‘skateboarding BY skateboarders FOR skateboarders’


Welcome to the SSP Newsletter!

The Newsletter aims to provide information for the skatepark users of Southport about skateboard related issues in the town and in other towns/ cities across the UK.

We also aim to provide an information resource for councillors and other interested parties in the town who are involved with skateboarding and skateparks.

Please contact us at the e mail address with any comments on articles or requests for further information.

Inside this issue you will find:

Town gears up for ‘WICKED WEEKEND’


Kr8er repairs? Southport’s ‘skate history’ lost Public Skatepark Development Guide Join the SOUTHPORT SKATEPARK PROJECT Committee Skatepark news Links

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With less than 4 weeks to go, planning continues towards the ‘WICKED WEEKEND’ 2 day youth event. Local skaters have been invited to meetings with Merseyside Police, The Champion, Sefton Youth Services and Sefton Tourism to organise the best possible event, which it is hoped, will continue to grow year after year.


See inside for more details.

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With less than 4 weeks to go, local skaters are continuing to meet with organizers of the Wicked Weekend to advise on the content and organization of the event. The event on Sat August 25th /Sun 26th (See front cover) will be the single biggest event of the summer for the young people of Southport and the surrounding area and all involved are keen to make it the best event possible. The inspiration for the event has come from the HUB Festival, which has run in Liverpool City Centre for the last five years. Organisers Merseyside Police, Champion Newspapers, Sefton Youth Services, Sefton Tourism and Arcade Sports are keen to see the event build up and become a regular yearly event. Much of the funding for the event has been generated by PC Joanne Shakeshaft, who became involved with the towns skaters in 2006 during the events which led up to the skateboarders open forum at the Arts Centre. The experience of members of Sefton Tourism and Sefton Youth Services in putting on events such as this has enabled the initial idea to turn into a much bigger event. TEAM EXTREME, the UK's only professional BMX, skateboard and inline display team, will be providing their mobile street course, including mini and jump ramps, coupled to sound systems, with commentators and many years of experience. Team Extreme have performed displays all over the world and draw huge crowds at any event. The Saturday will include open sessions available to skaters of all levels from the age of 6, with TEAM EXTREME demos at regular intervals. Sunday will be competition day, with the best local skaters/riders battling it out! For Neil Danns, director and Team Extreme's general manager, it will be a welcome return to Southport. Hailing from Liverpool, Neil skated Southport Solid Surf skatepark in the late 1970’s (see photo on page 3). His exceptional skateboarding talents and powerful style have earned him many British and European titles throughout the 80’s and 90’s and he competed at Blackpool Ramp City in ‘Seaside Sessions 3’ in April this year. For more information on the build up to the Wicked Weekend watch out for your weekly Southport Champion. For more information on TEAM EXTREME go to:

The promised re-surfacing of the ramps at the Kr8er Skatepark commenced last month and most have been completed….but not all of them! Uncertainty surrounds the reason for this. Rumours around the skatepark are that the company doing the work ran out of wood(?) or that there was not enough funding for the whole job to be done! A phone call to Sefton Council Parks Repair Line on August 1st received the reply, “The company doing it ran out of wood. They’ve had to go back and order some more”. At the time of writing (Aug 8th) the spine and all the top platforms still needed replacing. No date was given for completion of the work. The good news though is that the quality of the work done has been really good and the ramps now ride really fast and smoothly again. One comment received by SSP from a BMXer that uses the park regularly was he hoped people would leave graffiti OFF the ramps (and floor!) and keep it on the graffiti wall. Some hope!
The photo opposite was taken shortly after the mini-ramp was re-surfaced!

In a future newsletter SSP will be presenting an interview with Professor Iain Borden, the head of The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture. He is the author of ‘Skateboarding, Space and the City—Architecture and the Body’. (Available at your local library!) This book is a detailed academic study, not only of skateboarding and architecture, but also of the attitude, mindset and social standing of skateboarders across the last 50 years. It contains important discussions on anti-skateboarding legislation, which should be read by all concerned. An interview with skater and architect Jeremy Donaldson will also feature in a future issue of the SSP newsletter. Neil Atkinson, admin of the Southport Skateboarders Forum will also be interviewed shortly, as will Woody of Big Woody’s Skateboard Shop… if we can talk him into it!

“When skaters do nothing, then nothing is what skaters get”



SSP is saddened to report that the ‘Swiss Chalet’, the last remaining piece of Southport’s Solid Surf Skatepark that stood on the site of the current Go-Kart track on Marine Drive, has now been dismantled and removed. Solid Surf opened in June 1978 and finally closed its doors in 1999. Since its demise the chalet has remained as the entrance to the Go-Karts. Back in the 1970’s the chalet provided not only secure entry to the park, but also had a skate shop, refreshment bar and music system with loudspeakers, as well as somewhere to just chill out between sessions.
1979 Southport Solid Surf Skatepark: A young Neil Danns (Team Extreme) backside air on one of the world’s first flat bottomed mini-ramps. ‘Swiss chalet’ in background. Photo: Darren Burdell

To many of course this will mean nothing, but to those who walked through it on a daily basis when it opened in June 1978 it’s sad to see it go, particularly as the Go-Kart track site would actually be a far better site for a skatepark in the town than the site of the current Kr8er skatepark! One of the issues that the current skatepark has is that its position and low fences mean it cannot be secured. This means that ANYONE can get into the park at ANY time, which has led to complaints from genuine skatepark users of attacks on them from ‘chavs’. It also means that, as there is no security on site, graffiti cannot be monitored and kept to the specified graffiti wall. The high fence at the Go-Kart track, in conjunction with monitored entry restricted to genuine skatepark users via the Swiss Chalet, and night security would, ironically enough, mean that any new concrete skatepark facility on the site would provide: • • • A bigger skatepark facility A far more secure environment for skatepark users enable the skatepark to remain a graffiti free zone, (such as the Clitheroe skatepark featured in last months issue) which would be more in keeping with the town’s ‘Classic Resort’ status’. There are other available sites for ‘legal’ graffiti walls.

Now that Sefton Council have obtained the lease back for the Pleasureland site, SSP would like to issue this open invitation to Councillors and Sefton Leisure Services to discuss this idea further, and to ensure that Southport locals are provided for in any long-term development of the site as well as visitors to the town. Please contact us at the e mail address. What do you think? Would the skatepark be better located where the Go-Kart track is? Or would you like to see the skatepark extended in its current location? What kind of park would you like to see built? Who should design/ construct it? The SSP skatepark survey forms are still available directly from us at the e mail address or from Arcade Sports. Fill one in and get it back to us, or post your opinions on the Southport Skateboarders Forum at where you can also find out more about the Solid Surf Skatepark including several more photos like the one above along with a link to Dave Brown’s excellent personal history of the skatepark. A future newsletter will feature an interview with Solidsurf admin Neil Atkinson. SIGN THE PETITION AT:


Skaters for Public Skateparks (SPS) is a non-profit skatepark advocacy organization, international in reach, dedicated to providing the information necessary to ensure safe, rewarding, freely-accessible skateparks are available to all skateboarders. If you are a landscape architect, parks and recreation professional, member of law enforcement, or otherwise serve your community, you will come to rely upon SPS as your trusted skatepark expert. is your well of seasoned experience and provider of insider information pertaining to skateboarding in general and skateparks in particular. Skaters for Public Skateparks is here for you. If you are a grass-roots advocate seeking a skatepark in your town, SPS is your "technical support" group, available to assist and direct your efforts by the sharing of its hardearned, pertinent experience. For more information and to view the full range of articles on offer go to:

Hundreds of new skateparks are being built every year. It is a boom era for public skateboarding facilities. The Public Skatepark Development Guide is the world’s first comprehensive instructional manual on skatepark advancement and is a publishing collaboration between the International Association of Skateboard Companies, Tony Hawk Foundation, and Skaters for Public Skateparks. The Guide presents the collected wisdom of dozens of the nation’s most effective skatepark proponents and expertly discusses every stage of skatepark creation. The PUBLIC SKATEPARK DEVELOPMENT GUIDE is 8.5 x 11 inches, 128 pages.

The Tony Hawk Foundation was established with the following Mission Statement: “to foster lasting improvements in society, with an emphasis on supporting and empowering youth. Through special events, grants, and technical assistance, the Foundation supports recreational programs with a focus on the creation of public skateboard parks in low-income communities. The Foundation favors programs that clearly demonstrate that funds received will produce tangible, ongoing, positive results.” Similarly to Skaters for Public Skateparks, the web site at is a well of information for all concerned in the process of campaigning and fundraising for a skatepark and the finer points of design and construction. The Foundation even supplies grants (exclusive to projects in the USA.) Still, the Skatepark Development Guide (see boxes on this page) remains a very useful template for projects in the UK in helping communities develop a pre- and postconstruction checklist to ensure that the hard work of skaters, parents, and civic officials will result in a quality skatepark that will serve that community for years to come. The Tony Hawk Foundation web site is a resource of information that is waiting to be utilised. To take advantage of this resource and find out more about the impact the Tony Hawk Foundation has had go to:

This handbook is free. You only pay shipping and handling of $6.95. For more information and to order the guide go to:

“When skaters do nothing, then nothing is what skaters get”



Southport isn’t the first town or city in the UK where skaters have found themselves in court for skateboarding. Manchester City Council has clamped down on skating at the Urbis centre now, despite the fact that it was designed with the use of skateboarders in mind! Liverpool City Council has designated the City Centre as a ‘Skateboarding Prohibited’ area, whilst the City Council neither owns or provides any free access to skateboarding sites/facilities! And this is the 2008 Capital of Culture? Nobody knew exactly what was going to happen when the first skaters appeared in court under the Southport antiskating bye-law. Thankfully they were fully discharged with no fines, and a warning against doing it again. But will this affect other skaters attitude to skating at Diana Gardens or the other designated areas? ‘Street’ has evolved to become the dominant form of skating and has been for so long now that attitudes will be difficult to change overnight. So in 2008, with the Council vowing to continue enforcing the bye-law how relevant is a 1986 slogan like ‘SKATEBOARDING IS NOT A CRIME’? Where do we go from here? We’ll tell you…


The SSP survey continues to run. Forms are available from ourselves and Arcade Sports. The SSP online petition continues at: Over our first three Newsletters, SSP has brought news of 8 new concrete parks being built in the UK at present; Two using experienced US skatepark design teams, the rest utilising home-grown UK skatepark design talent. These are happening NOW in the UK! It can happen here in Southport as well, but to achieve it means a lot of hard work and dedication from skaters, Councillors, Council employees and many others along the way. The newsletter is one method we use to present up to date, relevant information to all concerned but now we are looking for more skatepark users to join the SSP Committee, contribute to the newsletter, and get involved with the strategy and progress of the project. We are looking for passionate, dedicated skateboarders/BMXers/inline skaters to join the Committee. THERE IS NO AGE LIMIT! Only two restrictions apply: 1. 2. You must have been skating/riding for at least 2 years (experience is important!) You must live within the SEFTON BOROUGH COUNCIL area. (This is due to funding applications)

“Apathy is the skateboarders greatest enemy. When skaters do nothing, then nothing is what skaters get.”

To apply, e mail us or message us at My Space with your name, age, contact details, what you ride, how long you’ve been skating/riding and tell us why you should be a member of the SSP Committee. If you don’t meet both these requirements don’t worry. The SSP survey is open to EVERYONE, and Committee members will be taking SSP strategy ideas onto the streets and skateparks to find out other skatepark users opinions before open meetings take place. Everyone’s opinions are important and will be considered. This is an opportunity for you, the skaters/riders of Southport to get involved, formulate a strategy and help support and design the construction of a high quality concrete skatepark in Southport. There is no reason whatsoever that the best skatepark in the UK can’t be located here in SOUTHPORT! Apathy is the skateboarders greatest enemy. When skaters do nothing, then nothing is what skaters get. Get involved! SIGN THE PETITION AT:


Petersfield in Hampshire is among the latest UK towns to have a £250,000 skatepark planned. Jeremy Donaldson, skateboarder and architect for Robert Dye Associates, was commissioned to draw up the plans for the park. He said the different needs of the various age groups and disciplines were hard to marry together but hopes he has achieved it. Budgetary costs for the skate park are £200 per square metre putting the cost at about £200,000 before landscaping and other features are incorporated. For more information and to see the skatepark plans visit the ’What’s New’ area of the RDA website at:

The INDEPENDENT (UK) team will be appearing at Blackpool’s Ramp City on Wednesday 29th August.

Lichfield District Council in Staffordshire is said to be 'committed' to building a skate park in the city and is working in partnership with Lichfield Skate Park Committee. Legendary US skate park designer Wally Hollyday was flown in from California to scope out building possibilities, courtesy of funds raised by the committee through a series of benefit concerts. Mr. Hollyday commented that a skate park can be an attractive feature if it is greened with trees and bushes and could even have pathways and observation points for spectators. For more information on skateparks designed and built by Wally Hollyday visit:

We hope you have found something of interest in this newsletter. The next newsletter will be issued October 1st (ish!) Please contact us at the email address or via the My Space page with any comments or requests for further information. Finally here are some additional useful internet links. Check them out... United Kingdom Skateboarding Association: Sidewalk Skateboarding Magazine: Site Design Group: Skateboard UK:

SKATERS in Leigh, Essex are a step closer to getting a long-awaited skatepark after lottery funding of more than £400,000 was granted to Southend Council for play spaces by the Big Lottery Fund. £150,000 of this is expected to be earmarked for a new skatepark. Leigh Town Council already had £68,000 from its own funds and, with the £150,000 it had asked for, would only need to find another £50,000 or £60,000 to finish the project. Phil Clutton, a skateboarder for the past 20 years and one of the designers of the planned park has campaigned for four years for such a facility. The involvement of young people in the design, development and decision- making of the play areas was central to Southend's application and success. More info at:

“When skaters do nothing, then nothing is what skaters get”