Jimmy’s Vert ramp

Story by Jimmy LoRicco

So people might be wondering whats being going on down south over the past month.
Some of us dream it, others doubt it, but some of us will do anything we can to make it a reality.
Vert, what else would I really want. Being an 80’s skater, this is what we were bought up on and aspired to ride before the craze of the mini ramps blew out in 88.
My first ever demo I went to in 85 was the Variflex Demo Vert Ramp on the lawn out front of RipCurl one sunny Saturday arvo. From here got the fire burning to lurk occasionally at Corio and progress from the small bowl, to the paint tray then onto the 3rd Bowl, the Keyhole.
The first ramp I ever rode was the vert ramp behind Piping Hot in Torquay, in 1987. I learnt to drop in here first, amongst some skateboarders who I would end up skating with as an adult 20 years later on a Tuesday night, still feeling like the grommet I was back in the heyday. Here I witnessed the second wave of the US pros destroy this ramp in Easter of 87 which fueled the fire on what I believed was the pinnacle, and still do because its always a challenge to step up and ride. Late in 87 the ramp was moved out into the paddock to accommodate Ramp Riots down here in Torquay up until 89, we were lucky to witness these, but eventually they moved in 1990  Ramp Riot indoors to Festival Hall. From this point on, Geelong did get an indoor Vert ramp at a skatepark named Rivers Edge built by the Searle Family, its life line expired way too short.
So what happened then???
The ole girl was left to rot in the paddock, vert died in the mainstream and in the later half of the 90’s she was eventaully demolished.
Looking back, it was a skinny ramp, but one of the most perfect to ride for its time with 10ft Transitions and 1ft of vert.

Now the history lesson is over Folks, jump back in the time Machine and motor back to 2009.
For the past couple of years, Trev and I have been trying to sort out a place to re-erect his vert ramp which has been doing its odd demo here and there since its glory days in Motown. The original plan was to build it at my block, but due to the unfortunate economic times and general down turn of the property market, this has held us back, so after approaching many a local, business  and being rejected, finally Dragon Optical said yes and shared our vision, Bring the Vert Back to Torquay in a private setting.
Its been 20 years Candy, (oops) but we have done it. Big thanks go out to the crews who turned up over the past couple of weekends lending their hands, because it takes 8 men to safely lift and lock in one section of Transition.  The sessions have been hot and some locals who ripped it up back in the day are slowly creeping out of the woodwork. Dimensions of this gem are 40ft of width, 13ft high with approximately 2ft of Vert, Satellite is the riding surface which has been a blessing down here with the mist and occasional shower that lurks around coastal areas, a quick squeegee and off we go, I dig this stuff. Its nice to now have an environment where one can learn to ride a standard modern size and get out of the 80’s rut of riding the left over small ramps that still exist through out Victoria. I’m surprised how quickly you do adapt which at one stage a few years back I personally didn’t ever think I would be doing this today.
Cheers go out to Trev, Pete and Justin who are always up for a sesh and the extended family from Grove, Fletch, Myles and Vince who have chipped in and been loyal to the cause of rolling and putting up with my requests to ride The Ponds for so long.
Its the 20th Anniversary since the Ramp Riot was last in Torquay, I feel its time to celebrate.
Keep your ears open for when we do.
Jimmy LoRicco

The flat
adelaide skateboard vert ramp

Starting to Build the Tranny
building tranny on vert ramp

One Sunday’s hard work
One Sundays work putting up vert ramp

Prep for Sunday’s Work
Prep for Sunday's work on vert ramp

All hands on deck to put up vert tranny

Lock it in Eddy
Locking in the tranny

A complete Vert ramp
A complete skate vert ramp

Lien to Tail
Jimmy on the vert ramp lien to tail

Frontside Air – sorry bum shot
jimmy on vert ramp frontside air

Rock slide to fakie – one of my favourite tricks
jimmy on the vert ramp rock slide to fakie

Fakie Ollie – another bum shot
jimmy on the vert ramp fakie ollie

And to complete the bum shot session – The King and I
A casual Lien Air early release over the top. In the future, we will shoot a sequence shot with a more appropriate lip trick and another angle to do it some justice.
lien air early release over the top

Skatehorder who wrote this...

Hop is a skateboard lifer and one of the sport's true tragics: he'll talk gear, skating, racing for as long as you let him.

3 comments… add one
  • aaron quick Jan 17, 2012, 12:23 am

    best read i’ve had in ages. is there any way to do another ramp riot?

  • Loz Jun 20, 2014, 1:21 pm

    Does anyone have flicks of Rivers Edge skatepark mentioned above? Spent many a school holiday in that warehouse, would love to see it again.

  • Hop Jun 20, 2014, 1:30 pm

    Try going to Charliedontskate.com – there an Ancient Haunts section – might be something there – you can post up a request and you might get lucky

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