ALLEY BOY Dave Evans
ALLEY BOY Dave Evans
A life growing up on the streets of beachside Sydney & the Queensland Gold Coast - with one of our nation's most revered skaters
By Ian Browne Shamrock News
Dave Evans was a well-known character around the streets of Cronulla during the 80’s & early 90’s. He grew up in Sydney ‘streetwise’ - rolling with his crew the Cronulla ‘Alley Boys’ - before moving north to the warm swell of Burleigh Heads, Qld. A talented surfer, Dave aka “EVO” also went on to become our nation’s most radical skateboarder, making a name for himself not only in Australia - but too in the US.
“I remember skating Gamrad (Fox's Warehouse) as a kid with 12 of the best, and here’s Gonz snaking runs for me!”
This is the colourful life that helped shape Dave Evans
Cronulla Alley by John Morton firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapter 1: “Life at the Alley”
I moved to Cronulla, Sydney, in 78, with my folks & older Bro (Brad) and Sis (Tania). My Dad says the Nulla picked us, as he had a job there, and we knew people that lived there. Anyways, we first stayed at the Trailer park on the Kingsway, then moved to Marlo Rd, which is right near the beach. We were into playing footy then and generally did what young kids do, or did, back then. I remember my Bro and I had slug guns, we used to load them with carrot or alfoil and shoot our mates when they would come visit. I was still in primary school then at Burraneer Bay. I had some good friends in primary school but have mostly lost touch with most of them. One guy that I’m still mates with is Dave Cochran (Cocky), he went to Cronulla Primary School. We would walk past each other on our way home from school. Not sure how it started, but we called each other names every day, until one of us crossed the road to fight the other. We never fought but shook hands and became mates.
Living so close to the beach my bro Brad and I got into trying to surf. I stuck with it, while my Bro got into the motorbike style scene.In 1983 my parents bought me a ‘Local Knowledge’ single-fin from Wind-n-Sea. It cost them $180, which was a week’s wage back then! Really, I learned to ride on it. Sadly, I snapped it. When ripping four years later I snapped it again! I was devastated, as it was the best board I ever rode. Most of my mates would remember my Camo Force 9. That was a sick board, I had some great Waterforce and NEV boards as well. As for skaterboards, my first favourite ride was a Powell Vato Rat during the 80's....
When we began surfing my bro was already in high school and had his own crew of friends that included my sister Tania. All their crew mostly hung out at Flashes, a gaming arcade near the train station. That crew were into ACDC, Rose Tattoo, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd styles. Looking back, I think they all dressed like Bon Scott. Surfers and rockers were still divided back then.
Most the dysfunctional kids from the area either hung out at Flashes, the Squashies (squash centre) & Jaff Inn, and Joe’s milk bar, or the Alley (a surf break at the end of the Kingsway). Also, back then there was the Fishken’s house or Christian surfers house. That was on the Kingsway as well, opposite Northies (North Cronulla Hotel) where the high-rise is now.I went to Cronulla High at that time, some of my school mates included Scotty Morgan, Deanno Le Breton, Paul Rodgers, Gary Angus, Dean Cookson, Jamie McMillan, Paul Farrow, Wilbur McNally and Dave Cocko. I used to hang out with Graham Woodside as well, he was a bit of a high school bully, most people were scared of him. I remember him, and I had a punch up in class over a girl (funny shit).
Murry Free went there as well, he was a good surfer. I know Sea Bag or Gary Lester went there. Camo, Kerb, and Jake were other guys from school that I would hang with. Camo at the time; Kerb and Jake a little later in life. I know I will forget people, so I'm sorry if I forgot you. Some I couldn't forget are the Kurnell Kids: Ashley Collins, Heath Bennett, and Shane & Wayne Palmer. I would go and stay with these guys when there was no surf in the Nulla, go moto riding and generally fuck shit up! I really can't go into many details, raiding the lodge was a classic. It’s fucked up looking back, but it still gives me a giggle. It was a housing place at Kurnell with disabled people in there, mostly just druggoes and piss-heads though. We would hassle the shit out of them and get chased. Kurnell was a scene straight out of Mad Max then.
The Alley by John Morton email@example.com A more modern-day view without the much-loved Joe's Milkbar - as seen on the film Puberty Blues
I was naughty as shit in high school, it mostly bored me, I think. Before I even got to high school, I was hanging at the Squashies one arvo, when a high school teacher (Mrs Cochrane) walked past, and all the older crew told me to tell her off. So silly, I told her to fuck off. First day of high school she walked up to me and said, “Remember me?" She then took me to get caned by Mr Morgan, he hit hard and seemed to enjoy it. (Not sure they could do that now).
Anyways, high school didn't get any better from there... don't get me wrong I loved it, and made lifelong friends there, but in reality, the school sucked, not sure if it was the whole education system back then, or just that school at the time. Our school was not even allowed to use the oval during lunch. ‘WTF’ were they thinking? We did have old half pipes next door in the old mining plant. They were awesome, it ended up being one of my good wagging spots. Some good arvo sessions would go down back then. I remember seeing Occy there, he used to skate a fair bit. For me it was still about doing surf moves then. Northies Hotel had some awesome wave style banks we used to session. Anyways getting into surfing seemed to just happen and for some reason as a young kid I always remember having old skateboards laying around. I have no idea where they came from, but they were there. The surfboard rider clubs from the area I can remember are Sand Shoes Board Riders, the Point Board Riders; and the Two Main rivals were Cronulla Board Riders (now Sharks) and Elouera Board Riders (the Dunny Hangers). The Christian Surfers had a good club going as well. Those guys were cool as, Brett Davis and Crabo - can't remember his name. They would take all the grommets skating when there were no waves, those guys were loose as well, not exactly Ned Flanders Christians. Some of the older non-Christian surfers would take us skating as well: Ant Bryant, GM, Wal, Shaun Monroe, Brett Abo - are just a few names I remember.
I was in Cronulla Board Riders which was pretty much the Alley Board Riders. As I mentioned earlier, the first board I owned was a second-hand Local Knowledge single fin that my folks bought me for my birthday. I ended up snapping that board but fixed it years later when I was on top of my surfing game. Not sure where it is now, but it still remains one of the best boards I ever rode. Localism was heavy back then and all us grommets had to pay our dues, as the grommets younger than me did too, not as bad though. The political correctness was beginning. I guess it was the end of the proper old school days. Poof bashing was common then, not that I ever did it. Billy-taxing was what we did to get by. It's really just stealing peoples’ shit when they (Billies/ blow ins) go in the water. Sometimes the older surfers would work scams with us.
We really didn't give a fuck about much. The Alley was ours and if you didn't belong you were fair game. Fuck, I remember kicking guys out of the water. We had a sin bin system for kooks if they got in the way. We would tell them they have been ‘sin binned’ and if they don't leave the break the boys hanging at the Alley will beat them up. We used to go to parties to get the girls, if that failed, we would start fights. Defo misguided youth. I once saved Scratcher from a drowning down at the Alley. He was Sydney’s most revered skinhead, but he used to surf down the Nulla. Scratcher said to me after this: “if you’re in the city and get yourself into any trouble with skins, just say you know Scratcher.” He was generally a cool guy from what I can remember, he used to hang down the Alley with some older crew from time to time.
I would have to compare the Nulla back then to what you hear of Dog Town and Venice. ITN board riders was massive then, they were fucked up! ‘In The Nude board riders’ says it all. That’s now Bondi Board Riders. My surf crew included Wilbur, Cocky, Browny, Patch, Fitzy, Grom, Angus Abo, Fingers McMillan, Murray Free, Sea Bag, to name a few. Mushy, Chad and Troy become part of the crew fairly early as well. The Wednesday night surf movies at Northies was a great memory I will never forget. We would go to Flemings (supermarket) now Nandos, and stock up on the cheapest home brand soft drink and potato chips we could get, and take them into the pub. The pub was cool with it back then.
Please don't think that everyone involved in the board riders was stoked with what we were up to. Some would psyche the groms (us) to do bad shit. Some would hate on us for it. All in all Cronulla was a rad place, and everyone knew everyone, and all looked out for each other. Wilbur, myself, and probably Cocko, kinda were out-casted by some of the older surfers. I think mostly because of my contacts with the Flashes world due to my bro and sister hanging up there. Like I said earlier it was still very much Surfers V Rockers back then. Most of the surfers despised Wilbur as he loved ACDC and would graffiti it on his board. I guess there was a slight ‘class war’ within the ranks. Mostly just a few older crew playing favourites. Punk was what I was listening to in the 80’s. The Dead Kennedys are still one of my favs. I loved Black Flag, UK Subs, The Clash, and I loved the local scene like the Psychotic Turnbuckles and World War 24.
We all got good at surfing, that’s what we did. Not many guys didn't rip. My first sponsor was Piping Hot through Ross Hendo. Some of the older guys ripping hardest were: Dog Marsh, Occy, the Pringles, Spike, Smurf, Sole Man, Fat Tony, Mike Mackie, Craig Naylor, Nick Towell, Greeny, Sean Charters, Sparrow, Twiggy, GM, the Farrows; I know there’s more. That’s just a few. The guys my age that I would surf against would include all my crew: Patch, Fitzy, Grom, Angus Abo, Jimmy, Wilbur, Cocko and Matty Brown - to name a few. Also, Adam Brown was a strong surfer, so were the Pringles, Murray Free, Scott Matho Dave alto? Damian Bibic turned up from Vico during this time. He was seen as a child prodigy like Nicky Woods. Other groms with reps included Luke Egan, Dave Davison, the Webber Bros, Sam Watts, Ralph Pulenger, Butto and China, Munga Barry, ET. Also, Sean Munro whose dad owned Mango. There are so many names that I have forgotten.My all-time favourite surfer before I had any other influence was Buttons. I remember seeing footage of him doing switch stuff and was instantly drawn to that. To me, he still remains king. He, Gerry Lopez, and MP, reflected the true image of a surfer.
In 85, I think I got expelled from school because a teacher hit me, so I hit him back! Then I went home and told my dad. He went to the school and punched the teacher! Good way to get banned from school, I guess.By now I was doing really well at surfing and was getting good contest results. Some other funny memories include doing work experience at Cronulla Surf Design for Mark Aprilovic. He managed to stich me up with the, “Go to the hardware and ask for a sky hook!” I will never forget that one...Cheers Bluey. He is one guy that I consider a true Nulla legend, Anyways, I guess that’s almost the first chapter done, I could and may one day share more events, but I don't think this story would have room just yet.
Chapter 2: “A move to the Gold Coast”
So about 85, my folks decided to move to Burleigh Heads. I remember how excited I was. I had seen awesome pictures. My folks went before me as I had to stay behind for a surf comp. I will never forget the day I arrived at Burleigh; my parents took me down to near the surf club. I was straight up pissed off as the waves were only half a foot blowing Nor East, this was not the place from the pictures. I was sure my parents had made a mistake. It was like that for a while. Then one day a guy asked me for a ciggy, Clappo was his name. We got talking and he took me to the Spit, which loves the NE wind. I thought he was going to kill me for a minute. The Spit was very isolated back then. We became mates, and before I knew it, I was in with the locals. Sarge was at the top of his surf photography at the time and knew all the contacts. He got me on to Vince Lawder, who was the main Billabong guy under Gordan. Vince put me on the Billabong flow team & joined me up to North End Board Riders. They were one of the strongest clubs at the time, I didn't last too long there though as the Burleigh locals got into me about it. So, I swapped to Burleigh.
Burleigh Board Riders was a lot more like Cronulla Board Riders (organised chaos). North End seemed real serious, where Burleigh was barrels; beers, bongs, bitches and bands, probably in that order. The rippers were Dwayne and Alan Peters; also, Piff, Smoking Joe Ingle, Rabbit etc. The list could go on, serious barrel masters. The longest barrels I ever witnessed was a tossup between Rabbit and Chappy, both 12 seconds at Kirra. I think I would have to give it to Chappy just because it was back handrail grab, he was seriously good. All of those guys were, and so many more. Butto and China owned Kirra, they were lucky as they had all the south crew looking out for em. Bruce Lee, Ralphy, Pogo (the long boarder they used to clear the water). One of most memorable surfs there was with Munga Barry. Back in the day we would all start at Snapper and finish at Sausage Groin, had some good ones there with China and Butto as well, plus Spot X and Cooly. Back at Burleigh though the other juniors I was competing with, and mates with, were Spot and Jamie Kastagilis, Dave Dunlop and Brett Rosie. We all went to Miami High, except Spot, I think he went to Merrimack. My other mates at Miami High included: Grommy, Boogs, the Chappy brothers, Jefferies Bro's, the Maxwell bro’s, Nathan Winters, Little and Big Pear. The Hansen Bros, well those boys’ family managed highrise motels in Surfers, so we had the run of all the games and toys. Awesome days.
My surfing was going real well and I had picked up some new sponsors by now. Nev was doing my boards, and I got Green Stuff Wax, Surf Aids, Style Eyes, Alleda, and Billabong as my sponsors. I had no management or real guidance (fuck how it's changed) and really, I just got what ‘flowed’ to me. I was stoked just to get free stuff. Some good comp memories include the Par Bendall comp. I only got one wave, it was a good one though, from near Sharkies to First Ave. The heat was over by the time I ran back to the point. Other good ones were some of the teams school challenges. My school wouldn't let me in the team as I was hardly ever at school and they wanted to reward the better-behaved kids, all of whom surfed good. They let me go in the individual section. Our team bombed out. I think I finished second or third, I was the highest placed from our school. I remember Rosie did well in that one. The school was kinda unsure what to do. Great school, very American style, they loved their footy heads. They didn't really like me much, mostly because I would never go. It probably would have been different if I told them I had tried out for the junior Aussie Rugby League squad only a couple years before. Instead, I would hide at the Magic Mountain blow hole, or be out surfing. Another good one was the final of the Miami High Comp (might be the Rabbit Trophy?) anyways Jamie K and I were in the final, he blatantly dropped in on me, but the judges didn't see it. All good, he deserved it. He was defo a better role model than me. Great guy, I think he invented the Bad Billy's logo that Billabong used. As the story goes Billabong was started by some Burleigh locals, then Gordan jumped on it. I'm not 100% - just Chinese whispers I remember hearing.
During all of this, Rabbit hooked me up with a job, or it was probably more Dennis Callahan. He was heavily involved in SAND (Surfers Against Nuclear Destruction). Anyway, the job was surf coaching at Burleigh for two hours every Saturday. $20 cash, that was my Saturday night party money, and we did party. Boogs or Peter Werth had just opened Thunderdome surf-skate shop, so we all hung there. He was, and still is, one loose cunt. The older local surfers would give him hell, but he never gave a fuck, he would do nude drop-knee shit just to take the piss. I'm not sure how much detail he would like me to go into, but, he/we, did some fucked up shit. We all did it, but he would take it to the next level. One thing I can tell you about is when we paid Little Pear to get in the clothes dryer! Shit mate, that was gnarly! Because Boog's owned the shop he would get the groms doing all sorts of shit. I feel for the kids that went to the shop to get him cream buns, he would always save one for the victim.
Another time I can talk about is the day I was in his shop sitting down, playing the arcade machine, when I felt warm liquid on my back, only to turn around to see him pissing and laughing. He stopped laughing quickly when I started pissing on the stock on the shelves. He and I stealing Patch’s studded belt was another good one. All my mates visiting from Sydney was always a highlight. Stubbies time was always good as well.
Looking over to South Cronulla Beach from the back of the Alley by John Morton firstname.lastname@example.org
Probably my biggest contest result was at First Point Noosa.I was not long up from Sydney and was really unknown. I was a part of the SAND team and it was like a surf league comp against the top Sunny Coast team. I had been saved all day as the wild card, and it all came down to the final heat. It's me, Mr ‘unknown’, V's Darren Magee, the junior world champion at the time. Fuck mate, I trained at Wilbur Island, and First Point was like heaven: 3 - 4ft sucky perfection. I can't remember who won either, maybe I did, or we tied. That heat defo had the whole place talking. At the preso, Mick Court approached me and asked me if I would like to get on the Surf Rats Team. I jumped at it as Billabong was just giving me a little flow, but Mick hooked me up.
Winning the touch footy at The Straddie Assault was awesome as well. The team won $500 on the Bar at Jim and Jill’s. We grommets got fucked up and tried to steal Dennis' car, we didn't get far. I think during that trip we were in Piff's van on the way home, and a whole side panel just disappeared while we were driving! I will never forget seeing Joe Ingle in a comp at Burleigh. The whispers were that he was out with the fairies, but his first wave was epic! He killed it, and the instant word on the hill was ‘Joe is back!’ For the rest of his heat every wave he caught he just laid on his board like a body surfer. Funny as shit and kinda sad. I didn't know him very well, so I don't know if it was a rebel thing, or he was lost. He did that on the board that he had sawn the nose off…crazy shit! He was such a rad, underrated surfer.
“If I had a dollar for every person that miss-judged me, I would be loaded!”
Back down in the Nulla days, Mick Mackie is one of my all-time favourites. He is the ultimate soul surfer. I once talked him into doing an ‘axel stall drop-in’ at the Manly vert ramp. He dropped in and slammed his head! A similar thing happened at the snow with Dog. Dog thought I did it on purpose, but no way did I. It's funny how as you get older you respect the people that you may not have shown the respect they deserved back in the day. Dog is defo one of those guys. Anyone that knows him knows how nice a guy he is. No one is to blame but things were different then, guys would influence us to do bad things. Another funny thing I have noticed most of my life since the early Alley days, people for the most part assume the worst, and think I'm a bad cunt. At least till they get to know me, then they know I'm bad (lol joking). If I had a dollar for every person that miss-judged me, I would be loaded!
Back up in Burleigh: the swimming pool on the point was empty, so we would skate in there. But it wasn’t really ‘skate able’, so we got hold of timber and shade cloth to make a barrel section. We would also skate Palmy bowl, and I remember going to a sick park full of pools somewhere north on the coast next to Amart. Another event was at the Burford Factory. They had some launch ramps and the vert ramp. Harry Truscott: ‘The Bastard’, and I think Gary Valentine, gave me grief. Looking back, they were dirty that I skated as well as them. Who gives a fuck! I grinded the vert ramp, that was all that mattered to me.
Chapter 3: “Back to the Nulla”- returning from Burleigh
I wasn’t happy about coming back to Cronulla; cold water, this was definitely a big turn off after surfing Burleigh in shorts all year round. I’d paddle out and there weren’t many crew out in the surf. The skating scene was new though, convenient, it was just there. We had a big crew of us all skating round the Nulla by this stage. In the earlier years the Christian Surfers took us out to Five Dock when there was no surf, we were just surfing the pavement. By now though we were riding ramps, pipes and pools, everything. I remember going to North Ryde Skatepark one time with the older BTN Crew and I had no board. I would borrow at the time. Anyways we’d jump through a hole in the fence. When we were leaving a couple of the older crew suggested that I should steal a board, they were waiting in the car to see if I would grab someone’s skater. I asked one bloke: “can I have a ride on your board?”, then I took it down to the car ready to take off with it. Some of my crew said “take it” others suggested not to. Anyway, my conscience got the better of me and I took it back.
There was a late 80’s boom in skating. Bones Brigade was out when I came back to Sydney, and skating was massive. Kids were into it everywhere. I used to go to all the skate comps, it was just the happening thing at the time. Then a lot like surfing, it just seemed to take a natural progression for me.
My first contest was during 87 at Old Park, Hurstville, where I came 2nd. Ken Gibbons took out that one. I had all kind of contest results after that, but my competitive nature made sure people knew I was there. I never entered any comps in the USA though. I regret not skating in some of them. The Aussie comp and demo scene were so good back then. The 88 Steel City Ramp Jam at Newcastle was one of the good early ones for me. The Nulla Crew had hired a rent a car which got trashed during the trip. I can't remember who won that comp, I think either Chris Payne or Glen Robbo. Both of those guys ripped shit up. Everyone did it. I entered the Intermediate in that one. I think I got second to Matt Anderson and Ellis got third. Some of the Nulla's went up to the Goldy after that to hang out with a guy called Rocco. We had met him during the Newy comp, and he had connections with the Adelaide Crew. So, we all thought he was cool, and he was at the time. He lived at Tullabugera Trailer park and had a skate shop in Surfers Paradise called Frontside Rock. As I said, he was cool at the time, defo a bit paranoid, and he had gone to war with the Bartie's who had a shop at Nobbies Beach. Looking back at it, it was just dumb, I don't think the Bartie's had done anything wrong. Rocco seemed threatened by them. I don't really know Chad very well, he seems super cool, and has done loads to fly the Aussie flag abroad. I think he was fairly lucky to have an old man that supported him to achieve what he has.
I think it was during that trip we found out about an empty pool near Surfers Paradise on Isle of Caprice, I think. I so wish I still had the photos. The whole Island had been condemned to be destroyed and made into a new estate or resort. The electricity had been left on. So, we moved into one of the units where the pool was. It was so sick, we were having roast dinners, drinking beer, smoking hot ones all day and night. The pool had lights above it, so we could night skate. We had the music blaring, it was seriously awesome, we had the whole island to ourselves. Well actually we had some Euro tourist chicks turn up one day, looking for somewhere to rent. The Nulla's were keen to rent one of our places to them, but I think Rocco was in heat, so they got scared away. Smart girls. I'm really getting away from the object of this story which I actually enjoy talking or writing about (it brings back so many memories). But honestly, every time I start writing about a comp or demo, or any of the old times, so many things happened that it just goes into a whole new story. So, I'm trying to keep it simple.
So, one of the Questions Ian has asked me is:
“How skating has changed from then to now?”
Obviously, the first thing that changed was the equipment. There had already been massive changes in equipment before I started, but the main things that seemed to change it during my time was the ‘flat land ollie’ and the double kick boards. They were game changers then. Not long after that came all the flips; then the flips on vert. I remember this period, vert skating had died off a fair bit, and street skating seemed to be more in. The kids were riding super small wheels and wearing baggy jeans, the small wheels make it easier to learn flip tricks. That period kinda pissed me off a bit, I guess it's kinda were I got left behind. I remember skating Keirle Park skate park one day with Spin, Jake, and Birdy, and all those guys would do was try kickflip air grabs. It pissed me off and I got angry at them, because they kept on bailing the shit, and it just didn't feel like we were having a good session, or no good runs. Not long after they were taking all those flip tricks to the vert, and the rest is a part of skateboard history.
The handrails was something fairly newduring, or probably a bit before, the flip years. The flip years were the early 90's, also the rave years (another story for another day). Renton Miller recently told me that I was the first published Aussie doing handrails, so I'm kinda stoked about that. My longest ollie on to a handrail was 22 stairs. I also used to do handrails down at the Alley at the Nulla. I remember Davo Demulja used to offer me money to do the rail at the Alley, (usually $5) that was big bucks for me. But really at the end of the day it does really matter, I wonder who the first guy to jump from a plane was? I will look it up because I'm sure you don't know either. That’s my point about it doesn't really matter. Another massive change has happened to skating, which has both good and bad points. IT BECAME ACCEPTED. Like I said, it has both good and bad points. When I started it was like a lawless outlet for punk kids, we got treated as criminals; chased from most spots and told it would never amount to anything. We were considered vandals and misfits from society, hence the natural union between punk music and skateboarding. Parents were fairly uncommon in the early days. Lots of the kids, myself included, were getting loose with the older skaters. They were our mentors, and all looked out for all the groms. These days parents are everywhere, not that it's a bad thing, it's just different. I honestly think parenting has changed, that’s probably why you see soccer mums at the skate park. Just for the record, I like Soccer Mums, and Tennis Mums. I like all Mums, just soccer and tennis mums have the edge, and I know they like balls, ooopppps me bad.
“I’ve skated with all of the best including Tony Hawk, with Cristian Hosoi, Steve Caballero and Mark Gonzales.”
The actual skating has seemed to do a big loop with a lot of the old school stuff being done by the kids now. Sponsorship has changed a lot as well. Back in the days a board company would be your major sponsor, now days it's Red Bull or Nike. That for me is where the good and bad really come into it. It's great that some guys are making big cash from the sport, but at the same time I feel some of these big corporations are gaining too much control over the sport. I think anyone in the know can see it's already happened in surfing, where I'm feeling Instagram ‘likes’ and product sales could be driving certain results. It really sucks when it gets to that point, but also, I think in time it will pan it's self out. Like this whole Olympics debacle. I have heard the surfing will be held in the ocean a couple hours away from where the last nuclear disaster took place. I have mixed feelings about it, it's rad, but I think at that level all of the surfers and skaters are as good as each other. I think the format is wrong too, but fuck that's just my opinion. I would love to - and think I one day will see - a downhill boarder cross style pump track event. That would be fair. First person across the finish line wins. Nice and simple. Something else I have noticed, and I'm not sure I agree with, is that kids are that much better these days. I'm not sure they are! Sure, there are a lot of new tricks that have progressed, but generally if you look back, the kids back then were just as good. Just have to look at GV, Spin, Jake or Dom K - not that much has changed.
When you are involved in the sport for as long as I have been, it seems inevitable that you end up meeting and befriending some of your childhood heroes. It's really not that big of a deal for me, but anyways what’s a story without some name dropping. I’ve skated with all of the best including: Tony Hawk, with Cristian Hosoi, Steve Caballeroand Mark Gonzales, to name a few. I remember skating Gamrad (Fox's Warehouse) as a kid with 12 of the best, and here’s Gonz snaking runs for me, blocking others to let me in. Great memory that one. I learned ‘layback smiths’ from watching Christian do them that night. Some people say I do good one's (helps when you copy the guy who did the best!). Mike Cresseni was one dude that really stood out to me. I loved seeing the First American pro's doing proper sweepers, it's still a trick that hardly gets done right. They should call lazy sweepers, moppers.
“Some other things.”
In 2005, I started ‘Skate Schools Australia’. I also formed a club - Sydney Surrounding Areas Association (SSA ASN) - running a series of comps from the Central Coast of NSW down to Wollongong. When you went into my comps you were allocated to an area and the points went towards the club. Not all clubs were registered within the ASN though. By the end of the series Wollongong Wheels were the best, most organised club.I was unearthing guys who would never have been noticed. Top guys were being beaten and asking me: “who are these guys?” I have mentored younger people before. As for mentoring younger people nowadays, I do this only if someone asks, but am always happy to help anyone if I can. I think this concept is still a little premature in Australian skateboarding but feel it could happen in years to come. When the time is right, I guess.
THE UNLOVED (MAG)
In 1999, I was living and skating in Bondi, I was invited to a meeting with Daniel Crawford, who is a ruling graffic designer from the UK. Justin Wever was also involved at that meeting, he had printing and advertising hook ups. In this meeting, we decided to start a street Zine called the Unloved. I was skate editor and co-designer of that mag. Matt Davis became involved early as well. It was and I think still is the best free zine to ever come out. We had no restrictions, so printed whatever we liked. We had naked page 3 chicks with interviews, style cam was a gem as well. We would take pics of fashion fuck ups and mostly Dan would write fucked up stuff about em. He has a really zany sense of humour. We even interviewed R2D2! (That was my son Josh's idea). We published travel stories too, it was a popular mag. We did it all from Bondi - it was so raw. It was 48 Pages long; bi-monthly. It featured both local and international skaters. To get started we managed to get some big advertising groups like Play Station in the first edition, and loads wanted to be part of it from then on in. We had heaps of funny snaps, and weird stuff, it was fun as!
Nowadays, I live a fairly simple life in regional QLD, near most of my family. I'm working on a fair bit of stuff of my own, some skate related, some not. I still offer my help wherever I can with the skate stuff going on. I'm also still mates with most of the people I have met in my life. I also have haters tho, but I think you would have to worry if nobody disliked you. I really would like to take this chance to thank everyone who has been a part of my life thus far. Anyone that knows me, knows I have tight crews worldwide. I considered all my good friends, family. I count my blessings every day and am thankful for everything I have, and don't have, equally. A lot of people ask me how I live the carefree life that I do. My answer is that I have my faith and trust in the heavens to guide me through life. Only people that choose to live like this will understand it. One movie I will recommend is a film called “I AM". Anyways, thanks heaps for reading this story. If we ever cross paths don't be shy, I only bite soccer Mum's lmao.. love you all... go get on with your shit...
PS, stayed tuned, maybe if things go alright with feedback from this yarn, we might share some other stories. Be good...
The Alley & North Cronulla Beach by John Morton email@example.com