I do not own the copyright to many of the images and pictures presented in ‘skate pic’s’ and ‘magazines’ sections. They do not have any commercial or financial connection with the ‘Transition Skateboarding Trilogy’. They are not being reproduced and sold for profit. They are the work and property of the skateboard photographers who took them. The images presented here are simply a means to honour and express the history of, and a journey through, skateboarding. Thank you to all those skaters and photographers who created these visual signposts to skateboarding’s history.

Transition and the written material composing this project is copyrighted. No reproduction in any form is allowed without the permission of the author


‘Skateboarding Beyond Boyhood and Brotherhood’

Chapter 1. ‘The enduring and addictive nature of skateboarding. 1991-92: The College Years. Part 1: In search of, and backtracking for: brotherhood and skateboarding. Street skating increasingly dominates the realm of the ordinary skater, as vertical ramp riding, continues to decline.’

The tricky subject of new college lodgings, wall-paper and posters. Guess what, I put skate posters up anyway to make myself at home: OOPS!

Shoegazing, Grunge and Manchester rule ‘indie’ early 1990’s. Far away vocals, psychedelic art, guitars in overload and effects pedals galore. Kurt Cobain’s melodic screams express a sense of underlying dissatisfaction in much of the disaffected youth of the day, who were bored to death with conservatism.

Late ‘91 New Deal ‘Howell World 1’ deck.  Lozenge profile dominates decks: lots of colour in skateboarding but uniformity increasing.

Late ‘91, skate mag’s increasingly full of young street skaters looking current. Lance Mountain captures vertical riders’ increasing feelings.

Powell lamely try to convince us that Hawk and co preferred street; yeah, of course they did! Hawk doing what he did best:12 twists in a row: mind-blowing! In contrast, Ed Templeton: a real street skater’s skater; yeah!

Salman Agah: nollie master and soon to be one of the most highly rated street skaters. Mike V keeps it burly at ND. 50mm Real small wheels mid ‘92: you’re not wrong! Jay Bennet in Grantham’s skate park: new skate bro at college.  

Early ‘92: boards increasingly slim down & get rounder with flat ‘caves, small tails and huge noses: nice! Justin Girard hits a bank pressure-flip with style. Powell’s boards early ‘92 get slated as ‘too heavy with lame art,’ whereas ND, Real, Black Label & SC get thumbs up.

Santa Cruz & Powell Peralta attempt to remain current but face new competition. Frazier ‘Yellow Man’ graphic slatted in RAD: tide is turning

1992: times change for the worst for Powell: ‘Celebraty Tropical Fish’ vid rated for street skating but not vert (except Frazier). Mcnatt & Speyer boards slatted art-wise & construction still too heavy. The Ripper disappears from Powell’s decks. Many riders/members leave: Peralta, Mountain, Guerrero, Hawk (he forms ‘Birdhouse Projects’). Tom Knox on street: even he learns late-flips!

1992 Plan-B clean-up skateboarding during the ‘Questionable’ video era. No wonder with Danny Way, Mike Carol, Rick Howard, Colin McKay, Pat Duffy, Sal Barbier, Rodney Mullen and others on the team: insane street and vertical skateboarding from legends of skateboarding: a must see film!

Powell out of favour in the street dominated world of skateboarding summer ‘92: Pat Brennan and Frankie Hill slicks get slated as: ‘unappealing old sea dog tattoo adorned decks’. Mid of main pic: Gutsy, Ove & Wilf at Milton Keynes comp‘92. Gator goes down: ‘life for murder’ ‘92: vert’s dead.

New Deal all the rage in skateboarding and our ‘brotherhood of skateboarders’ mid-’92. ND clean-up in graphics, clothing, boards and videos.

Jay’s 1992 Real Agah ‘Time Keeper’ slick: sick deck and the man himself. More Real slicks and James Kelch : 180 heel-flip shove-it.

The only Death Box deck I ever owned: ‘Alex Moul Slick’. Bought in the belief they were solid. The man himself in action & more rare DB slicks.

Real TG 49ers deck: bought 2nd-hand after soon snapping the Moul slick. The world of skateboarding goes ‘flip-tricks’ mad by summer 1992 which causes headaches for most mere mortal skaters. Only a select handful of ‘flip-masters’ rule: Simon Evans was one of them in the UK.

Chapter 2: ‘The time of technical street skaters in skateboarding. 1992-93: The College Years. Part 2: The decided emergence of ‘Phat pants, football ‘slick’ decks and tiny wheels’: technical street skaters transform skateboarding at every level: street skating rules, college sucks.

Nottingham ruler Little John spins a sick back-foot flip. Mine and Jay’s ‘skip college & skate day out’ chosen location: Broadmarsh banks Nott’s. My first T.V deck ‘Templeton  Perfect Female,’ technical street skaters fill RAD magazine & football slicks rule skating late ‘92.

The New Deal team lead the way 1281 onwards. John Montessi, Chris Hall, Neil Hendrix, Ron Knigge & Armando Barajas: very sick.  

The controversial subject of naked ladies & pornography enter into the world of skateboarding as a direct consequence of the ‘do as we like’ and ‘not backwards in coming forwards’ (excuse the unintentional pun!) attitude of the new street breed. A good thing, a bad thing, a bit of both, or neither?  Also, the distinct individual graphical identities of vertical riders completely lost in the kaleidoscopic world of street skating early 90’s.

The world of skateboarding goes through a major transition. Everything from decks, wheels, clothing, graphics, companies and tricks changes almost overnight. ‘The time of technical street skateboarders in skateboarding’ arrives and unfolds. A transitional period full of controversy and bithcin’. RAD days for some, absolutely loathed by others.  

Everywhere you look someone’s flipping their board and wearing phat pants in the early 90’s! Here’s Simon Evans, Mike de Geus and Tom Penny showing those old vertical dinosaurs and slash dogs how it’s done, whilst Aaron Bleasdale keeps it burly!

Birdhouse ‘Ravers’ video: full of phat pants, tiny wheels, slick decks and technical tricks impossible to ever land! Puma Clydes or Adidas Gazelles?  A pair of phat 40” Vision Hangers: I got a serious bollocking from the head sports teacher walking into the Sports Department in them! Vision Tremors: nice skate shoes.

By the end of 1992 Santa Cruz ‘s Everslick has gone through its own transition. From tentative ‘new idea’ in 1990 through to several different formulas of Everslick being available (Extra-slick/Racing-Slick etc) to being copied by the other major skateboard companies & applied to nearly all ‘football slicks’. Some skaters still prefer wood (but not many). Long live Everslick!

Chapter 3: ‘Back in Brotherhood: 1993-96: Flatland technical ‘flip-tricks,’ tiny wheels, oversized clothing, shrinking products and hip-hop tunes briefly rule: the transition in skateboarding reaches its zenith, but then unexpectedly continues on.’

After escaping Grantham college summer ‘93 it’s ‘Back to Brotherhood’. New Deal Montessi ‘Bad Dream’ slick scammed off Ove. First VW Beetle on the garage forecourt. I wire the ‘Ices’ Handrail . It’s party time! Dave & Steve mashed surrounded by lovely ladies: nice! RAD mag into ‘93. Dave & Wilf have a chat with hilarious old Barry after skating. Pucka days!

Mid 1993: the transition in skateboarding gets even more mental as street skaters flip their boards in every type of terrain possible and to levels of complexity, way beyond most ordinary skaters. New Deal’s ‘Da Deal is Dead’ vid full of ‘flip-tricks’. Ron Knigge 540 nollie double-flip: gulp! Justin Girard and Jeremy Klien on the technical trip. UK rulers Tom Penny, Alan Rushbrooke, Heinzman & Aaron Bleasdale.  

As the new popsicle decks arrive mid-late ‘93 the ‘old’ ‘football slicks’ go in the ‘reduced’ bin at £32.95: bargain! Good job as well: I snapped them like lollipop sticks every few weeks.

Shown here: ‘92 Real ‘Native American Indian Chief’, ‘Where’s Thiebaud’ & ‘Headshot’ football slicks. Early ‘93 popsicles: Mad Circle ‘3 Drunks on a wall’ slick & mid-late ‘93 Black and White ‘Headache’ slick.  

By mid-late 1993 short truck hole pattern drilled popsicle shaped boards at 7.75”-8” dominate. A change driven by street skaters flipping their boards here, there and everywhere. They snapped and went soggy so easily that skate companies soon had to look at new ways to strengthen them.

Skateboard trucks change to suit ‘flip-trick’ needs. Wide and short drilling pattern & lower and lighter was the order of the day.

Here Gullwing ‘little G’s’, Venture ‘Featherlites’ Indy and Grind King GK2 (whilst Shorty’s help-out with short truck bolts).

Wheels 1993. Acme introduce single bearing wheel: RAD idea in terms of light weight but sadly ill-fated and recalled. On the whole, skateboard wheels stabilize in size (40-50mm) hardness 99A-100+ and appearance, as skateboarding becomes uniform in equipment. No more 36.5mm wheels: hooray!

‘The transition unexpectedly continues on’: the face of skateboarders and skateboarding by 1994. Phat pants, overly complex flatland tricks  and ‘football slicks’ give way to ‘Slim jim’ clothing, popsicle decks and the fusing of technical and burly. The origins of skating today.

Alien Workshop, Plan-B and World Industries rule the skateboarding roost. Phat threads shrink in size by ‘94 but still look cool.

UK rulers Geoff Rowley, Tom Penny and Simon Evans say cheerio to these shores and head out to the US to ‘live their dream’.

1995-96 Skateboarding takes a backseat as the ‘skateboard fantasy land’ Wilf and I live in comes to an end. One of the last RAD mag’s I bought: small and thin on content! Other ‘more mature’ interests begin to take over skateboarding as a result: guitars, cars and my beautiful lady.

Working in the garage becomes a nightmare for me in a world I don’t feel I belong in. University calls in a bid to ‘Embrace Adulthood’.  

click on the New Deal board to return to the top


Transition and the written material composing this project is copyrighted. No reproduction in any form is allowed without the permission of the author

A fall-out in the WI camp sees more new, short-lived companies emerge: Bitch as an example. Skateboards become uniform popsicles and board reviews become equally as bland with little or no comment, only dimensions listed; yawnnnnn…….