe. But unfortunately the following week when I returned I found they had filled it in.” Inevitably critics of skate boarding have compared it to the other great teenage crazes of the past such as flagpole climbing and the hoola-hoop, bath of which enjoyed tremendous popularity for a short while before vanishing without trace.

John Sablosky, however, has no doubts that the skateboard is here to stay. “There’s no way that this is a passing craze,” he says, mildly amused at the impertinence of the suggestion.

“People like skateboarding too much and there are too many people liking it for it to go out of fashion. “The equipment nowadays is so good and has so many possibilities and we haven’t begun to realise the full potential of the sport. Every day people are coming up with new stunts and new techniques and they are becoming so good it’s just incredible.

“In another ten years skateboarding is going to be one of the biggest sports in the world. There’s no stopping it.

And who are we to disagree with that!

From Skateboard Scene No1  – Winter 1977