Joe is a member of the small but healthy roller skating scene down under where the kangaroos roam. He has been skating for a long time and still rips hard on his quite unique roller skates. The photos are published with permission and copyrighted by their respective photographers. Joe answered the questions in March 2010
Spot: ramp near Waverly
Trick: Frontside Handplant
Spot: Frankston Bowl
Event: MOSS Jam 09
There were a couple of backyard ramps about the place that we would skate as well as our ramp, was also a ramp behind a youth club in Springvale that bred some of the radest skaters in OZ and we rode that quite a bit too, usually stopping along the way to skate a couple of silos on their side, out the back of a steel works factory. We also had a few very nasty concrete bowls and parks built by non skaters, Doveton and Ringwood bowls and West Melton and Heidelberg skateparks, West Melton being the best of the bunch. Collingwood skate City was pure heaven, 10ish foot, perfect trany and surface, sitting on the balcony of an old cinema with the ground floor being a rollerskate rink. There was a legendary spot called the fish pond that wasn't much chop for rollerskates but was a blast on a board. During that era someone discovered 18' sewerage pipes that had been laid out Melton way which copped a fair thrashing to. I also played drums in Melbourne punk band Fish during that time too, rad days. Come about 82/83 we built a half pipe at Bens house, a bit bigger with a large deck sporting a couch and a roll in and skated the shit out of the thing. Around that time I got my first job and my first pay got me 2 pair of Tracker ex-tracks, second pay got me 8 Ozi wheels (Tim, the legend behind Ozi went on to become Cockroach, then Cozmo inline and Cortech/Electro/Point Blank, all way ahead of anything at the time) and a pair of second hand ice skates and built my first self made skates. Those skates lasted me through to the early 90's, Sessioning Mordialoc, Doncaster, Middle Park quarter on the dunny roof and a couple of backyarders, though by 86 I had got my License and was into Rallying and had met my now wife Tammy and skating kind of sat in the background for a couple of years. Through Ludi I got hooked up by a shop for Inlines in the early 90's and demo'd and competed around the place till the end of the century where I just lost interest in the whole inline scene. I skated with some very talented skaters during this time, one of them being my good mate Tom Fry, the most talented inliner ever to grace this planet, in my humble opinion. We would be driving to a ramp and I'd tell him about a new trick I'd come up with and he'd say "I've done that" with a big shit eating grin on his face cos we both knew he hadn't but he would pull it first bite anyway, he was just that good. I learnt a lot on inlines but always skated with a heavy skateboarding influence, always skating definite frontside and backside, something that seems to be uncommon among parallel skaters. So kick forward to 05 and I sign up on www.charliedontskate.com to see what's been happening in the skate world and maybe source some midtrackers and I start to get itchy feet. Come 07 and I see a photo of Ludi airing in a bowl and I get very exited. So I get some high top rugby boots, 2 sets of midtrackers and a couple of sets of Cortechs and build up a set of skates with some cutting board for sliders. I rolled up to The Shed indoor skatepark for my first skate in 8 years, pulling on my skates and Ludi walks in for a sesh. I was stoked to the eyeballs and we sessioned every Friday night there till they closed it down in late 08.
Trick: Layback Air and Miller-Flip
Photographer: Bruce Farley
I changed to a pair of ice hockey boots next, then I updated to Grind King minis with Cortech Photons, Rockin Rons and a cut down set of roces LAX boots (thrown out by my brother inlaw). The plate/slider setup I've been using over these last couple of setups is aluminium channel with cutting board sliders attached to the edges of the channel. My current setup is Goalie boots with Grind Kings, R/Rons, Rainskate wheels and the same style plates as the last setup, nice but my faves were the LAX's. Ludi and me skate with the MOSS crew (Melbourne old school skaters) these days, a rad bunch of doods from back in the day and it looks like Jomby is getting fired up again too. Good friends, punk music, 2 beautiful daughters, a gorgeous wife and still skating hard, I have absolutely nothing to complain about, although a bit more time to skate would be good.
Collingwood skate City reminds me of an indoor park we had in an old US army cinema in Lahr ...
How does your family take to your skating? Anyone else on wheels in the family? How about the competitions? I remember some funny names like SOS jam and MOSS jam, what about this all?
The Australian roller skate scene seem to be pretty well connected and relaxed, What can you tell us about the roller skate scene down under? Is there any fresh blood in the Australian roller skate scene?
Spot: Ben's Ramp
Trick: Frontside Air
I've gotten away pretty easy injury wise, I did hang my heels up on a fakie air once and half KO'd myself, made my ears bleed too. I hung up and smashed my hip on a handrail once and spent the next few weeks having to double over and twist to the right so I could sneeze or cough without passing out in agony, that was pretty shit. I slid out at the SOS jam a couple of years back and smacked my coxic pretty hard, got up for a leak that night and passed out mid stream. Both my shoulders, right wrist, right hip and left ankle play up when it's cold, all skate injuries that I never stopped skating long enough to let heal properly but I still feel like a kid when a sesh is on. It's mostly fitness that holds me back these days.
Spot: Frankston Bowl
Date: 2010 March 16
Trick: Stale Air
Photographer: Troy Slater
I've genuinely had way too many exciting skate moments to narrow it down to one but I do remember being ecstatic rolling up to The Shed for my first sesh in 8 odd years (first on rollerskates in 17) and Ludi rolling up for a sesh too. I hadn't seen him in quite a while so was stoked. I remember feeling a bit weird with my first couple of runs on the mini as it just felt really wrong so we jumped on the vert ramp and I was airing and handplanting by the second run. Made me laugh later as I remembered I was always shit on mini's anyway.
Photographer: Troy Slater
I'm 42 and have been a skater my whole life. I'm ever grateful to my brother Jomby for building my first board, Ludi, Ben and Jomby for being a huge influence on me and my skating and for the ramps we built together, and my buddy Glenn, world class drummer, eccentric inventor and supporter of all things rad, a dood who I can't ever remember stepping on a board or skates, who has just got into speed skating (and possibly a bit of ditch action soon) at the age of 44. Most of all, I'd be lost without my girls, Tammy, Taylor and Amy, completely blow me away on a daily basis for so many reasons. Big thumbs up to any and all skaters who just dig the roll.