The Turf

The Turf
Sam Hitz, fs ollie. Photo: Peter DiAntoni

by Adam Creagan

California in the 1980s, when viewed through the prism of skate mags and the selectivity of show business, gave off the impression of being one big, uninterrupted beach boardwalk. This palm-tree lined utopia seemed flush with skate spots, ramps, girls roller-skating in bikinis, and even the occasional dude with a saxophone or holding an anaconda for some reason. Roll around any length of the state’s 770-mile entirety, the mythology went, and you were sure to bump into Natas, right?


Al Partanen, pivot to fakie. Photo: Peter DiAntoni


Jay Neumann, fs air. Photo: Peter DiAntoni

Skating has long-since become a democracy of stoke, with unique scenes in every town. This counterbalance was inevitable, but it would not be revisionist history to say The Turf played a big part in speeding up the process. See, while skating looked West in the ‘80s, someone forgot to tell the guys in Milwaukee, WI. The Turf became a legendary park by any measure of influence you can think of. It served as a pressure-cooker laboratory for what can be done in your own town. Of course there were other parks back then, but a direct line can be traced from The Turf’s scope, ambition and location to a lot of the cement-pit bedlam going on today.


Reese Simpson, fs air. Photo: Peter DiAntoni


James Shaw, bs smith. Photo: Peter DiAntoni



Al Partanen, fs ollie. Photo: Peter DiAntoni

Hitz wrote about this in TH1RT3EN. And Peter DiAntoni dug through his vaults to offer some great flicks from the era.

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