Bowl Resurrection: Bringing one of the concrete gems of South African skateboarding back to life – The Germiston Bowl.
By Warren Gwilt.
Earlier in the year, Thrasher Magazine released ‘Grindland’ a tribute to the work of Mark ‘Red’ Scott and the late Mark ‘Monk’ Hubbard, two of the originators of the legendary Burnside skate park in Portland, Oregon in the US, who poured concrete far and wide to keep the skate stoke flowing.
For some, there’s nothing better than riding, grinding and shredding concrete.
In the past couple of years, an encouraging trend has emerged in South Africa – more concrete is being poured here than ever.
Whether it be paid for skate parks or DIY spots, the grey gloop is setting all about. Look no further than the Cape Town skate scene.
And while it is encouraging that more spots are popping up and there are more concrete options than before, there is one legendary South African concrete skate spot that has been overlooked and largely left to decay – until recently.
The Germiston Bowl.
While it is encouraging that more spots are popping up and there are more concrete options than before, there is one legendary South African concrete skate spot that has been overlooked and largely left to decay – until recently.
Like Blunt Magazine, which turns 25 in 2022, ‘The Bowl’ celebrates a milestone birthday this year too – 30 years.
For those who failed junior school maths, it was built in 1992. Since then generations of local crews, international pros, posers, junkies – not forgetting drunkies, have graced the inner or outer part of the snake, either by choice or the force of gravity.
Puke, broken glass, rocks, and condoms have accompanied cigarette butts, acorns, twigs and general shit, to block up the drain.
Down come the rains; and up come the stains.
Despite its value to the local skate community, for the last three decades the municipality has not paid this facility any attention whatsoever, leaving it to largely decay over the past few years.
A collective of old crusty locals who maintain it to the best of their ability have taken on the municipality, so that future generations rip like those who came before them.
This collective, known as 1401sk8, has finally managed to get an undertaking from the municipality that it will be cleaned once a week.
It may not seem like much, but it is a start.
Generations of local crews, international pros, posers, junkies – not forgetting drunkies, have graced the inner or outer part of the snake, either by choice or the force of gravity.
1401sk8 have secured future engagements with the municipality to discuss how this classic skate spot can be repaired and maintained beyond a dusting over with a leaf blower and an occasional grass cut.
The guys have an Instagram account @1401sk8 which is dedicated to those who kill this spot, past and present.
To the Monks, Reds and every other concrete pouring ripper out there, we salute you.
To those who have never taken a trip to where Chad Muska frontside flipped from the extension into the bowl, or where Tony Hawk almost broke his now broken leg on the coping and SA Olympic skater Dallas cut his transition skating skills – you’re all welcome!
Come and donate some of your skin to the crust.
Check out 1401sk8 on Instagram.
Watch Grindland on YouTube.
Watch the 2001 Boogaloos Germiston Bowl Riders:
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