Record: The Ripped

  • Record: The ripped

    There's too many good stories to mention about the Ripped, but briefly here are some of my favourites; 

    Blinky not being that stoked on seeing Joe's Air to disaster sequence in Sidewalk, as he thought he'd early grabbed into it! Zorlac driving up from Harrow to get the Tailblock on the window ledge, trying it for a couple of hours, then driving straight back. Chris from Cleckheaton Nollie Laserflipping the road gap to outside. Joe messing around getting a wallride to tailstall on the green wallride for some reason. Ben Devine and Jeffro from Newcastle getting pissed with a load of old men at the pub at the end of the road during one allnighter. Snoz wanting to build a cradle into the corner with the spine...

    Below are some paragraphs from users of the park that give a great insight into what it was like to skate there!

    Matt Sefton: Not sure if I miss the paint mixed with sand that Snoz used...

    Frosty: Fuckin love it that Snoz and his crew mixed sand in with the paint to make it gnarlier ha!

    Colin Adam Backside Boneless, shot by Chris Johnson, scanned from Sidewalk Issue 150, March 2009

    Pigdog: We took a trip to The Ripped in March 2008 - the Bristol mob was Bob Scumtash, Joe Habgood, Wes Morgan, Gnarly Neil and myself. We picked up Joxa from Brum train station and arranged to meet the London Posse of Scott Madill, Poulet and Johnners there. On the way up, Joe made a few calls and arranged to meet Ronny Calow there too, so we had a good crew!

    The 15th March 2008 was the perfect day to visit The Ripped. Dewsbury was all over the news, as the evening before, Shannon Matthews, the 9 year old girl who had been ‘kidnapped’ by her own mother had been discovered stuffed in a divan bed. So, obviously jokes about phoning Dewsbury’s furniture shops asking for a divan bed suitable for a 9 year old were rife on the 3 1/2 hour drive from Bristol. Joe also introduced us to the joys of “car-e-oke”, which involves phoning up various skate shops, asking for some dubious product, then singing the worst pop songs down the line. Most classic was singing to Bingo (RIP), who was laughing his head off and getting us to do encores. Joe then tried to convince him we were outside Mischief, but he was having none of it!

    Once we got there Joxa revealed the true reason he was so keen - Yorkshire Tea served in proper China mugs! No piss-poor cha in paper cups in Yorkshire! We walked in with our mugs of tea and I was amazed by the layout - it looked, and skated more like it was made of concrete than wood. Plus every nook and cranny had some whippy little transition or bank stuffed into it. Even the micro bowl was amazing fun, and those tiny transitions are often a waste of space.

    The main section's upturned curbs as concrete coping was a stroke of genius, but probably harder to skate than pool coping, as the sharp angled edge had a habit of keeping you locked into the platform side of grinds. Proper grind noises though, and every grind was kind of a slappy!

    We had an amazing session - loads of shouting, plus hours of sweaty shredding and a few proper bangers from the gnarlers in our crew. We planned a return trip, as even a 7 or 8 hour round trip was worth it, but never made it back before it shut down. Bloody shame!

    Daryl Nobbs Crail Pivot Fakies, shot by Silent Will, scanned from Sidewalk Issue 153 June 2009

    Jason "Argos" Kelly: For me the ripped was how I got into skateboarding and out of my fat nerd phase, the local rippers and that place were my introduction to skating and through it punk music, I owe that place a lot! I was so gutted when it closed like, the layout was fucking great, the crete coping and massive wallrides along with that mini bowl were the fucking best. After skating so many shit council builds having something different rather than just standardised quarters too high to really start learning on and linear layouts somewhere free of local chavs and full of interesting ramps of all sizes and something to carve on was a revelation.

    I’ll never forget the first grim up north I went to or any of the allnighters, absolute fucking carnage. To go from knowing nothing of skate culture or underground music into something so completely mental was so fucking cool for a 15 year old loser.


    Avid Pivots on the window ledge, shot by Lee J, scanned from Sidewalk 126, March 2007

    Tom Wade: One of the best aspects of the Ripped was its sound system; it wasn’t until I started attending this place that I was introduced to multitudes of music styles. It emulated an open mic-like approach allowing anyone to put on their tapes/CDs/MP3s etc which was responsible for such a variety. As a space, thinking back the park still holds up as one of the most effective layouts I’ve ever encountered. The large section hosted plenty of opportunity for creativity, which was perfect for anyone starting up. It’s rare I’ve skated anywhere that has evoked thoughts like ‘Oh shit! I can try that’ as much as that place.

    There’s nothing more arousing than slashing on concrete coping and hitting up high wall-rides that never got boring. It was a rare occasion you’d arrive and not know at least one person there, the inclusion would be undoubted which made for plenty of occasions for a session to start; I don’t recall any of them not being memorable in some way either. To contrast when the place was packed for all-nighters or the Grim Up North festivals, these were always a treat. As a younger lad starting the intimidation you would feel watching what went down at some of these events (Trick-wise) couldn’t help but leave you inspired to just go for it yourself. If anywhere was deserving of the term ‘home away from home’ it was the Ripped. I don’t care how desperate you are; don’t steal lead from roofs.

    Iwan Gilman: I'll never forget walking into The Ripped for the first time. I remember being amazed by the talent of so many skateboarders from all over West Yorkshire. It became a bit of a second home for me over my teenage years where I would literally be nagging my mum every weekend for a tenner so I could go down all day and  go have the best session with my mates Argos (Jason Kelly) and Slik (Tom Wade). I'll never get over that place shutting down, it had so much history from being aggroverts to then being owned by Snoz then Ry and becoming The Ripped. My fondest memory is going to the all nighters Ry used to put on an Slik banging his head on the roof of the super low vert wall and Joe Howard  getting the Air to front disaster on the extension in the big section, absolutely crazy considering most of us were shit scared of it haha good times RIP. 

    Beez: The ripped was far from your average uk park where you've got a shit driveway sandwiched between two quarters where on a busy day looks similar to the bleep test at school. Back and forth stale. It was a small paradise with endless lines made up of hips, bowled corners, vert walls, a pole jam, wallies, wallrides and all finished with a beautiful pool coping to seal the deal. Every slashers dream!

    This park was so rad and defo one of my favourites for sure. The way it looked like it had been built with washed up driftwood gave it even more character. The all nighters that went down there were sick. Skateboarding, booze and fire. I feel privileged to have experienced this place whilst it lasted. Up the DIY! 

    Jono Coote: The Ripped was absolute chaos – in the words of Hunter, too weird to live and too rare to die. I remember one all-nighter where we turned up at the park and joined a session in full swing. Once legs started giving out we started in on the boozing, which it turned out I’d under-planned for. Upon hearing my plaintive enquiries about what offies would still be open in Dewsbury at half past midnight on a Saturday (answer: none), Ry, the owner at the time, came out with the question “Well, do you want some moonshine instead?” Going from my admittedly foggy memories, it transpired that one of his mates worked in the nearby Listerine factory and had smuggled out a batch of the pure alcohol used to make mouthwash and currently mixed with about 0.04% water. Dripping some on my tongue resulted in strangely blurred vision for a short period afterwards, which was counteracted by someone handing me a bottle of JD and a joint, Joe Howard’s was harder to shift as he poured a whole bunch down his throat.

    Three hours later we realised that we were miles from anywhere, planning to spend the night in a freezing cold skatepark with no sleeping bags and not nearly enough booze to see us through (we were giving the Listerine moonshine a wide berth by this point). Thankfully Zorlac and his trusty van were on hand and up for going out of the way to take us back to Leeds, comfortable sleeping arrangements and shops with late licenses. Oh and it was pretty good to skate as well, but that’s another story. RIP the best indoor park of all time!