|Inside Out meets Bristol's premier
If you thought 'ollie' was a boy's name and 'grinding'
was one of your best moves on the dance floor then read on as Inside
Out takes you inside the world of skateboarding.
Meet 50:50, they are Bristol's
premier skateboarding team as well as one of the South West's few specialist
Danny Wainwright is one of the founding members and has
been skateboarding for over 16 years
He and his co-founder Syd ploughed their competition winnings
into the business which they insist is as much about socialising as it
is about selling.
"It's just somewhere for the skaters to come and
hang out," explains Syd. "Watch videos and find out what's going
on in the skateboarding world."
The shop even boasts its own skating ramp in the back
But specially built ramps aren't the only place that skateboarders
can be found.
Public libraries, civic centres and town squares are all
popular skateboarding haunts - anywhere with a flat concreted area, steps
and railings to practice tricks.
And this is where the conflict arises.
Many local residents view skateboarding as a public nuisance,
both dangerous and noisy. But public opinion does little to deter our
diehard fanatics of 50:50.
Back to the beginning
It is largely believed that skateboarding originated from
surfing after a lack of good waves and initially surf board and skateboard
designs were similar.
Skaters were known as 'sidewalk surfers'.
In time the design changed and in 1965, the first skateboards
|MASTERING THE OLLIE
Danny Wainwright has honed his ollie to a record-breaking
height of 44.5 inches.
But for the less skilful of you, here's a very simple
explanation of how it works:
- back foot kicks down and provides the force which
makes the tail hit the ground
- that provided the pop which lifts the board into
- the front foot then slides forward and levels
the board out
- all that's left to do is land it
Although skateparks do exist, in the UK these tend to
be few and far between and many skaters are forced to return to the sport's
roots and hone their skills on the streets.
Treading the board
Luckily for the skaters of Bristol however, Danny and
Syd made it their mission to design and build a skatepark and can often
be found talent spotting there.
"They were instrumental in its design," says
co-designer John. "We worked with a specialist skatepark company
and between them and 50:50 they were able to build the park."
But it's a big jump (no pun intended) from the ramps of
the skatepark to the competition ramps and not all of 50:50 qualify in
the National Adventure Sports Show competition.
For those who didn't quite make it, it's a great excuse
for a weekend away and a chance to support their friends. For those who
did, the pressure's really on.
got £300 pounds which is all right. Pretty
good for three minutes' work."
Danny qualifies in first place, but the competition is
by no means over. A kick flip down the bank doesn't quite go according
to plan and Danny finishes third overall, but is not too disappointed.
Flynn scores sixth place, whilst Little Dan comes in eighth.
Whilst the group return to ramps, John hopes that increasing
exposure will heighten skateboarding's profile and lead to a better understanding
of this complex and skilful sport.
"Skateboarders are demonised," says John.
"I think if someone really saw what they were doing
in stead of being prejudice towards the noise, they would
be really surprised as to how great a skill and how dedicated these people